Blesser craze leaves elders wondering where lobola will come from

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Where did this phenomenon of “blessees” come from? Is it the feminist echo to polygamy? Was it prompted

IS THIS LOVE? Older rich men go for young women in the phenomenon of blesser/blessee relationships. Picture: Getty images
IS THIS LOVE? Older rich men go for young women in the phenomenon of blesser/blessee relationships. Picture: Getty images

Surely polyandry – the female version of polygamy – is illegal in South Africa? But then again, so is prostitution, but no one prosecutes sex workers any more, do they?

This shocking phenomenon has to be contextualised.

First, unemployment rates are higher in South Africa today than they were during the Great Depression in the US.

And among young people, unemployment figures are most horrendous of all – 48%. That is one out of two.

As men tend to have the edge in the job market, a guestimate is that this may be a lower 40% among young men and a higher 60% among young women.

Never mind buying groceries or paying the rent. Where do young men find money for lobola?

It must be a long and arduous wait to fulfil this traditional dream, one cow at a time.

Meanwhile, the young women are kept waiting. Where can they go for some extra cash flow?

Second, the rise of the middle class has been a feature of the first two decades of democracy.

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