A trio in Kenya has come up with an unusual solution to a common situation. After falling in love with the same woman, two Kenyan men have signed an agreement to “marry” her in an effort to keep the peace.
It all began when Abdhallah Abdulrahman, a local police officer, found Sylvester Mwendwa and Elijah Kimani quarreling over Joyce Wambui, a widow who’d been secretly seeing both men for the past four years.
After Wambui could not choose between two, the trio decided to write up a contract that would “set boundaries” and hopefully help them continue to see Wambui peacefully.
According to Mwendwa, the agreement states that the trio will live with Wambui and help raise any children that may be born of their union.
Mwendwa told the BBC they created the agreement because the situation could have turned deadly: “It could have been very dangerous if the other man would have come to her house and caught me,” he said. “So our agreement is good as it sets boundaries and helps us keep peace.”
He added, “She is like the central referee. She can say whether she wants me or my colleague.”
Mwendwa doesn’t want people to get the wrong idea about his wife. While some may call the 20-something mother of twins a seductress, Mwendwa say she’s a good person.
“It’s not because she is a superwoman,” he told Kenya’s Daily Nation, “but because she is a hard worker and very beautiful.”
The contract, which appears to be illegal in Kenya, reads:
“We have agreed that from today we will not threaten or have jealous feelings because of our wife, who says she’s not ready to let go of any of us.”
It adds, “Each one will respect the day set aside for him. We agree to love each other and live peacefully. No-one has forced us to make this agreement.”
While the trio’s arrangement has steadied their home life, some of their compatriots do not approve.
After Mwendwa went public about their arrangement, he lost his job and says he’s had to go into hiding to escape the backlash. He’s also angered his wife.
Although it remains to be seen if he can get back in Wambui’s good graces, it doesn’t look like the trio will be able to sustain their agreement. While polygamy—marrying two women—is legal in Kenya, polyandry—a woman marrying two men—is not.