Idi Amin Dada Oumee was a renowned ruthless Ugandan president from 1971 to 1979.
His presidency was marked by dictatorship, human rights abuses, corruption, and a shift from the westward alliance with the US and West Europe to Uganda becoming allies with the Soviet Union and Libya.
However, while his reign is considered one of the worst in history, there is more about “the Butcher of Uganda” than what most people know.
Even though Idi Amin was feared both locally and internationally, he was one of the best family men, according to his children.
This led to many people becoming curious to know more about the leader’s family.
To keep you in the loop, let’s take a look at his wives and children.
Idi Amin’s “First Ladies”: How many wives did Idi Amin have?
Idi Amin was a polygamous man who married more than six wives during his regime.
According to different sources, Idi had five official “First Ladies” by the time he was deposed in 1979.
He also had other mistresses he could choose from when going on a state function.
While some of his wives’ whereabouts are not known to date, here are the details of the five publicly known “First Ladies”
1. Malyamu Amin
Mama Malyamu Kibedi Amin is the daughter of Elkanah Kibedi, a renowned school headmaster from Busoga, and the sister of Joshua Wanume Kibedi.
Malyamu met Idi Amin in 1953, and it is believed it is Amin’s charm (psychopathic disorder) that attracted her.
Being a tall, attractive, and confidently-walking lady, Malyamu had many suitors but chose to settle with an “illiterate” soldier and boxing champion.
Also, despite the public humiliation, many years of abuse, and attempted murder, Malyamu stood by her words and married Idi Amin in 1966.
The couple divorced in 1973 when Amin claimed that Malyamu and the other two wives got drunk and threw a party without his knowledge.
The allegations, however, were refuted by Malyamu when she said Idi Amin was not on good terms with her brother.
She was later arrested in 1974 in Tororo on the Uganda-Kenya border and accused of attempting to smuggle rolls of fabric into Kenya.
2. Kay Adroa Amin
Kay Adroa Amin was the daughter of the Reverend Adroa of Arua who grew up in Paranga town.
She was still attending Makerere University when she met Idi Amin in the early 1960s.
Idi Amin was determined to marry a black woman from her home area, West Nile when his eyes settled on Kay Adroa.
However, just like Malyamu, Idi Amin did not marry Kay immediately until 1966 when he sealed their marriage at the registrar’s office.
Little is known about Kay’s life with Amin, besides numerous accounts of abuses and murder threats.
For instance, one Radio Uganda presenter Wod Okello Lawoko, recalls Kay warning him against Idi Amin during one of their encounters.
This was after Idi Amin brutally assaulted her for failing to respect his invitation.
Amin divorced Kay Adroa together with other two wives unceremoniously in 1973 through his announcement on Radio Uganda.
Her body was later discovered in the car truck in 1974 badly dismembered.
Her death was surrounded by numerous unconfirmed rumors, with some claiming she had an affair with one Peter Mbalu Mukasa, the owner of the car.
3. Nora Amin
Idi Amin married another woman named Nora Amin in 1967.
The two met when Idi Amin visited Lango and spotted her.
Although not much is known about her marriage with the Ugandan dictator, sources reveal that Amin dismissed her publicly for not coping with his supersonic speed.
Nora Amin later died of cancer at Mulango hospital where she was undergoing treatment, although many alleged it was Idi Amin who killed her.
They were blessed with two children Issa and Fatuma Amin.
Also, while it is not yet confirmed, it is believed she was also the mother of Idi’s eldest son, Taban Amin.
4. Madina Amin
In 1972, Idi Amin married his fourth wife Nalongo Madina Amin, a Muganda lady who fulfilled his dream of marrying from each of Uganda’s five provinces.
Madina was a Muslim woman and a dance member of the Heart-beat of Africa music group.
The group was based at the Silver Springs Hotel on Luzira Road where prominent leaders, including Idi Amin, used to spend time.
Idi Amin was thrilled by her moves and sent his boys to summon her one day. Fast forward, the two got married in 1972.
In her interview with Elvis Basude, Madina described Amin as a lovable and frank person and not a dictator.
She also stuck with her husband until he was deposed in 1979 and came back to Uganda after 20 years of exile.
5. Sarah Kyolaba
Sarah Kyolaba Tatu Namutebi Amin, popularly known as Sarah Kyolaba, was the fifth and the favorite wife of Idi Amin.
Sarah was only a 19-year-old dancer in the Revolutionary Suicide Mechanised Regiment Band when she met Idi Amin.
Due to her captivating dance moves, she was nicknamed “Suicide Sarah”.
The two married in a lavish wedding that coincided with the 1975 Organization of African Unity (OAU) summit.
The wedding is said to have cost more than £2 million with Palestine Liberation Organization chairman, Yasser Arafat, as the best man.
Sarah’s marriage with Idi Amin was faced with a publicly displayed love triangle.
For instance, before getting married to Idi Amin, Sarah was pregnant with her ex-boyfriend Jessy Gitta Kasirivu who vanished after claiming his child.
It was never known if he was murdered or detained after fleeing to Kenya.
Sarah and Idi were blessed with four kids.
Other Unknown Wives
Besides the official five wives, Idi Amin also had other unofficial wives, although the exact number is not known.
For instance, while in exile in Saudi Arabia, he was living with his other wife, Mama Chumaru, the mother of his youngest four kids, and the last nine of his children.
Also, he married another wife just a few months before he died in 2003.
Learn more about Mama Chumaru here: Mama A Chumaru: Here’s All You Need to Know about Idi Amin’s Fifth Wife
Idi Amin’s Children
There is no definitive number of children Idi Amin had.
While some sources state he had more than 60 children, others say the dictator had 40 official kids from five official marriages.
That means he had more than 20 extramarital children with different women.
In his will, Idi Amin listed only 46 children, although one of his eldest sons, Jaffar Amin, said they are about 60 children.
Most of his children live abroad, mostly in Canada, the UK, Australia, and France, with only 15 currently based in Uganda.
Some of his publicly known children include:
- Taban Amin and his sister Maimuna Amin rule over their father’s estates. Taban was the leader of the West Nile Bank Front until 2003 and is currently the deputy director of the General of Internal Security Organization (ISO).
- Ali Amin who ran as a chairman of Njeru Town Council in 2002 but lost the election.
- Jaffar Amin.
- Moses Amin.
- Hussein Lumumba.
- Iman Aminu.
- Khadija Abria Amin.
- Faisal Wangita, convicted for participating in a murder in London.
- The late Salama S. Anite.