The Himba tribe with a population of over 50,000 are in Northern Namibia. This unique group of indigenous African people believe in the polygamous lifestyle and arranged marriages.
Once puberty sets in, fathers immediately partner up their young daughters for marriage. However, there is more to the Himba tribe that catches the attention of outsiders with their special sex practice.
Okujepisa Omukazendu is a practice that means, “offering wife to guest.” When a friend of the husband visits a couple’s home, tradition is to allow the visitor to have sex and sleep with his wife. The practice is considered normal in the Himba culture. It is taught from childhood and is shown it is a privilege to be involved in this practice. The village would be shocked if someone refused to participate.
Okujepisa Omukazendu is left up to the discretion of the husband and the wife must submit. While the guest is the wife’s bedmate for the night, the husband sleeps in another room, in another hut or if space isn’t available, he will sleep outside. This is the husband showing happiness of seeing his guest.
Supporters of this practice say this reduces jealousy and builds relationships. They state it prevents cheating, allows sexual freedom and brings variety into the marriage.
Uziruapi Tjavara, who is the chief of otjikaoko Traditional Authority, supports and defends this practice. He stated in an article for Hadithi.Africa, “Sharing of wives is a unique traditional custom that smothers jealousy amongst both sexes and strengthens friendships. I advocate its continuation, together with HIV-AIDS education to minimize infections.”
There are women who fully support the practice as well. One woman who has been shared with a friend of her husband stated, “I have no problem with the arrangement. It’s good because it’s part of our culture, why should we change it?”
Wives too can give her friends to her husband when her friends visit but this rarely happens.
What are your thoughts about this traditional sex custom of the Himba tribe?