He’s a boerseun from the Northern Cape and a factory foreman who oversees 80 people. At weekends he braais with the guys, drinks brandy and Coke and talks rugby. In between he teaches karate.
But Johan Prinsloo* (40) has a secret: every day he wears a disposable nappy under his jeans. And at night he puts on an extra-large nappy before he goes to bed. Sometimes he even sucks a dummy.
Johan is an adult baby and the fact that he wears nappies has nothing to do with health problems – he’s just a grown-up who chooses to escape to a baby world where he feels emotionally secure.
It’s a worldwide phenomenon and was recently in the news again in the UK when Channel 4 broadcast the documentary The 15-Stone Babies.
Johan is married with two children, which is why he prefers not to reveal his true identity. But he isn’t ashamed to be an infantilist – the name for adults who sometimes live like babies.
He readily poses for photographs and even puts on his oversized nappy. He laughs when he’s addressed as meneer (“mister”). A man who still wears nappies is definitely not a meneer, he says. “Rather call me meneertjie.”
He says without all the baby paraphernalia he feels defenceless and afraid. If it weren’t for that “I don’t know if I’d be able to face the challenges of every day”.
Read more of Jaco Hough-Coetzee’s interview with Johan in YOU 24 January 2013.
*Not his real name.