Thursday, July 28, 2005


Polygamy no fun, admits Ethiopian
By Mohammed Adow BBC, Ethiopia

Ayattu Nure: Do as I say, not as I do.
An Ethiopian man with 11 wives and 77 children is urging people not to follow his example and is giving advice on family planning and contraception. After seeing his fortune disappear under the competing demands of his enormous family, Ayattu Nure, 56, even urges people not to get married. "I want my children to be farmers but I have no land, I want them to go to school but I have no money," he says. But his eldest son has not heeded Mr Ayattu's advice and he has three wives. Seven of Mr Ayattu's wives live in huts around his compound, which are in urgent need of renovation. Another four live in huts on the other side of the valley in Giwe Abossa village, 300km from the capital, Addis Ababa in Arsi region.
He says he cannot remember all his children's names but tries to work out who they are from their mothers and which huts they live in. Mr Ayattu says he used to be rich and wanted to share his wealth around, which is why he took so many wives. But now he struggles to feed them all. "I feel like killing myself when I see my hungry children whom I cannot help," Mr Ayattu says.
His wives have given birth to more than 100 children but 23 have died.


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