Ever wondered whatever happened to SA’s “It” girls from about ten years ago? You know, the tall, pouty, malnourished and Brazilian-weaved models that we used to aspire to be like when we finally get out of high school and move to Jozi? Come on now, I know you remember these girls – they now belong to what I call #TeamSkinnyBitch!
Still can’t remember them? They were the first to rock the latest Jimmy Choo or Louis Vuitton in the country…this was way before we started faking it. They went from gracing South Africa’s best female magazine covers (Lord knows why), to not only spreading their assets but their legs as well – in your boyfriend’s FHM calendar, parading the luxurious rooms of SA’s very own Hugh Heffner in Hyde Park *winks*….and then with no warning, they just disappeared. What happened to these girls?
I found out recently that these ladies now have a new profession and it’s not a recruitment agency or modeling agency. They will befriend the hottest, young and innocent looking girl at the club as their prey. The next move is to introduce them to the champagne life “le Dom Perignon”, then use accessorize them in the BEE flooded clubs of Jozi – only to use them as a cash transaction to the highest paying client.
Most of them used to be models until that well dried up, so now, she’s a a professional Pimp-Mama. There’s many of them in JHB and they operate from one group of beautiful, unsuspecting but “thandi’zinto” (likes things) girls to the next. These women identified a demand in the market and literally took advantage of the gap. You see, sending a waiter or a friend to organize girls for you is too obvious these days and the “victims” will most likely reject the offer. But when another girl starts the conversation with a compliment about your weave or your dress – it gets your attention – works like a charm. Little do you know that this will be accompanied by an invite to a Champagned-table at the VIP section. As this happens, you don’t click that you are actually being pimped. It’s just pure, innocent fun right? Well, the Pimp-Mamas of Jozi will school you in one night and you’ll get the hang of it.
A few years ago, I received a call from a good friend of mine from Joburg saying that some high profile politicians from Ghana were in Cape Town to oversee the elections just before Zuma was elected President. They were having a private party that night and she was organizing some people to attend. I was young and heart-broken so it was the perfect cure to my wallowing over my ex. I agreed for my friend to send this guy my number and as I was finishing off at the office, I received a call from a very long number, it had to be foreign – there were more than ten digits. This guy addressed himself as *Michael’s PA and he wanted to confirm details for the private party that night.
I was excited and confirmed that I would come through but I needed a wing-girl for backup or safety reasons. A driver was sent to collect us from my friend’s place to escort us to the venue. My insanely independent self, insisted that we were proudly mobile and would drive to the private destination ourselves if they could help us with the physical address. Needless to say, that request landed on deaf ears. To be honest with you, it was a bit exciting that some driver was going to pick us and we would be escorted VIP style to the secret venue. How can you blame us? These things only happen in Joburg – thank God Parliament is located in Cape Town otherwise we would have no fun at all.
A midnight blue Mercedes AMG arrived with a suited chauffer who insisted we sit on the back seat of the vehicle *winning*. We were whispering like little girls wondering where we were going. We drove past Camps Bay, past all the rocks and hills over the 12 Apostles until we saw a sign – LLUNDUDNO! Last time we were here was over December holidays. The car was allowed access by men who were dressed in those army uniforms and I swear those were rifles I saw them clenching firmly as we drove down the driveway.
The butler arrived to welcome us from the front patio entrance and as we walked into the house, there were these stairs that lit up as we took each step. I could literally hear my Zoom high heels having a Loughbotin moment right there and then. We were walked towards the veranda at the back of this mansion that had an enormous pool that overflowed into the beach plus… wait for it – it had a patio bed – AMAZEBALLZ!
We immediately got on the phone to gloat to our other friends who couldn’t come with us because they were tied up that night – to their men! *Losers*. Dinner was served and then we called it a night. We were escorted back to my friend’s place without a scratch.
The next morning the PA called again to make arrangements for another session with his boss but this time we were instructed to bring more friends. More options I guess *Kanye shrug*. It was a Friday night so we pulled out the party dresses and left for our night of glitz and glam. I was a bit annoyed to find that there were more girls at the house and they looked even thinner and hotter than us. They even looked like they knew what they were doing and we were clueless. I confirmed to myself that they were probably Joburg girls *hides*. But, a few minutes after we arrived, those girls were put in a cab and sent home – Thank Gawd! I hate competition!
However, I have to admit – I still didn’t know what was going on here. But hey, the champers was flowing so we had a private party. After dinner, the host started getting to the point with me. We all know what that means right? I was cornered and was “expected to give it up!” The shock I got! After he realized that I wasn’t game, he became highly aggressive and upset! I started blurting names of politicians that I knew and journalists who I would expose them to if they tried anything funny and that was the end of the night for us.
On our way home, this bloody PA called me again as he was highly annoyed by my behaviour as I had embarrassed and upset his boss. Here is what I recall of the conversation:
The PA: “So what happened? Why are you being difficult?
Me: “What do you mean?
The PA: “You breached the terms of the arrangement and upset my boss”
Me: *Shocked* “Excuse me! What terms and what arrangement”
This was it people, we were all just pimped by my good friend from Joburg. I immediately phoned another friend of mine to run a search in her foreign networks to find out who exactly these people were. She confirmed that she found out that these guys were in fact high profile politicians from out of the country and we had been organized as the “weekend entertainment”. A commission was paid to several parties for us and had we gone with the flow, we would have also received our fair share in monetary value.
I was beyond highly insulted, exploited and disgusted! But it was my own fault. All the signs were there. I mean, where was I going? I was also another “thandi’zinto”. My friends and I were lucky that the situation didn’t get out of hand. After all the human trafficking movies I have watched, I should have known better. These people could have drugged us, put us on a flight to Abu Dhabi and sold us as sex slaves for all we know. It didn’t help that I later watched the movie TAKEN the next day just to see how badly things could have turned out.
I decided to tell this story purely because you might think this thing only happens in movies. But, it happened to me and my friends. We were lucky. What is more dangerous are the people whom we call friends yet they sell us to the highest bidder without us even knowing about it. I never did quite understand my brother when he always said “Everything has a price tag” – but hey maybe he was right or better yet maybe bendithanda izinto qha! Thank goodness I am approaching 30 and am so done with these little girl spontaneous stunts all in the name of fun. Clearly even good friends from way back can be bought at the right price. So be careful out there…you never know who your Pimp-Mama might be.
Written by a Pimp-less DIVA!