blesser or a curse? ANCWL weighs in
The African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) President Bathabile Dlamini has compared ‘blessers’ to clients who use the services of s workers.
“It looks like prostitution. It looks like abuse of young women by old men who have got money. It’s really unfair,” she said.
She says the ANCWL wants to talk openly about the matter and work on women’s self-esteem.
This blessee calls what is frowned upon for being tantamount to prostitution a lifestyle choice – with no strings and no regrets
Amanda Cele (27) has been “blessed” for more than a year now. She has no regrets about her lifestyle – because her two wealthy blessers spoil her.
They give her a monthly allowance of up to R20 000, pay the rent for her flat, and buy her handbags and shoes from high-end brands like Louis Vuitton. Life is good.
“I cannot settle for dating a boyfriend who cannot afford my lifestyle. I will never, ever date a man who is broke. If you come to me, you must know your pocket,” says the proudly “blessed” woman.
Dressed in skinny jeans and pink stilettos, and sporting a Peruvian weave and Versace sunglasses,
Cele is not bothered that some people compare the blessed to prostitutes.
“People can call it whatever they want. As long as I can sleep well at night, I am happy,” she says.
Cele, who is unemployed, was born in Umlazi, southwest Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal. She recently moved to a flat in Midrand which one of her blessers pays for.
She drives a Mercedes, which the other blesser lent her.
She expects no less of them.
Her two blessers are prominent businessmen, but she prefers not to mention their names, revealing only that they are well known.
“I do not want to ruin their reputations,” she says.
According to gossip blog iMzansi, Cele was severely assaulted by one of her blessers’ wives; her weave was pulled out and she was left nursing a black eye. But she denies this.
“It is not true. Do you see a black eye on my face?” she says.
When asked what exactly her blessers pay for, she is slightly on the defensive in her reply: “It is not all the time that they pay for s.
“Sometimes they just want a trophy [woman] to take wherever they happen to be going.
“You must remember that most of these men are not happy in their marriages. They are looking for someone young like me to entertain them.”
Although many criticise her, family members respect her decision, she says.
“They are not judging me. They know I do not have a payslip, so where do they think I get money from to maintain my luxury lifestyle?” she asks.
She sends money back home to Durban every month.
“I did not suddenly wake up and decide to be a blessee. I was in a four-year relationship and the man I was dating was twice my age,” she says, adding that he, too, was a prominent businessman.
“I have always attracted high-profile people,” she laughs.
“Everything was fine until we moved in together. He started to show me his other side.
“I could not handle the fact that he was cheating on me and was no longer sleeping at home,” she says, adding that she got to a point where she became so miserable, she had no choice but to leave him.
It was then that she decided to disinvest emotionally from relationships and become a blessee.
Recalling her first loving relationship, she says that it was with her childhood sweetheart. They have an eight-year-old daughter, who lives with him.
The two men currently in her life can be classified as “level-three” blessers, because they take her on overseas holidays and provide her with a monthly allowance.
“I have a salary but I am not working,” she says, proudly.
“Why should I bother looking for a job when I am earning?”
However, she admits that, despite having accepted that these men have no intention of ever marrying her, she sometimes becomes too attached to them.
“I know most of them are not looking for a relationship and that they will never leave their wives for a blessee,” she says.
“They will spoil you, knowing that they have no intention of marrying you.”
Her advice to other blessees?
“Do not let it be just about expensive clothes and drinking Champagne. Be wise: use the money to study.”
Cele has obtained a certificate in beauty therapy from Beauty Palace in the Vaal, thanks to blessers’ money.
“I am not just a pretty face. Should things go wrong, I can still go back and continue with my studies.”
She says that one day she would like to settle down, get married and raise her daughter.
“But for now, I am enjoying being a blessee. I am not ready to be someone’s wife.”
1 Buys you airtime and data, and gives money for transport.
2 Buys you handbags and shoes from brands such as Louis Vuitton, as well as expensive Peruvian and Indian Remy weaves, and lace wigs.
3 Takes you on holidays to exotic destinations, such as Dubai and Thailand, gives you a monthly allowance of at least R20 000, and buys you a car and iPhone.
4 Buys you a house under your own name and gives you money to start your own business. If you are lucky, he will introduce you to his wife.
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