Are female dancers prostitutes?

HARARE - Dancing to pumped up music, with skimpily dressed girls completing the colour, revellers at a night club recently seemed to be having a treat of a lifetime.

Men who had come in their droves, spotting the latest designer labels and driving posh cars “invaded” the up-market bar, turning it into a mini Las Vegas.

A female dance group in the club entices the men as the dancers shamelessly unleash the “greatness within.”

They surely turn their swag on, wiggling their bodies in scenes reminiscent of American movies and musical videos.

Such is the raunchy female sex dance group we find in local nightclubs today.

Back in the early 80s, it was taboo in Zimbabwe to see women in night clubs dancing to entertain men.Women who were known to work in night clubs were waiters and bar ladies and those who were seen dancing would be band members who entertained fans.

Those who frequented night clubs were seen as ladies of the night who would be selling their bodies.

But with time, tables have turned, and women have taken “dirty” dancing to the extent of being hired to strip and dance in clubs as a job and questions have been raised. Are these women entertainers or hookers who have adopted a new form of art to “catch” their prey?

Throughout the country female dance groups have emerged frequenting night clubs to entertain revellers with their raunchy sexy dances. They are often skimpily dressed.

In the yesteryear, there emerged a dance group called Mambokadzi which took people by storm.

The group was made up of eight women who used to dance with sungura musicians like Alick Macheso and Gift Amuli among others.

While they shook their booty, half naked, entertaining revellers, some people were of the belief that some of them were soliciting for sexual engagements with patrons.

The emergence of Mambokadzi witnessed the birth of many other dance groups which include Casamoto, Casablanca, Girls la Musica and Girls la Ghetto with recent hot acts in Beverly Sibanda affectionately known as Bev and Noleen Sifelani aka Zoey grabbing the lime light.

Bev’s manager and director of Dancers’ Association of Zimbabwe (DAZ) Hapaguti “Harpers” Mapimhidze said female dancers were just that and not prostitutes because dancing is their profession.

“There is nothing like that because dancing is a profession just like any other professions we have in this country,” said Harpers.

“We have 45 female dance groups and these people are professionals not prostitutes. The problem is female dancers are down trodden and taken like people who are not educated, but they are not prostitutes as many people would want to view them,” he added.

Some women in night clubs have been arrested on the pretext of reportedly loitering.

However, loitering refers to women who will be soliciting for sex, but in recent weeks, even innocent patrons in bars have fallen victim to the police raiding bars.

Some dance groups have been arrested for indecent exposure despite having been licenced by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.

Zoey says her duty is to entertain revellers not soliciting for men.

She told Eyeshot that her business was to entertain revellers — nothing more.

“As for me and my group, we do not look for men, we are professional dancers,” said Zoey.

“When we are on stage we will be at work just like any other person. It is all about entertainment, so when we do our dances and men are seduced that is not our fault that is why I encourage women to come and witness what will be happening.

“We are there only to entertain not to look for men. We have our boyfriends and soon after finishing what we do on stage we go straight home,” Zoey said.

Recently, raunchy dancer Bev was fined $100 for contravening sections of the Censorship and Entertainment Act.

The 23-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of violating provisions of the Act which prohibit “public entertainment not approved by the censorship board”.

Harare magistrate Donald Ndirowei sentenced Bev to five months imprisonment of which two months were wholly-suspended on condition she does not breach the Act within five years.
The remaining three months were suspended on condition Bev paid a $100 fine.

Dancers from Casablanca Queens were recently arrested before sunset at Khule’s Bar while Malaika Dance Group was also rounded up at City Sports Bar.

The Dancers’ Association of Zimbabwe has, however, been failing to protect members who are arrested daily despite most of the groups claiming to be fully registered with them.

Comments (2)

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