FIRST Lady Esther Lungu has touched on an issue society has been reluctant to talk about openly, but one that must be brought to the fore: the `blessers’ and the impact they have on society.
For quite a long time, society has openly discussed sugar daddies and criticised them for seducing girls, especially the school-going ones.
Sugar daddies target girls in secondary school, as well as college and university students by offering to pay up their bills.
Little has society been looking on the other side of the coin where women – especially widows – have been enticing young men to be their well-lavished partners.
Some women take advantage of their status of great wealth in society to reach out to young men who they lavish with all sorts of gifts ranging from vehicles to houses in exchange for love.
While it may be argued that there is nothing wrong with a woman to date a much, much younger man, there is everything incorrect with a relationship that is not based on genuine love.
The same measure of condemnation of sugar daddies should be extended to sugar mummies because this is abuse of the youngsters.
Society should not cast a blind eye to these relationships in which some young men have been turned into sex objects by women old enough to be their mothers.
Some of these young men may see this as easy bliss, but they must ask themselves for how long such ‘joy’ would last and what would be the long-term effects on their future relations?
These women pay for love, affection and company. But they surely must be old enough that you can buy such emotions. Perhaps they know this but are ready to live a make-believe world. They are living a lie and unfortunately, they are dragging the young men along.
These are not ordinary women. They have the wealth and contend that they can use it to sooth their feelings and hopefully have fun in their ‘old age’.
This is a sign that they are trying to overcome their disappointments from previous relationships, fears of being lonely and apparent shame of being single.
Whatever the case, it is wrong to lure young men, most of whom are desperate for a ‘good life’, into the embrace of their dream world.
Some are chief executive officers, others high-profile women in society.
While some could have found themselves in this situation of hunting for young men as a result of being divorced or widowed, some are married but cheat on their husbands with young men.
These young men could argue that these relationships are far better than them leading miserable lives in which they can hardly afford meals and clothing, let alone cars, houses and holidays to exotic destinations.
The women capitalise on the young men’s socio-economic status, especially those that want to live big and show that they have succeeded in life.
The young men could also contend that they are old enough to get into a relationship with anyone, arguing that ‘age is just a number’.
Indeed age is just a number in a relationship, but only if there is genuine love and the relationship is cemented in a formal agreement such as a marriage. A loose relationship is a recipe for mental torture that could lead to physical harm.
As it were, some young men could try to be clever by using the ‘blessers’ money to entertain lovers of their age group, but these senior women are possessive and do not tolerate such ‘misconduct’.
There is also a high risk of spreading sexually transmitted diseases in such relationships. The young men’s ‘side chicks’ could be the victims or transmitters.
‘Blessers’ who are HIV-positive are likely to infect these young men, who will in turn pass on the virus to their innocent girlfriends or wives.
This may become a vicious cycle and will reverse the country’s fight against HIV/AIDS.
Young men who flirt with ‘blessers’ also risk being stigmatised by their peers and may find it difficult to marry when the good times end, as they always do.
‘Blessers’ are a reminder that the country’s moral values are under attack. What kind of a nation will this country become if its young men become victims of blessers?
Parents, guardians and communities should rise against this vice, which threatens the country’s moral values.
Parents and guardians have an obligation to be asking their children and dependants about the possessions they suddenly acquire.
It is time members of the community became brothers’ keepers by looking out at who is hanging out with whose son, brother, nephew. There must be honour even in financially dire times.
The desire for materialism, coupled with the current economic challenges, is tempting the young people to accept whoever comes along provided they will be given money and other material things.
The Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs has its work cut out following the First Lady’s expression of concern regarding this cancer eating up the country’s moral fibre