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Blessers in unholy business

By Faeza
01 July 2016

Image: Daily Sun

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.

Move! 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 beused as a drug mule.

“The woman was not aware that the package that she had in her 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.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Move! 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 theminto 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 adds, “Sometimes a guy will take a woman to a nightclub under the pretence of taking her out for adrink. When they arrive there, she is forced to engage in prostitution.”

Claudia explains that it happens 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 the upliftment of young people,” she adds.

MONEY AND POWER

One of the local blessers, Serge Cabonge, says that he is not ashamed of blessing young women as he has money.

“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” says Serge. “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.”

GOLD DIGGERS

He points out that some of the socalled 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,” he says.

“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

trying to send out there as blessers is that we want men to take care of their women, as they should contribute towards their well-being financially.”

SHOP FOR A MAN OR WOMAN

The founder of Blesserfinder, who only identifies himself as Ditshego says, “We don’t screen people when they want to be hooked up with others.

We are an online mall, where you can shop for a man or woman.

We tell these people that they should at least meet blessers we have hooked them up with in public places and also have a sort of communication before they can

go out.

We offer male and female blessers and we are not running a business or an escort agency, as we don’t have a constitution or policies that our clients should abide to. Right now

it’s a free service.