- Published on 31 May 2016
YOUNG girls are going crazy in the name of money and status and are on a hunt to get blessed without checking the risks of being turned into overnight prostitutes or drug mules.
We investigated this growing trend that is taking the country by storm, where young girls are throwing away their dignity in the name of being showered with money and gifts by men who are old enough to be their fathers or grandfathers.
Basically, a blesser in this context, is a man who has no morals either married or not, and his intensions are clear – he is willing to pay for sex with a young girl who becomes his blessee. On the other hand, it is a glorified form of prostitution, which is used to lure young willing women to older men.
PROSTITUTION AND DRUGS
Most people who have included their voices to the blesser conversation are of the opinion that this new trend is nothing but an act of promoting prostitution and drugs in the country.
Recently, a 44-year-old woman was arrested at the Cape Town International Airport after she was allegedly caught with three compressed packets of tik.
A police source claimed that the arrested woman fell into the trap of blessers who promised her a nice holiday in Cape Town while she was not aware that she was going to be used as a drug mule.
“The woman was not aware that the package that she had in her Young girls are taking their dignity and throwing it out of the window in the name of being showered with money and gifts by men who are old enough to be their fathers or grandfathers. This is a glorified way of prostitution as young women are lured by older men possession contained drugs. She hooked up with a man online as she was looking for a blesser, but her blesser turned out to be a drug dealer,” says the source.
Western Cape police spokesperson, Captain Frederick Van Wyk, confirmed that the woman was arrested in connection with drugs.
“I can confirm that a woman was arrested at the airport after she was allegedly found in possession of tik.”
However, Van Wyk didn’t want to confirm or deny if the woman was in fact a blessee who was made to carry drugs by one of her blessers.
Our news crew has also learned that in many cases young women end up being trapped in the ring of human traffickers as they are not even aware that some of their so-called blessers are actively involved in turning them into prostitutes. Director at Anex, an NGO that deals with human trafficking, Claudia Burger says, "It's very scary that you can give yourself the title of blesser, while you are not meaning that, but your intensions are demanding something in return. Life is all about relationships, and these guys who call themselves blessers did their homework and know that young women are vulnerable and desperate. We are working in partnership with Embrace Dignity, which is an organisation that is supporting women who want to exit prostitution and human trafficking trade. Human trafficking doesn't happen only across borders, but it is also happening in the region. The recruitment is all about people being told that they would be given certain things but then that changes in the process."
She added, "Sometimes a guy will take a woman to a nightclub under the pretense of taking her out for a drink. When they arrive there, she is forced to engage in prostitution."
Claudia explained that it happened that a woman can be deceived and booked to fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg with the aim of coming there to meet a blesser or being promised a job, but they end up being turned into prostitutes.
"Nothing in life comes for free. You must ask yourself why a complete stranger would come and offer you a better life without them being linked to any bursary scheme or NGO that deals with uplifting young people's lives," she adds.
MONEY AND POWER
One of the local blessers, Serge Cabonge, says he is not ashamed of blessing young women as he has cash.
"We do things for girls because we can. In this transaction, we assist each other. I spoil her in a good way and I get something in return. I take women to the club and buy them expensive alcohol, which they can't afford. Once you show them how much money you can spend, they become weak and make moves towards you. As for students, I spend about R2,000 a night, but for professional women I don't mind parting with R10,000 or more per night. We also have middlemen whom we pay for organising women for us," he revealed.
He however, pointed out that some of the so-called blessers are nothing but pimps and human traffickers.
"Most girls are gold diggers, especially in Sandton as they exploit your generosity and that's how they end up being prostitutes. I give my girls a budget to fly overseas to do shopping. If you don't take care of your woman, it's a problem because she will want to have a blesser. The message we are as blessers is that we want men to take care of their women, as they should contribute towards their well-being financially."