Curtain falls on Kenya's most prominent polygamist - Daily Nation

Curtain falls on Kenya's most prominent polygamist

Sunday October 3 2010

FILE | NATION. The sun has finally set on Kenya's most prominent polygamist. Mr Ancentus Akuku “Danger” (pictured here with some of his family members) died on Sunday aged 93.

FILE | NATION. The sun has finally set on Kenya's most prominent polygamist. Mr Ancentus Akuku “Danger” (pictured here with some of his family members) died on Sunday aged 93. 

By OTIENO OWIDA, [email protected] and MAURICE KALUOCH, [email protected]

The sun finally set on Kenya's most prominent polygamist.

Ancentus Akuku “Danger”, the towering nonagerian, made the final bow from a life in which he casted one of the most hilarious characters whose appetite for marriage only rivalled the biblical King Solomon.

At his home there are graves of 12 wives. There are 46 surviving, though he once claimed to have married more than 100 wives and divorced more than 30.

He also claimed to have more than a hundred children. Thirty-five sons and 20 daughters have passed on and many others live on.

So many were his children and wives that the family built a church and two primary schools to cater for their large number.

According to his eldest son, Dr Tom Akuku, the late Danger as he was popularly known collapsed while he was seated in the compound.

“My father collapsed where he was seated and was rushed to St Camilus hospital in Karungu, Nyatike district, where his condition deteriorated and was transferred to Kisumu. We first took him to Agan Khan to be admitted at intensive care unit, but unfortunately the ICU was full, prompting us to move to New Nyanza. After he was pronounced dead, we took his body back to St Camilus mortuary,” said Dr Akuku who runs a clinic in Mbita town.

Dr Akuku who is the chairman of the family welfare association noted that his late father brought up a family - with diverse professions including doctors, engineers, teachers, and some in the police force - through his hard work and cherish for education.

In 1970s, he founded and established two primary schools; Aora Chuodho and Kogore primary schools to get adequate admission for his many children.

Due to his influence in the community development, politicians with interest in Ndhiwa parliamentary seat coalesced around him seeking advice.

Independence politicians like Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Tom Mboya were some of his closest friends.

He married his first wife, Dinah Akuku, in 1939, while the youngest wife, Josephine Akuku 35 was married in 1992.

He claimed that he was called Danger, because he defeated many men with his handsomeness which made him marry many wives.

He married more than a hundred times, divorced more than 30 women and his most conservative estimate is that he had 160 children.

He has four main homes; Manyuanda, Aora Chuodho, Kogore and Okayo in Karungu in Nyatike district. He had other sub-homes, as he referred to them.

In a past interview, he said that he drew his strength in old age from the fact that he was careful about what he ate. He said that he avoided fats and had a particular time within which he must eat.

He said then that he was responsible for the name choice of his children as a strategy to help him bond with them.

His was an empire built around small-scale business, hardworking children and proceeds from dowry received from his daughters. He passed on 7 years shy of 100.