People in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are demanding answers after one of their countrymen married three identical triplets on the same day.
The polygamous ceremony, which took place in Kalehe, South Kivu Province, has angered many Congolese, who have described the groom, Tonton Luwizo – known locally as ‘Wizo’ – as a ‘megalomaniac’.
The story made global headlines in the first week of March, with news sites from America to India covering the salacious story.
‘This is not a marriage, it is a parody of love,’ Gertrude Kasereka, a church coordinator from the South Kivu capital Bukavu, told NewsAfrica.
‘And now what will this Wizo guy and the triplets become? It is completely insane and unholy,’ an angry Kasereka added.
A video showing 32-year-old Luwizo placing three rings on the sisters’ fingers has shocked many in the conservative nation, where polygamy is illegal.
‘This marriage is null and void in terms of Congolese law, which does not recognise polygamy. I’m not sure why the family of these triplets gave the go-ahead to this marriage. It could be out of ignorance of the law,’ law student Djuma Mugisho said.
In a country where dowries are prohibitively expensive, desperation is growing among women unable to find a husband due to excessive financial demands.
Marriage counsellor Viviane Kahindo believes the triplets, Nathalie, Nadège and Natasha, might have chosen to marry Luwizo out of desperation, rather than true love, as they claimed.
One of the sisters was quoted as saying: ‘When we told him he had to marry all of us, he was shocked. But, as he had already fallen in love with us, nothing could stop our plans, since we were also in love with him. Even though many people consider it impossible for three women to share a husband, for us sharing everything is our life since childhood.’
Kahindo, from the eastern city of Goma, questioned the alleged young age of the women: ‘I don’t know their age, but certainly they don’t look like teenagers to me. Let’s not forget that marriage in Congo is still a big achievement for most women.
‘I know what I’m taking about because I have advised many women in my life, and helped many marriages survive. Some of these women tell you strange stories, like they married for the wrong reasons like, among others, the man’s rich, the man’s handsome and elegant, or the man’s family is wealthy.
‘And there are even those who stick to a man because he is popular, you know like a footballer, movie actor, and so on. We, women, have our own way of doing things that you guys won’t understand.’
She added: ‘Let’s hope and pray that the sisters did not marry this guy for the wrong reasons such as being left behind when their sister goes to stay with her husband. That could be possible because one of them said that for them sharing everything is their life since childhood.’
Curiously, very little information has filtered out about the ‘marriage of the century’.
It remains unclear whether any dowry was paid to the wives’ family.
The whereabouts of the quad – known locally as the Fantastic Four – is unknown, with reports that they left Kalehe to live in either Bukavu or Goma.
‘I would have known if they moved here after their historic marriage because they have become celebrities overnight,’ one source from Goma said.
A source in Bukavu told NewsAfrica: ‘Well, I don’t even want to know because this guy is stupid for having chosen to dig his own grave by marrying these sisters in this difficult economic period where the cost of life is rising more and more.’
Is Tonton Luwizo rich enough to support the three sisters? Nobody has so far been able to answer this question.
The marriage of the century has become the talk of every town in the nation of 90 million people, where many believe the story is made up.
‘It’s not fake news,’ a local confirmed.
‘Have you seen the way the story has been covered by international media organisations? Do you think these respected outlets would shoot themselves in the foot by publishing fake stuff?’