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FEATURE: Young Africans open up on how they use social media for sex jobs



The power of the social media and the Internet at large cannot be over-emphasized. Social media has become a melting pot for all things; from setting the agenda to being a marketing tool for all forms of business. The business of sex online is a global phenomenon but increasingly it is finding a strong footing in Africa, and for a continent bond by strong cultures and morality, many young Africans are using these platforms to carry out a variety of ‘sex jobs’. From Ghana, where families have been known to disown members over leaked sex tapes, to Nigeria where people openly put themselves out as amateur porn stars, Africa has become a breeding grounds for the sexual perversion of the world.

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I spoke to friends across Africa to find out people who are causing a stir within their communities, by particularly pushing the envelope with their sexuality on social media. After identifying them, I reached out to a few and some obliged to answer my questions on why they do what they do, and even how they operate. Although most of them hide their true identity from their ‘trade’ and offered to speak to me based on anonymity, I used their data such as email addresses to do some further background checks online, to find their real personalities. And it was interesting to see that they all have ‘normal’ lives and even sometimes, very good professions too. However, for the sake of protecting their identities, I would not expose the identities of those who wish to not be known. Therefore I will use fake names for some of them. Temi, a young Nigerian lady who provides home massage services has found a way to make more money by adding sex services to her offering.

She uses Twitter to promote her services in hopes of getting more customers. Some customers are sometimes even willing to let Temi record their ‘sensual’ encounters, to post on social media, of course without showing their faces. According to Temi, she made the decision to add sex to her offering, when many men attempted to have sex with her during or after her massage services. “So for a client to try and have sex with you for almost nothing, wouldn’t it be better to put a price to it and make good money rather?” she quizzed. Temi would not mention her charges but implied that she makes good monies from the business, with rich clients mainly in Lagos and Abuja.

Unlike Temi, Nas a Congolese based in Durban, South Africa is not shy to show his identity to the world. He considers himself a porn star, who posts sexual videos of himself either solo or with women, with the hopes of making money online. And well, he has been making some money since he started. “I used the money I got from my paying subscribers to get new equipment like camera and lights, so I can do better productions. I want to be Africa’s number one porn star,” explains Nas. He uses social media to tease people and advertise how people can subscribe for his videos. According to him, most of his paying subscribers are from Europe.

Sidonio from Angola has a similar lifestyle to Nas but his aim is not to become a porn star but rather a gigolo, satisfying the sexual needs of women tourists in Angola. The third-year student, who is studying human resources in the university, says he keeps everything away his family and friends “because those kinds of service are not legal in Angola.”According to ‘Donio’, he has been doing this sex job for over 7 years.

“Well I do this because that was the only way I could have an active sexual life. When I was a teen, I used to watch porn. In 2010 I started posting ads on meeting websites and people (single ladies, mature, taken) started calling me to have sex with me. I then opened accounts on some porn site with my videos and also to promote my services.”Donio says he mostly provide sexual services for foreigners because most natives from Angola do not have an open mind for such. So how much money does he make from his trade?

“I used to ask $50 but unfortunately, being a man, people here think it’s expensive. For instance, women who do this kind of service take between $100 and$1,000. But when I meet some people especially from Europe they pay me $100 or even $500.” Donio’s clients are usually single ladies but in his own worlds, “also there are some who betray their partners”. And increasingly, he is getting requests from couples who want group sex with him. He describes his worst encounter with a client…”well it was with a lady who I didn’t know was taken. I had been with her more than 10 times mostly in the hotel.

One midnight, she sent me a message on WhatsApp that she wanted to meet me. She left home thinking her husband was sleeping. When we were in the hotel room, we hared a knock on. She opened the door thinking it was someone from the hotel bringing drinks but rather found out it was her husband. The man jumped on me but I was fast enough to run away. “ With such an active sex life with multiple people, at least Donio is doing something right by always using protection. But is there an end in sight for his lifestyle? “Well, I know that one day I will stop. And there are two things that will make me stop doing it; finding a good job and having a girlfriend,” he says.

If you thought posting one’s sexual activity online was the ultimate taboo in Africa, meet Daniel from Nigeria, who pushes the envelope even further by posting his gay sexual encounters on Twitter. Daniel, a university-graduate with a white-collar job, does not charge for sex yet, but says he is open to doing so if he finds someone who would pay for sex. He currently uses Twitter to mostly meet new guys and have fun. “I do it as a hobby but am open to a fee too, depending on who I am meeting up with.No one has patronized my services so far. It’s majorly a hobby but then if benefits come as a result, the better for me. I would only stop when I get tired of it.” Although it appears Daniel’s sexual liberation comes from his ability to have sex with boys and share it on Twitter, he is careful not to expose himself. “ My family and friends are not aware of what I do. I am scared, but then it’s the price I have to pay for being happy. All my life, it wasn’t easy, I grew up denying who I was up until I didn’t have to anymore.”Daniel says he is aware of the dangers of his promiscuous lifestyle but claims he uses protection most of the times, and goes for tests as often as possible.

So with such stories of sexual perversion invading our space within Africa, I ask what went wrong? Can such behaviors online be controlled? Should it even be controlled? Or should we, like the Western world accept them? What would you do if you found out one of the people in this feature were your brother, daughter, grandchild or your very close friend?