Of the gigolos and the ‘get rich quick’ mirage

The journey of life is strewn with shocks and surprises, so they say. There is always a first time for everything but there is a ‘first’ that always sticks; the sweet memory or nightmare that lasts for a life time.
Paul Ntambara
Paul Ntambara

The journey of life is strewn with shocks and surprises, so they say. There is always a first time for everything but there is a ‘first’ that always sticks; the sweet memory or nightmare that lasts for a life time.

I have experienced many ‘firsts’ in life but by the look of things, it looks like they have become many and are now outcompeting each other.

The recent first is not so palatable. I had to cut short my visit to a nearby restaurant and bar because of what I deemed as ‘unbecoming’ behaviour of some male patrons; they were not looking to date women but men like me, I stormed out in protest!  

This is the distorted world that we live in, people are doing the unthinkable.  Gone are the days when stories about different forms of sexual perversion, drug abuse, teenage drinking and sex trade seemed mind-boggling. It is all right at our doorsteps.

A lot seems to have gone wrong under our watch. It is time to wake up from our slumber as individuals, families, communities and nation.

This paper, in its last few investigative articles, has brought to the fore the underworld of drugs and sex. The findings are shocking; we are talking about an organised gang of people peddling drugs and sex in the name of earning a living.

I don’t want to sound like I am surprised, you shouldn’t too. Prostitution has been described as the ‘world’s oldest trade’, but it remains illegal, at least in Rwanda.

And as the years go by the ‘trade’ has taken a new trend, unsuspecting juveniles have been forced into the business, and many have been left with harrowing stories to tell as this paper reported.

But it is the new entrants in the trade; the male prostitutes that I will dwell on. This paper in article, ‘Abapfubuzi: What lies behind the lavish lifestyle’ brings, in minute details the story of young men who have decided to put their lives on the line in a bid to lead a lavish lifestyle.

Again, we have always heard of married women who lure young men into sexual relations. The difference today is that we have able bodied young men waiting to be paid to have sex with older, many times, married women.

We are talking of two well organised groups on both ends; demand and supply.

The big question is how did we get here? Who is to blame for this moral breakdown in society?

Some will be quick to blame this on poverty but I beg to differ. It is the ‘get rich quick’ mentality that is luring young men into this rather immoral activity.

We have young men who want to get rich overnight. They want to wear the best clothes, drive the best cars and live in upscale residences but are not willing work to get there.

This moral breakdown will take families, communities and the nation to fix. From church and mosque to the shrine, the message should be clear; success comes out of hard work, there is no short cut. Engaging in sexual immorality as a way to success is a mirage.

Also, this paper, on August 11, reported that about 50 people had defaulted on loans given under Hanga Umurimo – a government initiative that seeks to help create 200,000 off-farm jobs every year and wealth.

The interesting part is the reason advanced by officials to explain this default –they blamed it on ‘charity mindset’ on the part of the recipients.

In essence, the defaulting beneficiaries took this as a donation from government. It is all in the mind just like the desire to get rich quickly with little effort as is the case with female and now male prostitutes.

There is no quick fix to this problem; it will take painstaking work to root out. Society must denounce it and speak out against it. The message should be that it is possible to earn a living the RIGHT way.

A number of stories have been published in this paper about former prostitutes who have gone on to engage in more rewarding income generating activities.

This is a community problem and it will take a community to stop it.

The writer is a Foreign Resident Correspondent in Beijing, China

Twitter: @haliri

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