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The sugar daddy and Ben10 (toyboy) phenomena are rife and seemingly here to stay, if the conversation by youth in Phoenix is anything to go by.

The youngsters, who were part of a focus group led by the DA, observed that in their communities one of the reasons why people entered into these relationships was to fund drug habits.

Others said it was a way to maintain a lifestyle.

“Life is about style. If it’s stupid, I will realise that later,” quipped one of the youngsters during the discussion.

Among the women, unemployment seemed to be the main reason for them turning to sugar daddies.

Nomthandazo Gushu, 20, of Amaoti, just outside Phoenix, said that, if she was offered R1 000 to enter into a sugar-daddy relationship, she would.

“The jobs aren’t there. Why must I refuse R1 000? I am not working, and I can’t find a job.”

She said she would not entertain a Ben10, though.

“I wouldn’t waste money to buy a boy nice shoes or clothes,” she said, if she was ever in a position to afford to so so.

She would rather give the money to those who needed it.

Nicole Graham, the DA councillor facilitating the event, said she found it interesting that both boys and girls were being taken advantage of.

She said that, while the youth acknowledged the advantages of these relationships, they also knew them to be wrong.

“Overwhelmingly, young people feel there are no opportunities.”

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- Sunday Tribune