Sperm-hunting women prowl Zim highways

2012-03-22 07:46

Mashava - Susan Dhliwayo was stunned when she pulled her car over recently to pick up a group of male hitchhikers and they refused to get in. The reason? They feared being raped.

Sensational reports of gangs of beautiful women picking up male travellers to have sex and harvest their sperm in condoms have gripped Zimbabwe in a dizzying mix of taboos, rituals and downright bizarre.

"Now, men fear women. They said: 'we can't go with you because we don't trust you'," 19-year-old Dhliwayo recounted.

Local media have reported victims of the highway prowlers being drugged, subdued at gun or knife point - even with a live snake in one case - given a sexual stimulant and forced into repeated sex before being dumped on the roadside.

The sperm hunters first surfaced in the local press in 2009 but police have only arrested three women, found with a plastic bag of 31 used condoms in October. The attacks have continued since they were nabbed for allegedly violating 17 men.

"We do not have the exact number of confirmed cases," said national police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena.

"These cases occurred mostly when the victims were hitchhiking and boarded private vehicles. We encourage people to use public transport."

The sperm's exact use is not clear but is thought to be intended for "juju" or traditional rituals to bring luck - anything from enhancing good fortune, boosting business or preventing a criminal from being detected.

It is also not known why the semen is taken forcibly from strangers.

Form of witchcraft

"It's really an issue which is mind boggling," said University of Zimbabwe sociologist Watch Ruparanganda, who believes it is a lucrative business. "It's quite a big mystery. Obviously we know [it is] being used for rituals."

Ruparanganda said he was astonished to discover seven years ago that semen appeared to have become a tradable commodity, while doing research for his doctoral thesis among Harare street youth who told him that businessmen would take them to hotels, give them new clothes and ply them with booze.

They were then told to pick a prostitute and to hand over the used condom after sex.

"It just shows there's some big racket somewhere, some big guys driving everything, but they are in the background and using these ladies," said Ruparanganda.

The headline-grabbing reports have not shocked Tende Marahu, 24, who tells of men and "sugar mamas" picking up young men from the streets in his neighbourhood to collect their sperm secured in a knotted condom after sex.

"It started a long time back," Marahu said, adding he had not yet partaken but would happily do so for the money. "To me, I didn't get shocked because I already knew it was happening."

The reports are not unique to Zimbabwe, with Nigerian media last year reporting prostitutes collecting sperm-filled condoms to sell.

The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association slams the practice.

"We believe that this is a form of witchcraft. So we are totally against the idea," said spokesperson George Kandiyero.

Negative side effects

"It has really frightened people," he said. "It has really brought in a bit of shock because normally it was the other way round, normally we know of men raping women, not women raping men."

Kandiyero suggested that one reason why the harvesters don't solicit sperm from their loved ones is the belief that sperm used in "jujus" could bring on trouble for the man.

"That is the problem with some of these 'jujus' that are used to make money, most of them have negative side effects," he said.

A Zimbabwean women's rights group has criticised the spotlight shifting to male rape victims, and paid for a newspaper advert to deplore that violence against women in the country is not met with the same degree of shock.

The three women linked to the case, meanwhile, have stirred much attention and public anger. Audiences pack into the dreary courtrooms each time they appear in the dock, and one of their lawyers said they have received death threats.

No law in Zimbabwe criminalises rape by women so the trio, arrested with one man, face 17 counts of aggravated indecent assault, though no trial date has as yet been set.

Dumisani Mthombeni, a lawyer for two of the women and the man, complained that five months after their arrest, prosecutors have yet to produce DNA test results, a charge sheet or witness statements but nonetheless have "paraded [the women] on national television as female rapists".

"We have not been given anything - nothing," Mthombeni said. "We believe they don't want us to go to trial because they arrested the wrong people."

The case has triggered a mix of shock, intrigue and humour - such as one newspaper cartoon showing a nude hitchhiker hoping to be picked up by a female driver - but also fear among some men.

"Of course we are scared," said a 26-year-old hitchhiker on a highway south of Harare, adding he would not get into a car driven by a woman.

"Even if she's old, we can't."

  • Lebogang - 2012-03-22 07:56

    "normally we know of men raping women, not women raping men"t...tragically funny.

      Moi - 2012-03-22 10:16

      Yeah, especially the "normally" bit, like it's an accepted thing.

      Foc - 2012-03-26 10:31

      Why would a girl of 19 pick up a GROUP of male hitchikers anyway??? Or is it not strange in Zimbabwe?? On the other hand why are Zimbabwe men such wimps ... they are scared as hell to oppose Mugabe and NOW they afraid of girls?? OMW!! what is happening in AFRICA???

