Robert Kathata Ramo. Quite an ordinary name. But not quite so, the man behind it.
You see, Kathata has been working hard –actually 23 times harder than the average married man. Yet, you could say he is just getting started.
At wife number 23, the 39-year-old, who earned himself the tag “Akuku Danger of Meru”, is working towards an ambitious goal of marrying 55 women before he clocks 50 years–and possibly a 100 by the time he turns 70.
He is now preparing to bring in a new wife in two months. And this time, Kathata has gone international, Germany to be precise.
How the soft-spoken herbalist from Meru convinced a “mzungu” to join his harem as potential wife number 24 is, in itself, astonishing. And it is not his only pending nuptials this year– he is also engaged to two other women.
Kathata says he met Rachel in Mombasa in May last year. “I am soon marrying a mzungu called Rachel from Germany and I love her so much. I have always wanted to marry a white woman. I am happy and cannot wait to give her children and have relatives abroad,” he said.
The man from Kaurine in Kiengu location, Igembe Central, claims he marries about three women each year, and his mission is to break the record of the renowned grand-master of polygamy Asentus Ogwella Akuku aka Akuku Danger, from Ndhiwa, Homa Bay county, who is said to have married 130 times, divorced more than 80 times and sired more than 200 children.
“I want to break the record by having many wives and children in Kenya and maybe in Africa. I am sure I will because women love me,” he added.
He is over the moon about his impending espousal to a mzungu lover and claims they are already planning to buy a house in Mombasa to where she will relocate.
“She was alone and most of the time she was reading books while basking in the sun at a famous hotel.
I approached her and we struck it off. We agreed to meet in the evening for a drink and we exchanged contacts.
In December, she came back and we had a good time in Malindi. Since then we have been talking through social media and she is jetting back into the country in two weeks’ time so that we can finalise our marriage plans,” says Kathata.
He refuses to display her photos saying she had requested for privacy until they get married.
The father of 36 children¬–19 sons and 17 daughters– says he cannot remember the names of all his children, but his youngest is called Fidel Raila Kinoti, as a way of showing loyalty to his party Orange Democratic Movement. He said he would name his next son after President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking to People Daily three years after we broke the story, the herbalist said some of his wives are living in Nakuru, Embu, Isiolo, Nyeri and Antubetwe in Igembe.
He said he picks his women from social gatherings and admits he got a few from drinking joints.
“Every region I visit, I must pick a woman. I have married a Borana, Rendille, Kalejin, Kikuyu, Embu, Pokomo, but those from Meru are the majority. I plan to marry a woman from every tribe in Kenya,” he said.
Kathata is following in the footsteps of his father, the late herbalist, Ayub Kathata M’Munoru, who died in 2015 at the age of 115 years, leaving behind 69 wives and 144 children.
Kathata’s youngest wife, Anjela Mukami, 20, describes Kathata as a caring and good husband.
“I know I am not the last but as long as he loves and gives me everything I want, I am happy. He has told us he is now bringing a mzungu. Let him bring her so we get to know her better,” the mother of one said.
His first wife, Jerusha Kananu said she was reluctant to accept other women into the family when they first married 18 years ago. She later softened her stance and said her husband always consults her before bringing another woman into the family.
Fridah Karimi, 31, another of Kathata’s wives, said they know the list is long but they are happy and respect one another.
To forestall any trouble, Kathata holds a family gathering once a year where they feast together. He uses the meetings to introduce his latest wives.
“I have kept them busy and they don’t ask me for money. I only support them by paying school fees and meeting their emotional needs,” said Kathata.
He has built permanent houses for his wives using proceeds from his herbal clinic. The current Meru County ODM chairman said his father chose him from among six siblings and he had to leave his teaching career to become a herbalist.
“The herbal business is good because I can sustain my large family from the income that ranges from Sh500,000 to Sh1 million per month,” he said.
He also said eating a balanced meal ensures he is healthy enough to meet his wives conjugal needs. He visits each after a fortnight.
“Its demanding and not every man can have the strength to serve more than three wives. I feed well by eating ugali made from a mix of omena, cassava, yams, millet and sorghum flour and I also take a lot of fruits and other traditional foods,” he said.