’Rich men in South Africa who bribe schoolgirls for sex with phones and cheap shoes are a main driver of the highest HIV rates in the world.’’
What is a ”Blesser”?
Technically a blesser can be a male or female of any age.
‘’Blessers’’ is a slang term for a rich man who offers support (typically financial and material) to control a younger female companion in exchange for sex, friendship. The men are generally married, older men. They prey on poor and financially needy girls and young women providing them with gifts in exchange for sex and other favours.
It is a mixture of prostitution, sugar daddy’s and pedophilia. Experts blame the culture for a rise in HIV infections. At 7 million, the country already has the highest number of people in the world living with HIV.
How does blessing work?
There are four levels of Blessers.
Level one is when the girl receives airtime and data in exchange for sex.
Level two is when a girl receives fancy hairstyles (hair-extensions), clothes, handbags and perhaps a visit to local clubs.
Level three would be an iPhone, jewelry, a flat to stay in or perhaps a car.
Level four is the highest level and includes trips abroad – for example a trip to Dubai for shopping.
Who is targeted by Blessers?
Young women from poorer backgrounds were more at risk of being targeted and exploited by blessers, particularly those who had lost parents as a result of HIV and AIDS.
In some rural villages the girls are constantly preyed on. They look up to an older man who makes promises. The common thread of young women here is that they want to find a way out of poverty. Some of the Blessers come into the villages when school is coming out and pick on a pretty girl who is barefoot because they know she has no money. Unfortunately, none of them are offering school uniform or school fees. They are offering cheap shoes or nice hair to a girl who would love something to make her feel special. The Blesser ends up leaving her both pregnant and HIV positive after a few nights out, before raping another girl who resists his charms.
A girl who has a Blesser looking after her is called a Blessee. In a country where sex has become a transaction between the poor and the richer, the young and the older, every week around 2,000 women aged 15 to 24 contracts HIV. They are now the largest at-risk group, with those aged 15 to 19 up to eight times more likely to be HIV positive than boys.
What are the dangers of having a Blesser?
- You are owned by another person. He determines your worth, not you.
- You will neglect studies and homework in order to please a demanding older man.
- You will have no choice in having safe sex. HIV, STD and unwanted pregnancy is a real risk.
- You will have to share the man with his wife and other women. He will never be only yours
- If you are less than 16 years old, having sex with an older man will count as statutory rape.
- You will be selling not only your body, but your soul as well for money.
- What you will have is not love, but lust.
- You will be a commodity – something that is for sale, not a human being with emotions.
- Your status will always be temporary – you can be replaced at any time.
- You will lose your chances of having a normal relationship with a boy of your own age.
- Your self-esteem will take a knock, because you are being used.
- You will get used to cheap, instant gratification and never learn to work hard for economic freedom. This will hamper your development as a human being.
- You will have more regrets than gratitude in the long run. The shelf life of a prostitute is a short one.
What kind of person is a Blesser really? (male or female)
- They have no respect for another person. They see them as commodities.
- They use people for sex and dump them when they are done with you.
- They have no responsibility towards you – they will leave you high and dry if you become HIV infected (by them) or int he case of females, pregnant and move onto their next victim.
- What they feel for you is lust, not love.
- They will slut-shame you without a second thought.
- They are all sexual predators.