Simon Odo Okoro a.k.a Onuwa, a 70-year-old herbalist with 57 wives has divorced all his wives and vowed not to remarry. Onuwa married a total of 69 wives but the death of some of them left him with 57 wives. Onuwa is able to remember the names of his wives and children with the aid of an exercise book he keeps handy where he wrote their names.
Shortly after he divorced all wives and vowed not to marry again, he proceeded to remarry his
Onuwa was born an only son into a Catholic family and was baptised in the Catholic church, but revealed that spiritual attacks from relatives who tried to kill him so as to inherit his father's properties drove him to become a herbalist. He now refers to himself as the King of Satan.
Onuwas disclosed that one of the wives he divorced pleaded with him to take her back so she could care for him in his old age.
“The girl who lured me to marry her returned from the United States. She told me to marry her so that she would take care of me as an old man. She is from Enugu State. However, a month after the marriage was consummated, she told me to sack the youngest one, Chidinma and I became furious with her because that was not why I married her. I beat her and she left,” he said.
He also revealed that he will not transfer the secret of his trade to his older children because they would most likely pervert the craft. He said his older children are greedy, but revealed that he could consider passing his craft on to his younger children. Onuwas allowed that his children can practice Christianity if they want to but they have to be Catholics because he does not like other Pentecostal churches. Ironically seven of his children are ordained pastors of the Lord's Chosen Church.
“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 even became a mass servant under Rev Father Desmond McGlade. I, however, became a herbalist because of circumstances beyond my control." Onuwa revealed to the South East Voice.
"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.”
When asked by the South East Voice how he provides for his large family, Onuwa said,
“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. However, my wives cook food for the whole family in turns. For example, if it is the turn of Ada or Omada to cook, she would invite five of her colleagues to assist her in cooking. One woman cooks for everybody in the house at a time but my other wives would always assist such a person.”
Onuwa disclosed that he will not want his sons taking over from him and gave his reasons.
“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.”