South Africans have been gripped by reports of what is referred to as the blesser, blessee phenomena.
Often a blesser is an older man with a lot of money and a ‘blessee’ is a younger woman who is often showered with gifts or money for sexual favours by the blesser.
With recent reports and social media posts about the bling lifestyle led by slay queens and so called Dubai girls, there has been growing concern about the dangers young women are exposing themselves to.
Yesterday a video of two girls talking about the 'slay queen' lifestyle went viral.
The video was a skit done by Moja Love for their show Highly Inappropriate with Phat Joe.
In the video which is a fictional depiction, he quizzed them about their frequent trips to Dubai‚ the kind of lifestyle they are making their money from and how they feel about the labels given to them.
“It depends on which manner you are using it (Dubai Girl) but I generally don’t care what people call me. I know why I am there and the benefits,” one of the girls state.
Lelo (wearing sunglasses in the video) and Candice ( in pink floral) used to go to Dubai to “twerk” till they were introduced to another lifestyle in the Arab city. They told Phat Joe they found better things to do than just twerking‚ which is “spending dzaddy’s money.”
One of the girls says that the benefits included things like getting a boob job and bagging almost a R1-million for a weekend visit.
“A lot happens in Dubai‚ a lot goes down. Everything is gold‚ it’s like the city of gold.”
Candice proudly talked about how she introduced Lelo to the lifestyle and even said she convinced her to participate in a threesome.
“Okay what happened was‚ she’s never had a threesome and she was like ‘no‚ I’m just here to twerk and get my money.’ I was like ‘boo‚ there’s more to this‚ more money to be made’‚” said Candice.
Keeping up with the pretense they say they don’t want boyfriends and they prefer ‘dzaddies’ because they have more money.
Watch the rest of the skit below:
Although the video was fictional it shone a light on the recent slay queen craze that has cropped up. Twitter users couldn’t decide if they were more shocked by the girl’s openness and pride when they talked about the things they have to do when securing the bag in Dubai or the amount of money and benefits they claimed to bring back from their trips.
Their reactions had everything from shock‚ to straight admiration to sympathy and disgust.
SowetanLIVE spoke to Jackie Phamotse author of the book Bare (The Blessers Game) which is a fictional account of how a young woman is enticed by the lifestyle of blessers and blesses.
It emerged after our interview with Phamotse that the video was a skit.
Phamotse expressed that after seeing the video she thought the young ladies appeared delusional and were not aware of the type of message they were communicating to other young girls.
" I was just annoyed; I don’t want to lie because it’s these types of conversations that perpetuate the whole sugar daddy trend. And people think it’s just glamourous shopping sprees, making money out of sleeping with older men. I mean I don’t even think for one second that a person will literally give you a million rand just for being,” she said.
She also noted that she’s not sure if the claim of a million rand was properly investigated before it was shared with the public.
“It just perpetuates the idea of people getting into these relationships thinking that they can score millions, I was upset that it’s sending the wrong message and making it sound so lively and a beautiful thing to do,” she went on further.
The author states that the young women engaging in this lifestyle are also exposing themselves to many dangers. Dangers such as human trafficking, rape, exposure to STIs and HIV\AIDS.
“It opens up a channel for trade prostitution where other girls, who find it difficult to get into the circle of sugar daddies, start selling themselves on social media.”
According to Phamotse these young women would then start posting provocative images of themselves hoping to lure men. They would then negotiate via direct messages with these men for payment for sex.
“You find that in these cases they are usually raped and exploited and whatever they were negotiating never materialises. So, you would find that they were negotiating for a weekend away where a girl would be paid R20 000 or that’s she would bring a friend to also be part of the entertainment and it doesn’t work out like that, she ends up sleeping with 5-6-7 people hoping that the amount would escalate and the benefits would be better and it doesn’t happen like that.”
Phamotse went on to say that some girls are taken to other countries but cannot come back home. She recalls that she has had young women inbox her on her social media platforms telling her that they’re stranded in another country, looking for a way to get back home.
Other dangers she pointed out were the possibilities of being inducted into a sex cult, mutilation and death.
“Spending money that’s not yours is just not worth it, because at the end of the day anybody can pull the carpet at any time. As soon as they’re done with you they’ll be out. So, it’s always best to go back to what you were doing in the beginning, so whether it’s getting educated, find that job that you want, finding an internship or whatever goal or passion you had in the beginning. That will sustain you longer in life then sleeping with someone for something you can post on Instagram or Facebook,” she added.
CORRECTION: Please note this article has been updated to add that the viral video is a skit taken from a segment from the show Highly Inappropriate.