OPINION | Are we really going to sweep this slay queen issue under the rug?

08 June 2018 - 07:32 By Chrizelda Kekana
Author Jackie Phamotse speaks about the blesser/blesse phenomenon in her book Bare.
Author Jackie Phamotse speaks about the blesser/blesse phenomenon in her book Bare.

It's getting harder to differentiate between the slayers and the slay queens... between the roles models and the pretend models. And that is a crisis for the girl child.

In SA, TV became one of the sources which (black) people "benchmarked" their lives against. We had Generations and Yizo Yizo and in turn ended up having people like Karabo Moroka, real name Connie Ferguson become our role models.

"Our celebs" were not necessarily fancy nor were they perfect but compared to the new age celebs/influencers/slay queens... we were the last lucky bunch.

The 2000s on the other hand, not so much. They have slay queens aka new age prostitutes and fake deep celebs to look up to. A sad time for SA.

Please note that the term 'slay queen' in this piece doesn't refer to the one popularised by Beyoncé in Formation. Beyoncé speaks of a woman... a queen who secures her bag. One who dreams it and works hard, grinds till she owns it.

The slay queen here... is the one that refers to 'Dubai Girls' and the alleged Hockey Club members... the ones who are paid to "entertain" rich and powerful men.  The modern day prostitute. Found on social media... especially popular on Instagram.

A crisis. One that most of your faves are ignoring like a plague.

Which is an even bigger issue, considering the fact that it is a direct manifestation of poverty and the make-believe lives made famous by celebs? Slay queens are a result of a government and media that showed us where we’ve been and where we could be but ignored the how to get there manual.

There isn’t enough scholastic research into the slay queen phenomenon so this is opinion by observation. The most we've discussed this topic so far was in the aftermath of Jackie Phamotse's book Bare, Karabo Mokoena's death and a few fleeting hashtags.

If you haven't thought about joining the slay queen parade at least once in your life...then you're probably not as a poor as you thought. I have... I know most of my peers have because we often joke about it.

"Yhuu the way school is so hard, finding a blesser doesn’t seem like a bad idea or I would do anything to live life like so and so’s Instagram life or why am I eating dry bread for dinner when my looks can get me food?"

Then we LOL… until your friend checks into Dubai and two months later is reported dead.

Just like crime, this new age prostitution aka slay queening is a two-faced monster. In SA it mostly all boils down to poverty. They are doing what they need to do to survive (cc. Cassper Nyovest’s Push through the pain music video)

But the people who should be starting a constructive conversation about this are quiet.

Most of your faves are under pressure themselves, sinking in debt for selfies in Cannes competing with slay queens. Even worse, they are apparently involved' and are being fingered as the very people recruiting young women into this life with the promise of a slaying life.

Why are we turning a blind eye? Why are we not asking them questions? Why are we not losing our minds? Why do we wait for them to be #Missing or worse #RIP on Twitter?

As deputy parent aka first born child in a black family, my siblings are my responsibility. I would lose my shi*t if one of them came back home with thousands of rand from an all expenses paid trip to Dubai.

This is everybody’s problem.

We ALL helped create the slay queen; the government, the media and the celebrities. Give the young girls the tools to be the slay queen Beyoncé speaks of. Give them a realistic successful to aspire to.

What is the use of all that influence if you can’t use it to help the next generation live up to their fullest potential?

We need to do better fam. This slay queen business is not okay.