In the local world of blessers, wealthy, middle-aged men lavish gifts and money on young women in return for companionship and more. But what happens when it all goes wrong?
Sexy new comedy ‘Blessers’, a topical and very funny look at the naughty lifestyles of Mzansi’s elite, is directed by Rea Rangaka and executive produced by entertainment entrepreneur Tbo Touch. The film stars Kenneth Nkosi in the role of Jacob Zulu, a business mogul who loves life and loves his family. But Jacob is lonely because his wife Michelle (Sonia Mbele) withholds her affection and his daughter Natasha (Six Nyamane) is a demanding brat.
Jacob was drawn to Michelle, a businesswoman who comes from a wealthy family, because she is smart and sophisticated, but she’s also distant and he feels isolated. When a colleague convinces him to get involved in the blessers world, Jacob decides to put his money to good use and find young women he can ‘bless’.
“Whatever your opinion might be about ‘blessers’ and ‘those who are blessed’, it’s happening all around us between generous older men and attractive young women,” says Nkosi of his character. “Men like Jacob know that if you want a beautiful girl by your side, you can pay for one. And really, what is wrong with a gorgeous young woman wanting to go to Dubai?”
But if you are a blesser, he points out, just remember that you are never in the selfies – those who are well trained know that the glamorous holiday pics are all about the girl. “They want to look like they are well-travelled and stir envy among their Instagram followers. The do that by becoming famous for being glam. And that’s why they want that pic of themselves on the beach in Bali.”
Like Jacob, a blesser is usually a powerful businessman, who is either married, or has no desire for conventional dating, and he has lots of cash to spare. The blessee, meanwhile, is normally an attractive younger woman who can't afford her luxury lifestyle.
The couple will usually establish a financial agreement early on. Some blessees ask for a monthly allowance, while other get 'expenses' in the form of overseas holidays and shopping sprees. A growing number of blessees are university students who get their blessers to pay their fees. They all demand the most expensive champagne and will drink it by the gallon, even if it gives them heartburn.
“Some want a car or an apartment,” says Nkosi. “But a savvy blesser know that that to always put assets in their own name, and not that of the young women. That’s because when she leaves you for a better blesser, you can get your property back.”
Blessees sometimes get bad press, because of the financial relationship with blessers, but the key difference between them and escorts is that they have a regular arrangement and usually get together several times a month. The arrangements are often mutually beneficial relationships with someone the women consider a friend.
Actress Six Nyamane, who loved her role as a slay queen, agrees that blessers are everywhere. “Just after I graduated, I noticed that many of my friends suddenly had designer clothes and gorgeous apartments and I was like ‘who are you people dating?’. It’s definitely not something I would do, but it must be fun to have someone give you all that lovely stuff!”
‘Blessers’ opens in cinemas nationwide on 25 October and is distributed by Indigenous Film Distribution.
‘Blessers’ is directed by Rea Rangaka. It is executive produced by Tbo Touch and produced by Rose Molefe and Malebo Manamela. The film stars Kenneth Nkosi, Sonia Mbele, Connie Chiume, Tbo Touch, Six Nyamane, Nay Maps and Khathutshelo Ramabulana. It was funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in association with Touch HD & Marketing, B&B Media and Azania Productions. ‘Blessers’ is distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution (IFD).