The sensitive topic came under the spotlight on social media following the release of the film called 2de Vrou (Second Wife) on Facebook this week.
Sedick Simons, 35, who owns the production company Koefia Films, says he felt it was time to speak out about the hurt and pain Muslim women experience when their husbands take a second wife.
The 10-minute long 2de Vrou stars real-life husband and wife, Nuraan and Achmat Ajam.
While they use their real names in the film, the story is not theirs, says Sedick.
“2de Vrou tackles a very pertinent issue in our community and contextualises it for people who have to deal with this on a daily basis.”
The film is set in Mitchells Plain and starts with Nuraan spotting Achmat with his second wife at Mitchells Butchery In Woodlands.
As the crying Nuraan takes an Uber home, the viewer learns that it is the first time she sees the new wife since her husband married six months ago, and she’s upset that Achmat would bring her to “their” butcher.
Throughout the film, Nuraan questions her rights as a Muslim woman, while a moulana explains that the religion allows a man to have up to four wives, with one important condition: that he must be able to treat all of them equally.
That goes from spending the same amount of money and time with them.
Nuraan grapples with tough questions, for example, how can her husband say he loves her but marries another woman?; does she accept his decision and stay in the marriage, or should she divorce him?
Sedick says he knew the film would get tongues wagging.
“2de Vrou is a very controversial and sensitive topic. Some of our imams preferred not to take part, so I approached a very good friend Moenier Tape (owner of Gamza’s Fish Den in Strandfontein) to play the role of Moulana.”
Sedick, who is a senior animator in the television industry by trade, says they started filming in December and finished in April.
The film was released on Facebook this week, and received mixed reactions.
One woman commented: “More time should have been spent explaining the conditions under which a man may take a second wife. He might not need his wife’s permission, but the first duty of a good husband is not to hurt his wife.”
A male user wrote: “The man will account for his shortcomings on the day of reckoning. It is not for anyone to judge him... it’s his God-given right.”
Another woman said: “My husband has 3 wives and I’m the first. The situation can work.”