'My dad was a polygamist who had four wives'

Chris Ozeku with his wife Sibylle Schenkel

Chris Ozeku with his wife Sibylle Schenkel

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , news feature writer

A MENTAL health counsellor whose father had four wives has spoken about his harrowing childhood growing up in a polygamous family in Nigeria.

Chris Ozeku says he was beaten and physically abused by his step brothers — he was the fourth youngest of 16 children — and treated poorly by his father’s other wives.

Polygamy, the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time, is today still accepted in some religions and cultures.

Mr Ozeku, aged 37, moved to Heaton with his own family three years ago.

The father-of-three said: “Polygamy is growing like a virus in so many countries — not just Nigeria. It has destroyed the lives of many children all over the world.

“My father had four wives, and I went through hell with my step-brothers. There was me and my sister from my mother, and the rest were step-brothers and sisters.

“I suffered a lot of abuse and beatings over the years and felt like I was all alone. But on the outside, to everyone else, everything was fine.”

Mr Ozeku, who was born in Benin City, says he suffered between the ages of seven and 23.

After working in a warehouse, he finally had the opportunity to move to Holland and away from the abuse, where he met Sibylle Schenkel, who he married in Spain in July 2011.

The pair have three children — Milacle, Shiloh and Divine, aged seven, six and seven months. Mr Ozeku, who now works as a mental health counsellor at Royal Bolton Hospital, says people back in his home country are still going through the same ordeal he suffered.

He hopes that by writing about the taboo subject, he can raise awareness.

He added: “Nothing has changed. Still no one talks about what goes on when their father has more than one wife. It’s like a taboo.

“I want to create awareness to others exactly what happens inside that of a polygamist family — the abuse, the fights and the trouble. This is why I decided to write about my experiences.

“It happens in many families where the women are fighting for the affections of the man, and in turn the children are affected by what they see.”

Mr Ozeku has written a book about his experiences, called The Evil Inside Polygamy, available now from Amazon, priced £4.99.

Polygamy facts

  • Polygamy is a Greek word which means “frequently married”.
  • It is the term used for a marriage involving more than two people.
  • Polygamous marriages are recognized civilly in 48 countries, mainly in Africa.
  • The early Mormon practice of polygamy was initiated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the early 1830s USA.

Comments (12)

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7:19am Thu 14 Aug 14

gigglebox3 says...

and?
and? gigglebox3
  • Score: -8

7:37am Thu 14 Aug 14

NHLUFC says...

I have no wish to deny this man's experience but suspect that this book will be thinly veiled religious propaganda.
I have no wish to deny this man's experience but suspect that this book will be thinly veiled religious propaganda. NHLUFC
  • Score: -7

8:42am Thu 14 Aug 14

Gore Seer says...

I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan, Is Name Is Rasheed. I Must Admit I Find It Difficult To Get My Head Round The Situation. She First Married Is Brother For £5000, Then Divorced , The Married Couple Did Move From rented House To Rented House Getting Credit.
I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan, Is Name Is Rasheed. I Must Admit I Find It Difficult To Get My Head Round The Situation. She First Married Is Brother For £5000, Then Divorced , The Married Couple Did Move From rented House To Rented House Getting Credit. Gore Seer
  • Score: -25

8:51am Thu 14 Aug 14

Wolfie190 says...

So whats he doing in England is he awaiting deportation ?
So whats he doing in England is he awaiting deportation ? Wolfie190
  • Score: -4

9:04am Thu 14 Aug 14

Soffee says...

I'm very happy this man managed to turn his life around after a bad start and has a decent job helping others and a book to his name. Personally I don't see the need to make negative comments. I think that's more to do with his ethnicity and the narrow minded racists that frequent on here.
I'm very happy this man managed to turn his life around after a bad start and has a decent job helping others and a book to his name. Personally I don't see the need to make negative comments. I think that's more to do with his ethnicity and the narrow minded racists that frequent on here. Soffee
  • Score: 22

10:03am Thu 14 Aug 14

steveG says...

Is this article saying physical abuse is linked to polygamy.? I have heard of abuse in monogamous relationships. I think I must have misunderstood the article.
Is this article saying physical abuse is linked to polygamy.? I have heard of abuse in monogamous relationships. I think I must have misunderstood the article. steveG
  • Score: 7

1:37pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Lancashire always says...

