Abapfubuzi: What lies behind the lavish lifestyle?

For more than three years now, Abapfubuzi (male prostitutes) have been notoriously known as home wreckers but are also credited with sexual prowess.

For more than three years now, Abapfubuzi (male prostitutes) have been notoriously known as home wreckers but are also credited with sexual prowess.

However, people do it for various reasons. Whereas some do it as a ‘profession’, others do it for financial gain and the women are also getting a much better deal, so to speak. 

 Young men are increasingly taking this road that has become a trend and divorced older women are setting up secret clubs with a specific number of people. The women are usually rich and operate in a discreet manner. 

The group

In the course of our investigation, I came across a lady who is a leader of one such group. Epiphanie (not real name) is a light skinned woman in her late forties who heads a group of 10 business women who seek sexual services from young men. 

 “It is not like I woke up one day and came up with the idea of looking for a Mupfubuzi. I was emotionally detached from my husband for such a long time that we spent a year without sleeping together.”

 Epiphanie moved out of her marital home but agreed with her husband not to cause a fuss by going to court to seek a divorce. Luckily, she had started some businesses from her savings from a previous job. But moving on wasn’t easy. 

 “There’s a bar in town where I would go and sit alone in a corner, drink alcohol and later go home. After three weeks, a lady approached me and said that she had been seeing me every evening and felt the need to talk to me since I never had company. She was friendly. 

 “In the course of our numerous conversations, I asked her if she was married and she told me she was divorced. One day, we were seated and a young man came and joined us and she introduced him as her ‘special’ friend. It was kind of weird because of the age difference. I left them after some time.”

 Epiphanie became so close to the woman that she felt like she was her only friend. 

 “One day I told her my story which was similar to hers and that is when she told me how she had moved on. I couldn’t believe that she could stoop that low and go for a guy young enough to be her son. The thought of getting myself a young guy didn’t even cross my mind.” 

 However, that didn’t last long. Loneliness took its toll on her and she decided to get herself a young man. Her friend’s ‘special’ friend threw a party where Epiphanie found five other women and some young guys.

 “It was fun and I asked myself, why not? That night I asked her if she could hook me up and she promised to get back to me. A week later, she called me and told me that she had a surprise for me. I immediately got goose-bumps because I knew exactly what the surprise was.” 

 She was eventually introduced to a young, muscular, tall and dark guy. She says that the guy was smart and respectful. 

 “That guy has changed my life and I believe I have done the same for him,” Epiphanie says.

How they operate 

It is not an easy group to get into because they are cautious of getting their hearts broken.  They look out for each other and stay close because they don’t want to be taken advantage of. They always leave their children out of the picture for fear of jeopardising their relationships. 

 “Unless a guy doesn’t want to be taken care of, each of our ladies in the group is independent enough to take care of a guy. If they are going to sort us out sexually, then we can also get them expensive gifts,” says Epiphanie.

 If a lady buys a guy an expensive ‘gift’, it is registered in her name although it’s the guy who uses it. Although people might argue that the men are treated like toys, Epiphanie says every lady is actively involved in her guy’s life. 

 “For someone to join, an existing member must know her background well and if she is actually divorced or has been disappointed by a man and is actually single. A guy will only be provided if a new member comes in to seek one. After getting her preference, the guys in the group take on that task,” she says.

 To keep their group tight knit, they host exclusive parties. 

 “It is a time when we come together and socialise, catch-up and have fun. It’s like a fraternity. So, whoever thinks Abapfubuzi break marriages is wrong.  They have re-built broken hearts,” she adds.

  It is probably understandable that these older women are happy but how about the young gentlemen who are bound by the strings attached to the expensive lifestyle? Do they hope to marry any of the ladies in the group? What about getting their own children? Are they happy and living a good life?

Tony, the Mupfubuzi

Tony (not real name), an insurance broker says he became a Mupfubuzi out of necessity to fulfill his responsibilities as the eldest child at home. 

 “I was introduced to this life by a colleague. He already had an old woman taking good care of him and I always wondered how much money he made to afford his kind of lifestyle. I would always ask him to lend me money. I used to confide in him and ask for advice since he looked well-off,” he says. 

