A pregnant Congolese woman reveals she is planning to abort her own child by drinking tree bark in an eye-opening documentary that airs tonight.
The woman, named Aka, is the second wife of a man named Ekwambe, who lives with the Mbenejli tribe in a small village in the south of the country.
In a horrifying scene, Aka tells British documentary maker Livia Simoka, that she is three months pregnant but is planning on aborting her own child because Ekwambe plans to leave her to focus on life with his first wife, Yambi, who is also pregnant.
‘He stopped my blood in the rain season,’ she says. ‘I want to end this pregnancy. I would keep the baby if I had a husband to support me. I will use tree bark from the forest.
‘I will take it from a tree called Ngongu. I’ll boil up the bark. Then I’ll drink it and the pregnancy will be over.’
Aka, pictured, is the second wife of a man named Ekwambe, who lives with the Mbenejli tribe in a small village in the south of the country. She is three months pregnant but is planning on aborting her own child by drinking boiled tree bark because Ekwambe wants to leave her
Ekwambe’s other wife, Yambi, pictured, is also pregnant and said she was unhappy that her husband had married another woman, saying she wanted him to stay with her and her children
The confrontation ends in a ‘massive brawl’ witnessed by Livia – and the chief intervening to instruct Ekwambe to live with both his wives, despite his wishes.
Livia spent five months living with the Mbenejli tribe for her Channel 4 series Extreme Tribe, The Last Pygmies, on Channel 4. The show made headlines last week with dramatic scenes showing Livia intervening in a clash between two tribes.
This week sees her learn more about the marital relationships within the tribe. It is common for male members of the tribe to have more than one wife, however women are monogamous.
Aka says: ‘It is common for men to have two wives in this village. If a man has two wives it can make life easier. One person can hunt, one can go to the forest and one person can cook.’
Livia hears that Ekwambe was first married to Yambi but took a second wife, Aka, after sleeping with her while Yambi was away in another village.
However he is now regretting his decision and wants to divorce Aka.
British documentary maker Livia was stunned to discover the extent of polygamy in the village, with Ekwambe (left) saying he had two wives but he found it ‘hard work for the man’
Aka revealed she was ‘too upset’ to even speak to her husband after he spent every night staying with his other wife Yambi, telling Livia she would end her pregnancy if he left her
‘If you have two wives, it is hard work for the man,’ he tells Livia.
‘If I have just one wife, then life would be more peaceful. One wife, less noise. There is a lot of shouting if you have two wives.’
Explaining how he managed marriage with two women, he explains: ‘I sleep with my wife here for one night, then I go and sleep at hers the next night. Then I come back here.’
But neither Yambi or Aka like the situation at all, with both women revealing they believe the other hates them.
Yambi reveals: ‘I do not want him to be with someone else. I want him to finish with his other wife so that we can be together. I want to stay with him and our children.’
Livia and Yambi discussed her shared marriage to Ekwambe, with the woman revealing she wanted her husband to end his relationship with Aka
It’s common for the Mbenejli men to have more than one wife, and stay with different partners in their homes each night
But when Aka is united with her husband, the two clash and decide to break up.
Aka emotionally told her husband: ‘I cannot speak right now. I am upset. Men with two wives shouldn’t behave like this. If a man has two wives and he only sleeps at one of their houses then he should at least see the other in the day time.
‘I think you’ve been talking s*** over there. You’ve been saying you don’t love me anymore.’
Ekwambe explains: ‘You want to know why I’ve only been sleeping over there? It’s because I can’t change how I feel. In my heart I don’t love you anymore.’
And when Aka says the conversation is ‘over’ Ekwambe reveals: ‘We are finished.’
A devastated Aka revealed to Livia that she is ‘three moons’ pregnant, and said she would not continue with the pregnancy if her husband leaves.
Meanwhile Ekwambe said he found having two wives ‘difficult’ as they shouted at him, and called his marriages ‘hard work’
Livia stayed with the tribe for five months, and was stunned to learn about the extent of the polygamy. She said she didn’t meet any women who were happy about sharing their husbands
Livia revealed that she felt ‘so so bad for Aka’ and called the fact she was also pregnant ‘a bombshell.
She says: ‘I guess if you have a polygamorous relationship there is so much more that can go wrong.’
She wakes that night to a huge brawl outside the hut in the pitch dark, with crowds of people fighting outside and the pregnant women on the floor fighting.
Livia said: ‘It’s just a massive, massive bawl. Absolute and utter chaos.’
Livia concluded polygamorous relationships had ‘so much more that could go wrong’ after witnessing the way the Mbenejli live
In the morning, the chief of the tribe reveals the village is being ‘destroyed’ by polygamy, and suggests that Ekwambe must do what is right – by moving in and living with both women.
Neither woman was happy with what’s happened, with Ekwambe revealing: ‘I do not feel great. I want to reject her [Aka] but I’m not angry.
‘I guess I could live with her. It will not work because it is not what my heart wants.’
He continues: ‘I like all women but poeple say I have to stick by them when I make them pregnant.’
The Extreme Tribe: The Last Pygmies airs on Channel 4 at 9pm tonight.
Livia is stunned to learn that one of the women plans to bring about the end of her own pregnancy