Many men praise the practice while women tend to remain “mistrustful”, he added.

Polygamy has long stirred controversy and the public appearance by BDF, as he is known, with his two wives at his side cheered on by thousands of his supporters has made it a top talking point in the media, online and at home, sparking diverse reaction.

“Being a second wife suits me better than being a first,” well-known singer Mia Guisse said proudly in a video that recently went viral.

Reputed sociologist Fatou Sow Sarr said on X, formerly Twitter, that “polygamy, monogamy, polyandry are matrimonial models determined by the history of every nation”.

“I really think that the West has no legitimacy to judge our cultures,” Sarr added in a follow-up message on X.

Former culture minister and history professor Penda Mbow said the matrimonial situation at the presidential palace now is “totally new”.

“Until now, there was only one First Lady. This means the entire protocol must be reviewed,” he added.

Polygamy is widespread in Senegal particularly in rural areas and is considered a way of widening one’s family.

Islam permits men to take up to four wives providing they have the financial means. In such a case, it calls for equal, alternating time spent with the wives, of between two and three days.

Many marriages are not registered in Senegal, making it difficult to say exactly how many are polygamous.

But according to a 2013 report by the national statistics and demographics agency, 32.5 percent of married Senegalese people were in a polygamous union.

The average age of the women at the time of their marriage was 40.4 years old and 52.9 for men, the report said.

Diakhate, the sociologist, said Faye had sent a “strong signal so that other men also accept their polgygamy and so that they demonstrate transparency like him”.

He said there was “undoubtedly a will” to end hidden polygamy — known in the Wolof language as Takou Souf — which he added would be “a good thing for the economy of the country and for the matrimonial situation”.