‘These are the creative ways I’m making money as an exotic dancer during the lockdown’

Noluvuyo Bubbly Sodela (PHOTO: Supplied)
Noluvuyo Bubbly Sodela (PHOTO: Supplied)

And now she’s had to find creative ways to generate an income during the lockdown.

This is her story.

“In 2016 I used to have an acting role on one of the biggest radio stations in the country. When the station wasn’t doing well financially, they stopped paying us. At the time I had two jobs: working as an actress at the radio station and later at night I’d work at clubs as a promotions girl and as a waitress. But that wasn’t bringing in enough money for me to survive.

That’s when I decided to try out exotic dancing as I’d seen other girls doing it at the clubs I worked at.  When I first started, I was mentored by other strippers.

Being a stripper is fulfilling because of the financial freedom it comes with. You can work at various places and that provides you with the opportunity to earn more. I’ve also been able to look after two families with the income I receive, my own family and another one I sponsor. I also enjoy the fact that I don’t have to do much to stay in shape for my job since I’m naturally petite and dancing is also very good exercise for us.

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When the lockdown was announced I knew my job would be affected as clubs aren’t allowed to be open. It hasn’t only affected me, but also the other girls whose family members, boyfriends and husbands didn’t know what they did for a living. I’m lucky because the people close to me know what I do and I’m very open about it. My mother and I have a very close relationship and she respects my decision to become a stripper. She’s always known that I was a naughty girl since I’ve always posted bikini pictures and pictures which were semi-nude. I’ve also trended after protesting naked and I’ve also appeared on TV shows such as Generations as a stripper. She knows that I’m an exotic dancer.

Since I’m no longer able to physically dance on stage and earn money at clubs during this lockdown, I’ve had to think of other ways to make money – and that way is digitally. I’m on Instagram and have an fans-only account where people pay to see my nude pictures. I’ve also started selling content on Pornhub, but nothing hardcore, just stripteasing. I haven’t really ventured into the web cam business because I’m happy with what I’m earning now with my recorded videos. I get around R500 for a 10-minute-long video and R800 for an 18-minute-long one. I have customers who pay me before even receiving the content.

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Some of the challenges I face in my line of work include the fact that some people confuse strippers with prostitutes. They also take us for granted and say offensive things. There’s also racism that we still face as black strippers. But on the brighter side, stripping is a very safe career if you work for clubs with good security, you are always protected.

Although I enjoy being a stripper and the financial freedom it comes with, I do wish to grow my décor and catering company. I took a break from stripping in December and started working on my company but now since the lockdown has started, I’ve had to put everything on hold and go back to what can make me money. I’ll also have to move back to Cape Town to continue dancing because I’m exhausting my savings due to the lockdown – I’m renting and I still need to send money back home.

I don’t mind going back to stripping because I don’t care what people say and I know it brings in money and sustains me in a way a conventional career can’t. I always say that I’m here for a good time and not a long time. God has bigger plans for me in the coming years.”

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