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Kenyan polygamist with 100 wives dies

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The lanky man was nicknamed "Danger" because of his charm
  • He had nearly 160 children
  • Polygamy was popular among his generation, but it is slowly dying out
  • Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- A notorious Kenyan polygamist known for marrying 100 wives died this week after a short illness, the nation's state media reported.

The lanky man -- nicknamed "Danger" because of his charm and ability to woo women -- had nearly 160 children, according to the Kenya Broadcasting Corp.

Ancentus "Danger" Akuku was in his 90s.

His family was so large, he built a church and a school for them in the western town of Kisumu, KBC said.

Akuku admitted the size of his extended family made it impossible to keep track of them.

The nonagenarian credited traditional food and vegetables for his longevity and zeal for life, state media reported.

He collapsed at his home after high blood pressure complications and was pronounced dead at a local hospital, his son said.

Akuku married his first wife in 1939 and his last wife in 1992.

He also divorced as many as 30 wives, state media said.

Polygamy was a norm in the East African nation during Akuku's time.

While the practice was popular among his generation, it has slowly died out over the years.

Women have acquired more equality in the country, and most vow they would never marry a polygamist.

"I don't care whether he is a king or a president," said Janet Otieno, 25, who lives in Nairobi. "Those days are gone with our grandfathers, women are no longer as powerless as they were back then."

Anastasia Wanjiru echoes Otieno's sentiment.

"All those wives lived together? There would be no peace in my household," Wanjiru, 28, said. "That's not normal. That's madness."

CNN's Faith Karimi contributed to this report.