UNITAID Blog Competition winner, Meluleki Ngcobo shares his perspective on the risks and solutions involved with regards to Blessers and Blessees...

A “blesser”, according to the definitions I’ve seen online, is someone, usually an older,
more financially well-off man, who provides things like money, expensive gifts and luxurious
trips to young women in exchange for company or sexual favors. Blessers are said to
be like Sugar Daddies, but richer. The girls or women who accept the material things a
blesser provides are called blessees. A” blessee” is normally a young female who is
financially cared for by her blesser in exchange for sexual favors or companionship. In
most cases, these older men are married men who secretly engage in extramarital
affairs with these young women.

It can't be disputed that blessers have played a crucial role in the lives of young female
university students as they would contribute to their financial needs by paying for
their tuition fees, accommodation, food, etc. We can say someone is blessed financially,
but there may be consequences to the blessings received.

The consequences of these kind of relations are heavy because these men often pay
money to these young women for the sake of "having fun" with them. They end up feeling
entitled to doing whatever they want to these women just because they have given them money.
We have heard of cases where these men force them to have unprotected sex or even
force them into sex no matter how they feel, even when they do not want to sleep with

As enticing as it may be, transactional relationships are dangerous
because often, these blessers happen to be in other sexual relationships, or are married.
There are many risks involved such as being infected with different sexually transmitted and possibly even pregnancy.
Relations that have resulted in pregnancy in these cases, do not end well. They have led to many issues, such as where the blesser forces the young woman into having an abortion for the sake of saving his marriage.

This lifestyle is affecting our youth. I fear that the next generation will grow believing that this the way of life, and if you are not doing it, then you’re missing out, whilst it is destroying them and their futures. The only way we can fight this by teaching young girls about these kinds of relationships and risks, and telling them this:
“Don’t settle for this. There are many ways you can empower yourself to make money if you put your mind to it!”


Do you agree with Meluleki's perspective on Blessers and Blessees?

Comment below!