      Raeez - 2012-03-26 12:21

      Wait, did i read properly? She stopped to pick up a group of men?????

  • Ntshuxeko Drue Vukeya - 2012-03-22 08:38

    This is something else...It must not cross the boarder.

      Aubrey - 2012-03-24 12:10

      My pal you also believe in this witchcraft bull ****. we are in the 21st century and these practices still carry on. africa at its best

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:17

      It won't cross but it will JUMP the boarder

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-03-22 08:59

    LOL, what next? TIA!!

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:18

      Those women are aliens...extra testicle entities.

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-03-24 15:55


  • isaac.realeka - 2012-03-22 08:59

    It's a weird world indeed!!!

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:19

      Let's not forget to highlight another form of rape...collectively known as TAXES.

  • James - 2012-03-22 09:00

    wow, at least they are using condoms, would've thought some men might be into that idea

      samuel.maleka - 2012-03-25 16:07

      but guys are u aware that

      samuel.maleka - 2012-03-25 16:08

      guys are you aware that in SA we have lot of men who would not mind being raped?

  • Jan - 2012-03-22 09:06

    SNU SNU!

  • Stephen - 2012-03-22 09:36

    Come, come, now, there must be more to it than that, they must be selling it. If I think of the money that's slipped through my fingers the last few years.

      Martin - 2012-03-22 09:53


      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:23

      Next thing will be hearing of armed robberies at sperm banks.

  • tatsee - 2012-03-22 10:17

    But guys,were do u sell the 'stuff'?-I got tonnes of it!

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:23

      If this is truly a lucrative business, most males would be rich

      samuel.maleka - 2012-03-25 16:09

      @Rphiri, would u also like to be raped?

  • tony.delucchi - 2012-03-22 11:37

    ...somehow I cannot believe this to be true!

  • abhudram - 2012-03-22 12:30

    Go rob a (Sperm) Bank!

  • Kagiso - 2012-03-22 13:12

    hahaha, now men get to feel the shame of rape

      gary.andrew.ritchie - 2012-03-22 13:51

      And that is funny how???? Idiot!!

  • Muneer23 - 2012-03-22 16:09

    In Zim, anythings possible

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:25

      They have a fossil which has been in power since the first dinosaur took it's first yeah anything is possible.

  • Zenzele - 2012-03-22 16:56

    This is what "Bob" has reduced his country to, "Sperm Trading" for survival,these are type of economic policies "Juju" wanted to import from his brother Bob.

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:26

      Sperm poachers...Rhinos can now breathe a collective sigh of relief

  • Melanie - 2012-03-22 18:27

    hopefully the sperms are hiv-free, else juju won't work

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:27

      Let's also not forget stupid free, we don't want more people becaming magically stupid into the next Mugabe.

  • bashin.monyela - 2012-03-22 20:12

    Why by force though huh? I'm sure if they asked nicely, dudes would be more than willing.

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:28

      Yeah plus the article stated beautiful women. It's not like they were forced to make love to whoopi Goldberg

  • bashin.monyela - 2012-03-22 20:12

    Why by force though huh? I'm sure if they asked nicely, dudes would be more than willing.

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-03-24 20:35

      Yea, I think I would be able to handle this, its just this snake bit, that would scare the sh.t out of me !!!!

  • Grant - 2012-03-24 11:01

    At first I thought this was an early April fools joke but I remembered this is Africa. Just a thought : why not just give a guy a condom and pay him to fill it up by hand?

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:29

      Most women don't trust a Man's HANDY work. They will rather do things themself

  • PhilosopherStoned - 2012-03-24 12:15

    What makes people believe in crazy things like witchcraft? I mean, what mystical powers can sperm possibly have? Oh wait.. Most people believe in talking snakes and that a woman was crafted from a rib. Maybe these Zimbabwean nuts aren't so nutty after all.

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:33

      They let a fossilized faece run the country so anything is possible

      Fanie - 2012-03-26 13:21

      it makes babies, and apparently brings luck

  • saschalipka - 2012-03-24 12:39

    The sperm is for JuJu? What is he going to do with it? Makes me wonder

      rbphiri - 2012-03-24 13:32

      It's actually for him to appeal his suspension or a diet plan

      samuel.maleka - 2012-03-25 16:12

      they do not mean julious malema. bunch of idiots

      Schmee - 2012-03-26 11:09

      He can't afford caviar anymore so he reckons it's the next best thing.