 Little did he know that his friend was a Mupfubuzi. One day, over lunch, his friend told him that he knew someone who could help him with his financial troubles. 

 “When he told me, I gave him the “how is that possible” look. He said he would explain over a couple of drinks that evening. After work, we went to a bar around Muhima and ordered for some beers. Before we could even start talking, two women joined us and also placed orders for their drinks.” 

 Tony was confused with the presence of the women. After he had been introduced, he talked to them briefly and they left. After leaving, his friend told him that one of the women was his ‘girlfriend’ and proceeded to tell him that she was the financial muscle behind him. 

 “And then came the shocker! The other woman who showed up with my friend’s girlfriend was looking for a young man and I figured that the ladies had passed by to check me out. I couldn’t believe it when I heard his words. I looked at him like he was crazy. As I was still thinking about it, he received a call from his ‘girlfriend’ confirming that I was fine and that if it was okay, she would like to meet me,” Tony says.

That was in May last year. Tony was 29 years old and the woman 40.

 It was difficult for Tony to get a peace of mind. He had a lot of responsibilities; siblings to look after and a home to cater for; he couldn’t stop thinking about the proposal. Tired of being poor, he agreed to meet the lady.

 “We met at an upscale hotel in town and re-introduced ourselves. She is a dark skinned woman with dreadlocks and is older than me by 15 years. It was kind of weird for both of us since we were both new to the business. 

 “We went up to a room she had booked and we sat down to talk. She told me that she had been heartbroken by her husband and felt that young men were more stable since they were not that interested in young girls like married men,” he says.

 Although the woman hastily added that it was not a must to love her, she made it clear that he was to be hers and hers alone. He also shared his story with her over a couple of drinks that had been brought to the room but nothing happened that night. 

 “Our first real date came one week later when she asked me out for dinner. After dinner I went back to her place and that was the first time I slept with her. Next day, she took me shopping and we had dinner again. I could see the good life right in front of me,” says Tony.

 The lady has over a period of one year paid tuition for his siblings, moved him to a better house, and bought him a car plus entrusted him to run some of her businesses.

 Sounds like a beautiful life, right? But that is how far the beautiful story goes! 

Getting out

Fast forward, Tony met a young, beautiful, intelligent, hard working and funny lady five months ago and over that period, he slowly fell in love with the girl. 

 “I didn’t think it would turn out like this. I wish for moments when my lady friend can be out of the country or too busy with work to hang out so I can be with my new girlfriend. But I’m scared that it might get serious and I don’t want to cause any trouble,” Tony says.

 Tony thinks he hooked up with the older woman for a good cause but he feels guilty and blames himself for being so short-sighted and believing that it was a quick and easy way to gain riches. 

 “Instead of working hard and getting my own things, I decided to take this route and now, I can’t pull out. I’m in too deep,” Tony cries.  

 He says that the old women are dangerous and over protective compared to young ones.

 “If you cross her, she can actually do something that you will never forget. My friend and I are worried about the future. I don’t want to waste the young lady’s time but, again, I don’t want to let her go and I’m worried about what the older woman will do if she finds out.

 “I’m worried that if I leave this lady I‘ll lose most of the things I gained. Most of the property is in her names and the property that is in my name is not valuable. She is powerful and has connections in big places and it wouldn’t be difficult for her to find me if I decided to disappear,” he says.

 Apart from that, Tony is worried about his future.  

 “My biggest worry is that we can’t even get married or even have kids together.  Actually, I can’t marry anyone because anyone who comes in close proximity might be threatened or harmed. Will I die a bachelor? I can’t tell now but that dream to me looks like it’s long gone.”

 Tony’s case might be argued as one of ignorance, greed and laziness; however he is not the only person taking this ‘short cut’ to a good life. Many are taking this route and have different categories they belong too.  

The Abapfubuzi categories 

Professionals: The guys in this category don’t care about the number of women they sleep with as long as they are paid. One client can refer him to another and the chain continues.

 The other group is made up of people like Tony who are attached to one woman but for the benefit of financial gain. 

 The third group has people who secretly hook up with married women but also keep a girlfriend on the side. 

 The last group is made up of people who naturally love older women.