Swimming Against The Tide

The Economist, April 28, 2012

South Africa and polygamy

“Swimming Against the Tide”

Johannesburg:  “President Jacob Zuma happily bucks the trend towards monogamy.”

The president of the Zulus, Mr. Zuma, just married his sixth wife.  In traditional Zulu culture the man “reigns supreme and polygamy prevails.”

However, 87% of South Africans favoured lifelong marriage (monogamy).   The metaphor for the 87% is that they, if they have only one wife as well as preferring it, are swimming with the tide.  Mr. Zuma, although president, is swimming against the tide, because this particular “tide” is going the way the majority want it.

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