On Tuesday, 18 September Jackie Phamotse joined a panel discussion titled “Why are Africa’s ‘sugar’ relationships in the spotlight?” on the Al Jazeera’s flagship ‘new media’ programme, The Stream.
The death of Sharon Otieno, 26, who was a second-year student at Rongo University, Kenya, sparked the contentious debate over ‘sugar’, ‘blesser’ or ‘sponsor’ relationships, across the African continent.
Jackie Phamotse, author of ‘Bare:The Blesser’s Game’, pointed out that she was not surprised that morality was at the centre of the conversation as opposed to dealing with the brutalisation that occurred.
“In most cases when women go into relationships people tend to judge. It does not matter whether the male is young or old, as soon as a murder is involved they will not want to investigate the perpetrator they will change the narrative say what was she doing dating this older man” she said.
Phamotse’s book extensively looks at the nature of transactional relationships. She recounts a phenomenon she describes as “the Hockey Club” that also sometimes involves powerful politicians and is based on real-life experiences.
“When I look at the governor’s press conference I worry, the man shows no remorse he does not even allow the media to question him about the context of the relationship so that the public understands his involvement with the victim so that it takes away speculation” said Phamotse referring to the press conference that was done by Governor Obado, the accused, early this month.