Durban – Meet the new polygamist in town, Musa Mseleku, husband to four wives and in demand after making his television debut this week.
A swarm of women on social media were asking to be wife number five as he starred on the new reality TV show Uthando Nesthembu (Love and Polygamy). He is a man with deep pockets, four voluptuous wives – and 10 children.
The former SABC journalist-cum-businessman was a social media hit on Thursday night as Mzansi Magic aired the first in the series that follows the life of 42-year-old Mseleku and his four wives, MaCele, MaYeni, MaKhumalo and MaNgwabe.
He is a man with expensive tastes.
He drives a Mercedes-Benz ML SUV and the family has a fleet of about 15 cars – two per wife – some of them Mercedes-Benz coupés or Isuzu double-cab bakkies.
The Mseleku family has six well-furnished double-storey properties: one each for the wives, one for Mseleku and the family home where he grew up with his sister, Nompumelelo.
Speaking to The Independent on Saturday yesterday, Mseleku said he had received more than 1 500 friend requests on social media on Thursday night, many lobbying to be his fifth wife.
“It’s true, my Facebook is full of requests," he laughed. "Interestingly, I thought women did not want polygamy, but now others are asking to be wives five and six.”
Mseleku married his first wife, Busisiwe Cele, 40, in 2002, before marrying Nokukhanya Yeni, 35, in 2007. Thobile Khumalo and Mbali Ngwane – 28 and 34 respectively – married him in 2009.
Is he looking for number five?
“My wives know I will declare my intent if there is an interest. It will never be by anyone’s request – it will be a choice between me and all my wives,” he said.
In memory of his mother, Florence, who died in 1999, many of his cars have the personalised number plate “Thanx Ma”. He left his news-reading job at UkhoziFM to nurse her.
“Throughout that period, when my mother was sick, I was not working. I had nothing financially, but I tried to please her and bought expensive furniture at home, which left me in financial ruin,” he said.
He was raised by his single mother and grandmother and never knew his father, who, he had been told, was dead.
In an emotional scene with two of his sons, Mseleku revealed how he would bathe and clean his mother on her deathbed.
“She said to me, ‘my boy, you are suffering because of me, but you will never again’,” he said.
Although the first episode portrayed only the good about the unusual family, Mseleku said it was sometimes tough.
“It is not as easy as people think. When there is tension, there is tension. The difference is that when there is an issue, it can never be above the family. We make sure we resolve issues by talking because we do not want it to cause wounds later,” he said.