It’s not something I do every day: pull up to a party venue next to a Supa Quick in the middle of Midrand to watch men take off their clothes.
For the sake of full disclosure – and, dear reader, much will be disclosed in this article – I am not a male-stripper virgin. My first was a white guy with a faux-diamond stud in each ear and it was at a friend’s bachelorette party.
He gyrated for 15 minutes to a Black Eyed Peas song and then left for another gig. He charged us R2 000. The bastard!
But the guys I am about to see are very different to him.
Sfiso Mofokeng (Flax), Bonginkosi Msimang (Rush) and Vusi Nkosi (Handsome Rob) are an all-black trio of chiselled men called Soweto’s Sexiest Guyz.
They sell their services to women throughout the country – from the townships of Joburg to as far afield as Mpumalanga.
How they came to strip is all thanks to their manager, Wawa Mdebuka.
Wawa, also a Mafikizolo dancer, was in the gym when he came up with this golden idea: round up the best looking guys there, and market them as eye candy for ladies at parties and events.
The group did a few successful gigs – socialising bare chested and getting paid for it – but it wasn’t long before the act made its natural progression.
Why not use Wawa’s choreography skills and teach them some moves?
And so Soweto’s Sexiest Guyz, or SSG, were born.
They do everything from performing at clubs and casinos to private bachelorettes, kitchen teas, lingerie parties (where everyone walks around in underwear) and even baby showers.
Today’s liberated black women, it seems, don’t think twice about paying men to be objectified.
The Midrand venue is all plastic grass and white curtains.
About 20 young women – all in white, as per the theme – are lounging on a circle of couches. It’s one of those Pure Romance parties – where a host sells a catalogue of flavoured lubes and vibrators.
As far as sales go, no one has bitten and the organiser is looking a little deflated.
“The crowd looks dead. I don’t think they’re drunk enough,” I say to Wawa when the guys pitch up.
Rob couldn’t make it because of a migraine, but Flax and Rush are raring to go. “Don’t worry, we’ll make them drunk.” Wawa laughs.
I had interviewed Handsome Rob at Maponya Mall a few weeks earlier, all aftershave and smooth talk in his pink V-neck, dyed blond dreads and skinny jeans.
“Even before SSG, it wasn’t hard for me to get women,” he tells me. “But now, panties go flying.”
Rob walks that line between continually proclaiming his love for the female sex and admitting he used to be one of the world’s biggest playas.
“Women are courageous and much stronger than people think – physically and emotionally.”
I wonder if he might be a secret bona fide feminist.
“Do you think women are the stronger sex?” He laughs as if I had just been intentionally ludicrous.
“They’re not the stronger sex. But they are strong, yes.” So much for that. All three of the guys have girlfriends and there is one thing they are unanimous on – none of them indulges in the women they perform for, even when offered sex after shows.
Rob has been with his girlfriend, Pretty, for a year and a half and apparently she’s supportive of him.
She met him after he started stripping. He laughs as he tells of a group of older women – he calls them cougars – who pitched up outside their door after a gig one night.
They were sent away after a few drinks. Rob grins. “I actually wanted to be a gigolo when I was younger. And marry a cougar.”
Wawa invites me and photographer Lucky Nxumalo into the changing room to take pictures of Flax and Rush getting ready.
They rub baby oil over their chests and don police hats, apparently a favourite among the ladies. From the bathroom, Rush suddenly yells: “Count me down Flax, count me down!” Flax counts to three and Rush gives a big yelp. “What just happened?” I ask, my eyes positively saucers. “Nah, he just put his G-string on.”
“Is it sore?” I ask Rush as he comes out, bandy-legged.
“It’s weird when you first put it on. It feels uncomfortable.”
SSG have quite a few gay fans and have even performed for gay men (at an escalated price). It doesn’t bother them. “People are people,” muses Rob.
Rush and Flax amble confidently around the room.
They do press-ups against a chair to pump up their muscles. Outside, the women are sounding chattier than before, and there are giggles and squeals in the air. It’s show time.
As the SSG intro – some digital surges and a man’s voice growling, “Aaaarrre you ladies ready to grab some baaalls?” – booms over the speakers, Flax and Rush run towards the circle of women. They strut to the middle and begin to thrust wildly to the beat of John Legend’s Baby Tonight.
