A 69 year old herbalist, Chief Simon Odo, has married an 18 year old girl, Chidinma, as his 57th wife. He took the girl from Okutu, in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, last November, Vanguard reports.
Odo, also known variously as Onuwa, King Solomon of Africa, was initially married to 68 women but some of them had earlier died.
Odo told the newspaper that his first son, Emeka was born on December 15, 1969.
“I was born in 1947 on the day they had an eclipse of the sun and the moon. There was darkness in the afternoon on the day I was born. I was the only son of my parents.
“I was baptised as a Christian in the Catholic Church and I even became a mass servant under Rev Father Desmond McGlade. I however became a herbalist because of circumstances beyond my control.
“As I said, I was the only son of my parents but because some of his relations wanted to take over his landed property, they poisoned me. I contracted tuberculosis and had to be treated for years. At a point, I was even unable to walk for about five years because I became lame.
“I ran to Ondo State in the South West, where I trained to become a herbalist at the age of 15, before returning to the village. I married 15 wives when my father was alive and the situation prolonged his life. He died in 1992 at the ripe old age of over 90 years. My first son has seven children and four grandchildren.
“Any of my children who chooses to become a Christian is free to do so, provided he/she must become a Catholic. I don’t like the Pentecostal churches.”
On feeding the family, Odo replied: “People think that I feed many of them but this is not true. Most of my children are grown up. The boys among them usually marry and go to their own houses just like the girls who marry and follow their husbands to their places.”
Asked if any of his sons has taken after him as a herbalist, he said, “I will not encourage them to do so. I don’t want my sons to take after me because some of them will do bad things with my medicine.
“As a herbalist, I have never killed anybody or thought of evil against anybody but I do not trust that my children would be upright like me. That is why I will not encourage them to inherit my medicine but I may bequeath them to some of my younger children, not the old, greedy ones.”