Advertising restaurants now books ???? Is he going on a tour back home to preach about polygamy ? Not a lot of point here is there ?
Advertising restaurants now books ???? Is he going on a tour back home to preach about polygamy ? Not a lot of point here is there ? Lancashire always
  • Score: 2

3:42pm Thu 14 Aug 14

mrs philainsy says...

Gore Seer wrote:
I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan, Is Name Is Rasheed. I Must Admit I Find It Difficult To Get My Head Round The Situation. She First Married Is Brother For £5000, Then Divorced , The Married Couple Did Move From rented House To Rented House Getting Credit.
Gore Seer says...

I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan,



Gore Seer,
You have just watched East is East on Chan 4........do keep up.
[quote][p][bold]Gore Seer[/bold] wrote: I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan, Is Name Is Rasheed. I Must Admit I Find It Difficult To Get My Head Round The Situation. She First Married Is Brother For £5000, Then Divorced , The Married Couple Did Move From rented House To Rented House Getting Credit.[/p][/quote]Gore Seer says... I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan, Gore Seer, You have just watched East is East on Chan 4........do keep up. mrs philainsy
  • Score: 14

4:27pm Thu 14 Aug 14

pradagucci says...

Was Jimmy savile a follower of polygamy?
Was Jimmy savile a follower of polygamy? pradagucci
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Thu 14 Aug 14

655321 says...

pradagucci wrote:
Was Jimmy savile a follower of polygamy?
No he was just a dirty paedophile.

Your point?
[quote][p][bold]pradagucci[/bold] wrote: Was Jimmy savile a follower of polygamy?[/p][/quote]No he was just a dirty paedophile. Your point? 655321
  • Score: 9

10:55pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Gore Seer says...

mrs philainsy wrote:
Gore Seer wrote:
I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan, Is Name Is Rasheed. I Must Admit I Find It Difficult To Get My Head Round The Situation. She First Married Is Brother For £5000, Then Divorced , The Married Couple Did Move From rented House To Rented House Getting Credit.
Gore Seer says...

I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan,



Gore Seer,
You have just watched East is East on Chan 4........do keep up.
East Is East Thats Brill , But He As No Chippy, I Just Cant Think Of His Brothers Name, He Is In This Country, Thanks To Rasheeds Wife And £5 Grand. But I Know Of Other Women Marrying For Money, I Alone Am Responsible For My Comment On These Sites As Judge Judy Says Tell The Truth Its Easy To Remember, Lies You Have To Keep Remembering.
[quote][p][bold]mrs philainsy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gore Seer[/bold] wrote: I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan, Is Name Is Rasheed. I Must Admit I Find It Difficult To Get My Head Round The Situation. She First Married Is Brother For £5000, Then Divorced , The Married Couple Did Move From rented House To Rented House Getting Credit.[/p][/quote]Gore Seer says... I Know A Lady Who Is Married To A Pakistani Man , She Married Him In England, But He Also As A Wife And Four Children In Pakistan, Gore Seer, You have just watched East is East on Chan 4........do keep up.[/p][/quote]East Is East Thats Brill , But He As No Chippy, I Just Cant Think Of His Brothers Name, He Is In This Country, Thanks To Rasheeds Wife And £5 Grand. But I Know Of Other Women Marrying For Money, I Alone Am Responsible For My Comment On These Sites As Judge Judy Says Tell The Truth Its Easy To Remember, Lies You Have To Keep Remembering. Gore Seer
  • Score: 1

10:34pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Citizen Cane says...

Here's RBH at it again. Despite 2.3million unemployed in the UK, they deem it appropriate to lavish taxpayer money on recruiting 30 Spanish/Portuguese nurses and now a Nigerian national. Meanwhile 31 UK people, who could have undertaken these roles, languish on the dole.

That, ladies and gentlemen is Broken PC Britain.

Vote UKIP if you really care about these issues and you want representatives who actually pay their taxes.
Here's RBH at it again. Despite 2.3million unemployed in the UK, they deem it appropriate to lavish taxpayer money on recruiting 30 Spanish/Portuguese nurses and now a Nigerian national. Meanwhile 31 UK people, who could have undertaken these roles, languish on the dole. That, ladies and gentlemen is Broken PC Britain. Vote UKIP if you really care about these issues and you want representatives who actually pay their taxes. Citizen Cane
  • Score: 0

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