The room pretty much explodes. Flax grabs one of the women and mounts her on his shoulders, burying his face in her groin. Rush is dryhumping another hard enough to make her hair fly.
The ladies are on their feet, screaming, fanning their faces, falling back in their seats in mock faints. Wawa produces two cans of whipped cream and the guys are spraying it on the women’s chests and licking it off.
Then Flax lies on the table, whipped cream on his torso, and a lady leaps out of the crowd and mounts him. There’s whipped cream flying everywhere. Then the moment arrives I knew, deep down, was bound to happen.
Flax grabs me by the wrist and pulls me into the middle. Next thing, I’m on the table with this man thrusting violently above me. To the left, some ladies are screaming: “Once you go black, you never go back!”
But there is another sound too, of my Afrikaans colonialist forefathers turning in their graves. Because really, isn’t this just the very picture of their fears? A white woman underneath a chiselled, sweaty black man.
I yell at Lucky not to dare take pictures. Which doesn’t matter, because there are about 20 camera phones clicking away and the pictures end up on Facebook anyway. One caption reads: “They love it black and dark!!! Dankie white lady!!!”
Ah, social media, how you have screwed me. Now Flax pulls me off the table and tells me to lay on the floor. He grabs my legs and lifts them straight up in the air. I realise I haven’t shaved my legs in two days. Flax, if you’re reading this, sorry bra.
He continues to thrust and gyrate above me and I’m practically hysterical with laughter. Because, really, the whole thing is more embarrassing than arousing. My moment in the spotlight is over pretty quickly. He leads me back to my seat.
I am absolutely giddy and manage some hoarse cheers as the music segues into the next track – French Montana’s Freaks.
The guys have pulled off their pants to reveal their thongs. As I learnt from Rob, SSG never go full monty, just a flash of groin here and a toned butt cheek there.
Wawa tells me the music is very carefully selected, from P-Square and D’Banj for top-level thrusting, to John Legend and Silk for gentle gyrating.
“R Kelly is a favourite,” he says. “When that part in Bump N’ Grind comes on – ‘My mind’s telling me no, but my body’s telling me yes’ – the women just go crazy.”
At Maponya Mall I tell Rob about my disappointing experience with the white stripper. “White strippers don’t stand a chance against us. We can perform for more than an hour and we got the moves,” he brags.
SSG even have international fans – some have even flown over from Germany to see the guys perform. On their Facebook page I see a platinum blonde has posted a picture of herself in a tight dress.
“White women prefer black men,” Rob says matter-offactly.
“We’ve got more definition, better muscles and bigger dicks.” I ask him if he doesn’t worry that these women are objectifying him – that they see him as some sort of exotic fetish. “I don’t feel objectified at all,” he says. “It’s the black man’s dream.”
Certainly, there’s a big difference between male stripping and female stripping.
Wawa tells me he used to manage female strippers in the past, but gave it up because “it’s too much drama”.
Male strippers acknowledge the inverse role of women objectifying men, but there is never the uncomfortable element of danger or lechery you might find when men ogle women.
Even during the guys’ performance, the way they will grab a lady from the crowd, spin her around and thrust at her from behind – there is a sense the man is always in control. It’s this wink at the audience – I know I’m out here half-naked, with you lusting at me from the crowd, but we all know who’s in charge here.
After the show, I say goodbye to the guys, who look sweaty and happy. “It was a good crowd,” says Rush. A gig like this nets them around R7 000. Not bad for an hour’s work.
They say they’re going to party it up tonight. “We only drink vodka,” Flax lets me know.
I’m assuming that’s because of the zero-carb count. As I’m driving home, I think of my phone interviews with a group of ladies who claim to be “SSG’s number one fans”. Twenty-one-year-old Nomthi from Carletonville says Rush is her favourite and she just loves “the guys’ style and the way they move”.
“They make me blush,” she giggles shyly. Her breathless excitement at having gone to a place where she is allowed to display her unbridled lust makes me happy thinking about it. But I’m also glad to be heading home to my fiancé. I have a few photos to explain, after all.
- Want to book Soweto’s Sexiest Guyz? Call Wawa Mdebuka on 084 948 1441. Find them on Facebook at Soweto Sexiest Guyz, or Twitter @Sowetosexiest . Soweto’s Sexiest Guyz are part of the Royingston entertainment group. They also offers twerk and dance crews for your next event. Check them out at royingston.co.za