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Blessers: Digital age sugar daddies

13 May 2016 at 06:53hrs | Views
This week, flamboyant South African businessman and playboy Kenny Kunene ignited debate when he went on a rant on how beneficiaries of the popular "blesser" phenomenon, known as blessers, were nothing more than prostitutes.

Kunene railed against the website – Blesserfinder, whose main aim is to connect women with men who are willing to part with a pretty penny for a nice time with younger women. According to Kunene, women who are taking part in this new phenomenon are no better than prostitutes who line up the streets and put a price tag on sex.

"You're bringing people together on the basis of transactions. That's transactional sex. That site must be closed. No black man pays a woman for companionship. They pay for sex," Kunene said.

He also apologised to the women he used to bless.

"I apologise to all those girls who I directly or indirectly bought for sex. I realise that I was a pimp and I turned countless girls into prostitutes."

The irony of Kunene's statements is that he is no saint himself, having at one point confessed to be involved with 15 women at one time.

The businessman who claims to have given up his crown as the self proclaimed "Sushi King" for a quieter life with his girlfriend of three years, has a colourful history with members of the fairer sex who range from socialites like Khanyi Mbau to A-list actresses like Sophie Ndaba and reality TV star Dineo Ranaka.

Kunene's statements were dismissed by some as the rant of a has-been blesser who had lost his fortune and was thus spoiling the fun for the heirs to his infamous throne.

Others hailed the reformed playboy's statements as evidence that the blesser phenomenon, which is spreading like wildfire on social media, should be nipped in the bud. Some, however, said Kunene was a retired blesser who is now broke.

Blessers however, are no longer a phenomenon restricted to South Africa, as youths in Zimbabwe, Swaziland and other countries have also caught the blesser bug and are running with the term.

But what exactly is a blesser and who qualifies to be a blesser? In these days were hash tags on social media set the agenda, blessers can simply be described as the sugar daddies of the digital age.

The term "blesser" came to be after young women – most who are jobless – would post pictures of themselves sipping cocktails on the beach, popping bottles in the club or getting their nails done, using the hashtag #blessed on social media. Some people started asking:

Who's really blessing them? And just like that, a cultural phenomenon was born.

A "blesser" (giver) blesses his "blessee" (recipient) with anything from money and weaves to overseas holidays, and Louis Vuitton bags.

Think of him as the modern day "sugar daddy". So basically, when you have a "blesser" then your life is blessed financially. The blesser is usually older than the blessee, but this is not always the case, there are young blessers as well.

According to Blesserfinder, the blessing phenomenon has nothing to do with one's religion, but has everything to do with what one is prepared to do for money. This has seen the site adopting a #MoralsMustFall hash tag so as to evade chancers.

Unlike the term "sugar daddies" which encompassed all women's benefactors under one umbrella, there are levels to being a blesser it seems. In the land of the blesser, all animals are not equal as various tiers are used to differentiate one kind of blesser to another.

According to these rankings Level One blessers are those that supply the basics from transport money to airtime. Level Two blessers buy fancy drinks in clubs and are interested in going for holidays at domestic resorts and attending major events with their blessee. At the apex of this pyramid are the Level Three blessers who start businesses and buy top of the range luxury vehicles, also doing international trips to places like Dubai with their blessees, giving them allowances of at least $2,000.

The business arrangement is quite simple – the blesser gets to enjoy the company of a young, hot woman, while the blessee/blessed gets to buy all the bags and shoes she wants, as long as she is prepared to sacrifice body – and soul – for the rewards.

When the sugar daddy gained in popularity in the early 90s, it was met with outrage by those that felt the trend worsened the spread of HIV/AIDS. Dramas were scripted, songs were penned as the Sugar Daddy became public enemy number one. As it trends on social media, it remains to be seen whether blessers will also receive the same treatment.

So far, blessers can be found online through dating site – Blesserfinder but the identities of the blessers are rarely ever seen, because more often than not, they are married.

Source - chronicle
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