Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

September 15, 2008

Poly on South African Radio and TV

Sitting at my shortwave radio as a boy, I was fascinated to pull in strange, unheard-of programs from hidden corners of the world through my antenna in the treetops. Nowadays a computer does it better.

For instance, here is South Africa's Bush Radio, a station run by and for historically marginalized populations who may speak primarily tribal languages, presenting an absolutely stellar interview about polyamory with a sweet lady from Cape Town named Melanie representing the ZaPoly group. It was broadcast July 9th on a show called Sakhisizwe, "Building the Nation." An excerpt:

...Melanie: Polyamory is being able to have many different, loving, romantic relationships at the same time, with everybody involved in them knowing about each other.

Host: But, isn't it like cheating?

Melanie: Not if everyone knows about it and everyone's happy about it.... It is nothing like cheating, in the way that everyone is open, we all talk about our feelings, we all talk about what we expect from the different relationships we are in, and we're very very open about it....

It is also open for both men and women to date other people....

...If you want to bring polyamory into your existing relationship, the first thing to do is discuss this before there are any partners. Before there's anyone else in the picture, you have to first sit down with your partner and say "This is what I want." And you must talk about it and make up rules that work for the two of you. Then when you are interested in somebody, what I do is I then talk to the person I'm interested in, explain the situation, tell them "Yes I am interested in you, but I have to talk to my husband first."

Then I'll go home, and I'll sit down with my husband and we'll talk, and then he will ask to meet the new person, and they'll get to know each other. If he's happy, then I can start a relationship with the new person. If he's not happy, we've got to sit down and find out why he's not happy. And we've got to find out how to make him happy. Because the ideal is for everyone to be happy — and I'll be a little less happy if I don't have my new partner, but I want my husband to always feel safe and secure, and I want him always to be happy.

Host: ...These relationships, do they become true families with long-term commitments like children and stuff?

Melanie: Oh yes, there are a number of them, especially in the United States. Polyamory is still very small in South Africa, but in the United States there are what we call "polyfamilies." And what they are is a group of three or more adults who all love each other and are in a relationship with each other, and if they have children, those children think that they have three or more parents — so they'll call one Mommy and one Mom — they'll have different names for each of their parents but they'll all be parents in the child's life.

...Children like what they're used to. I have a child, and she always plays little games, about "This is the mommy and this is the daddy, and this is the other mommy and the other daddy," and she loves these little games because that's what's normal to her. And the only time she feels different is when she sees one of her other little friends with only one mommy and one daddy....

...Host: What about jealousy, now?

Melanie: ...Jealousy is a wonderful tool, if you know how to use it. Because it tells you that something's wrong.... When I'm jealous of my husband and his girlfriend, I'll sit down with my husband and say, "I'm feeling jealous. Let's find out why." And what is usually is, is it's about time. I feel he's spending too much time with her, or not enough time with me. And all we've got to do is sit down and get to the root of the problem. And say, no no, we've got to make a — we now have a date night every week, just the two of us, we organize babysitters, and we have a wonderful time, all because of jealousy.

Here is another South African radio interview, this one on "Cape Talk," from Cape Town earlier this year (April 16, 2008).

And here's a TV interview on "3Talk with Noeleen" on South Africa's Channel 3, dating from February 28, 2008 (audio or 80MB video). The show is 45 minutes long. 3Talk claims to have 4 million viewers.

South Africa's small but enthusiastic poly community has a website and an active Yahoo Group for discussion. The group's moderator, Andrea (a.k.a. Green Fizzpops), scours the web for noteworthy poly articles that deserve to be rescued from oblivion. If you enjoy Polyamory in the News, you'll enjoy browsing the essays, blog posts, first-person stories, and insights that have caught her attention; look through the ZaPoly Yahoo Group's backlist.

She observes, by the way, that South Africa is the only African nation with a polyamory website (at least according to the international listing of poly sites at polyamorie.startpagina.nl, in Dutch) — compared to the dozens of African sites about polygamy.


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Blogger Princess said...

Hi and thanks for noticing us! And if there are any readers planning a holiday to our beautiful country, drop us a line. We would love to hear about Poly in other countries.
Melanie (CapeTownPoly and ZAPoly)

September 16, 2008 2:10 AM  

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