      Fanie - 2012-03-26 13:23

      "juju" is the name of the evil spirit not julius malema. wake up

  • manyanyaphiri - 2012-03-24 14:05

    I had thought Zimbabweans as a nation are comparatively a bit more too educated to believe in such rubbish. How wrong I was! I mean this story is really bad for the struggle of women anywhere in the world to be treated with decency by their menfolk. And now this story adds fuel to the hellish fire of the world-wide oppressionof women... Please my fellow-journalists, be more responsible with your sensationalism! "Reaping sperm?", my foot! They could more cheaply go to a SPERM BANK, wouldn't they?

      Grant - 2012-03-24 19:50

      Yes but its more fun this way! I remember an old girlfriend who was a teacher. She used to say, "You'll do it again and again and again until you get it right".

  • Hugo - 2012-03-24 14:38

    so a group of male hitch-hikers are scared of a(potentially beautiful)19 year old girl because she might rape them,another of the priceless articles from both IOL and news24.Could the expulsion of Juju have anything to do with this.

  • Selwyn - 2012-03-24 15:01

    LMFAO ....... Only in Africa!!!

  • Franklin - 2012-03-24 17:54

    I'm going hitch hiking in Zim tomorrow.

  • Shawn - 2012-03-24 22:02

    Payback is....

  • Melanie - 2012-03-25 08:50

    men: don't ejaculate no matter how warm and nicer the 'hole' is. Fight temptations!

      Grant - 2012-03-25 14:57

      A lot of us men battle to 'hold back'. My ex used to get frustrated with me - maybe thats why she's now my ex...

  • boitumelo.s.tumi - 2012-03-25 09:36

    Ijag wht do we do know!!

  • atholl.hay - 2012-03-25 11:48

    I'm fed up with these sperm collectors! One knocked on my door the other day. Boy, did I give her a mouthful!

      Jaco - 2012-03-26 15:41

      Excellent!!! Your comment just made my day...

  • carolinebza - 2012-03-25 12:04

    Hmmmmm....I predict a tourism boom for Zim.... ;)

  • bluzulu - 2012-03-25 14:27

    Hey Mobile Sperm banks, A World first. Congrats ZIM,

  • Leendert - 2012-03-25 15:00

    So after one sentence I stopped believing this story: A 19-year old girl stopping to pick up a GROUP of MEN?? Don't think so.

      samuel.maleka - 2012-03-25 16:14

      lol dude do not forget that she is a zimbabwean

  • Jenny - 2012-03-25 19:32

    This is surely a joke? Rape of men by a beautiful group of women? Witchcraft? Someone is laughing at the expense of the gullible public.

  • Norah - 2012-03-25 22:55

    I mean really, in this day and age??And Zimbabweans are supposed to be highly educated!

      Fanie - 2012-03-26 13:28

      eduacated zimbabweans have left the country and only the zanu-PF supporters are left wonder mugabe is still president even now.

  • Norah - 2012-03-25 22:57

    @Aubrey, well then you can's forcing you to stay! Twit!

  • Ken - 2012-03-25 23:25

    This must be News24 and South Africans finest reporters working together for this masterpiece!!

  • smurwira - 2012-03-26 06:25

    Pasi Rashanduka

  • Howard - 2012-03-26 10:21

    Sounds good.Do you have an address ?

  • Darryl - 2012-03-26 11:46


  • Nokuthula - 2012-03-26 13:15

    If only there was SEXUAL OFFENDERS DATABASE in ZIM. I would leak it to these women. Talk about turning the tables. LOL

  • Jaco - 2012-03-26 15:41

    Benidorm Derduiwels @ work in ZIm!!!

  • Robin - 2012-03-26 16:53

    Well, if it saves the rhino I say "go for it"!

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-03-26 17:53

    Gangs of beautiful women picking up male travellers to have sex and harvest sperm? Sounds like a plot to a blue movie.

  • betias.ndou - 2012-03-26 22:44

    its kind of nonsense

  • Charlton - 2012-04-10 16:05

    So men don't pay sex anymore in zim\great\

  • bmaestro - 2012-08-08 10:06

    mind boggling FOR SURE

  • bmaestro - 2012-08-08 10:07


  • Hemlock - 2012-08-08 10:20

    Eeeiiissshhhhh !

  • alan.yates.18007 - 2012-08-08 10:39

    Hamba gashle

  • JASEVEN156 - 2012-08-08 14:32

    If it is true, then these women must so much professional, i cant even imagine seeing "it" standing up while i am under gun or knife point. Come on people.

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2012-08-08 14:54

    Well at least they don't want Rhino horn or lions bones. Dark Africa is re-appearing. Soon Tarzan will be able to swing from tree to tree again. Geez.

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