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Namibia’s wife swapping

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Wife swapping among Namibia’s nomadic tribes has been practiced for generations. The practice is more of a gentlemen’s agreement where friends can have intercourse with each others’ wives with no strings attached. The wives have little say in the matter,

Known as okujepisa omukazendu – which loosely means “offering a wife to a guest” – the practice is little known outside these reclusive communities, whose population is estimated at 86 000.
Mainly found in the north-western Kunene region near the Angolan border, the communities are largely isolated from the rest of the country. They have resisted the trappings of modern life, keep livestock, live off the land and practice ancestral worship.

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Comment(15)

  1. A few minutes before I deliver a 2hours session on HIV/AIDs in Kayunga district(Wabwoko Health Center 3)I see this on here,how many more relatives must die for us to realise that Cultural Practices have shifted to the books!!.these practices have kept this gruesome epidemic in our neighbourhoods,wife sharing or replacing,polygamous marriage,before marriage,fathers in-law sleeping with the bride,traditional healers sleeping with women to cure infertility,piercing young girls’ ears for beautification,FGM and widow inheritance must be halted and recorded before no one is left to either put them into practice,tell a story about these practices or record them. Distant relatives

  2. This has been a common practive of the TIV tribe in Benue state, Noth Central Nigeria. They even offer their daughters, not just wives. This is not starnge to me. The Fulanis all over africa either steal or exchange wives too

  3. Very unfortunate that some people are still in such practices and the women agreed to that because they don’t know better. I believe that it is only through education that they will know their rights. The earlier the better.

  4. It is really unbelievable in this space-age! However, as the saying goes, ‘You can get a man out of the village, but you cannot get the village out of him’. There could have been value in stone-age but with the rampant diseases, no wonder Africa is still the bed-rock of all kinds of diseases!

      1. What’s so racist? We need to look at the ugly truths, sexual deviancy is the root cause of all human misery globally from since ancient times and continues to grow worse. Face it and stop it.

    1. I live in Namibia n let me say this, even though I don’t agree with this practice, these people need more education than ridicule. The Namibian government has for years tried to incorporate them into a modern way of doing things with no success. It has nothing to do with cruelty or stupidity but rather lack of education and understanding of how the world has changed with new disease etc. The Ovahimba people, as the tribe is called, don’t even go to school. And believe me, the wives believe in their culture too, they don’t mind the practice at all! Ask me how I know and the answer is I live amongst them

  5. Let’s stick to the issues and drop the racism talk.

    We’ve since such cultural/traditional practices enable HIV/AIDS wipe out almost wipe out entire adult communities in Uganda. Lessons some times learnt too late.

  6. It is us in the “civilised ” world who are bedevilled with the aids scourge.it is a pity no one has bothered to give us statistics on the numbers suffering or dead with aids if any at all.

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