Sex, Lies, Sponsors, and Scholars: Student Prostitution in the 21st Century…

Sex, Lies, Sponsors, and Scholars: Student Prostitution in the 21st Century…

Prostitute talking to a potential customer in ...

Prostitute talking to a potential customer in Western Europe

The fear of educational debt is now so tangible in the U.K that you could cut it with a knife, and feed pieces of it back to the Secretary of State for Education.

Okay tuition fees have gone up. I know this, because besides everything else I do, I am a full time student. Tuition fees for home (non international) students, have soared from around £3000 per year on average, to around £9000 per year.  Some students do not feel as though they can afford to take out the student loans to cover the costs, and then end up with large debts at the end of the 3-5 years of their degree programme. It would seem as though desperation is driving some of them into the prostitution industry, and all for the sake of paying their fees.

If I cast my mind back to the nineties, I can remember images of delirious young women in America, on the Ricki Lake and Jerry Springer shows, insisting that the only way they could put themselves through university was to have sex for money. It baffled me back then, and I’m still curious about the idea of it today.  “Go Get a job at McDonald’s” the crowd would jeer, but the young women, resilient to all reason, would shake their heads until their wigs fell off. Additionally, they were always wearing garish make-up and sunglasses in an effort to disguise their identities.  All to no avail, because anyone that knew them well enough, would know who they were, underneath the accidental Halloween costumes.  I’m guessing they returned to lectures on the Monday morning, to quite a few suspicious glances from people in the room.

We can compare those stories to what is happening now in the U.K. The increase in tuition fees and fear of debt is possibly what made young women in England seek financial assistance from an organisation called as Sponsor A Scholar. Judging from media reports, the company may have been in operation during sometime in 2012. It was set up by forty-year-old Mark Lancaster who posed as a scholar from a top British university.  He stated that he could match the young women up with wealthy “sponsors” that would pay as much as £15000 a year in scholarships.  In return the girls would have intimate liaisons with their sponsors. Lancaster “assessed” the women before he would let them join the books, and that consisted of taking them to a nearby flat and having sex with them, whilst he recorded it, with hidden cameras. What ever happened to exams as a form of assessment?

German Prostitute Italiano: Prostituta tedesca...

The women never received any remuneration from Lancaster or anyone else, because it was a fake company. Lancaster used it as a way of having sex with various women. He possibly observed the nation’s hysteria about the increase in tuition fees and guessed that young women would be desperate enough to sign up to his would-be organisation. He guessed correctly.  Since then I have heard people argue that, had Lancaster actually ran it as a legitimate company, he would have made a huge fortune. Something tells me that they are also correct.

Academics from Kingston and Leeds universities conducted a study into the student sex work phenomenon, across 29 U.K. higher education institutions and made a number of key findings. Lead by Dr Ron Roberts, it revealed that 6% of students (which could equate to around 149, 000 pupils, based on the 2013 HESA student figures) may be part time sex workers. According to The Independent’s Jonathan Brown, the research was published in the Sex Education journal, and stipulates that higher education institutions could be making up to £355 million annually, or £2.15m per institution, from the sex industry.

If universities are aware that young women are supposedly in dire straits, why aren’t they addressing these problems? Would it mean a temporary shortfall in their profits? Or perhaps, they don’t believe that there is a genuine issue. Perhaps they believe that students don’t have legitimate reasons to undertake sex work, and it is simply a lazy and easy way out of debt.

If students wilfully prefer, or enjoy sex work compared to other forms of labour, then that is another matter altogether.  That being said, I think we can safely assume that home students don’t actually need to engage in sex work to pay their tuition fees. After all what is the worst that can happen when you take out a student loan?

For a start you are only obligated to repay student loans if you are in a job, and earning more than £21’000 a year. Nor will you have to repay them, in the event of you needing to register a permanent disability.

According to, the average U.K salary for a woman is around £24’000 per annum. This amounts to a repayment of just £30 a month of student loans, as per the government’s repayment schedule. Now isn’t that a really small price to pay, compared to a lifetime of recurring nightmares, that remind you that you used to sleep with bald, sweaty, creepy old men to make ends meet? Because, rest assured, the men who are going to pay you for your services won’t look like Ben Affleck or Denzel Washington.

If in the worse case scenario, you pass away before you finish repaying Student Loans, they will cancel the debt. They won’t posthumously revoke your degree because you never finished paying for it. And you would have still have had the benefit of your degree and education, whilst you were alive.

In my mind, the tuition loan is a better debt, than taking out a hire purchase (HP) on a car, which many people in the country have no reservations about doing. I am guessing it is because people will see them in their nice cars first, and think about their qualifications later. The world’s economy is built on debt. Very few people are able to pay for their houses, cars, or even their holidays upfront. Many payments are spread out over the course of several years, or a lifetime, for things like mortgages. However people still survive, and I think that you will too.

Share your view!

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At What Stage Do We Call It Paedophilia?

At What Stage Do We Call It Paedophilia?

 Can you comfortably draw a line drawn between the desires of a paedophile, and that of an adult who marries a pre-pubescent child?

Think about it.

On the 30th May 2013, Mark Bridger was convicted of the abduction and murder of 5- year- old April Jones.

The judge, Justice Griffith Williams, told him “There is no doubt in my mind that you are a paedophile.”

In October last year, 47-year-old former abattoir worker, Bridger, was watching a film called The Last House on The Left. He paused it at a rape and murder scene. Fuelled by images of sex and violence, he left his house. He saw April riding her bicycle near her home, in Wales. He abducted her. Apparently he wanted to act out his sexual desires on her. Who knows what kind of lewd acts he made her do before he killed her? April is not alive to recount her experiences. April’s body would never be found in one piece, or even in recognisable pieces. His skills as a slaughterhouse worker enabled him to dismember her body, to the point of no real recognition.

Ultimately, Bridger did not look for a grown woman to molest, he looked for a primary school girl. There is something about forcing himself upon a child, whose body has not developed, and who has no real knowledge of sex, which arouses him. Psychologists claim that one of the causes of paedophilia is the absence of an adult sexual partner, but it is not as if Bridger didn’t have choices. He had been in relationships with at least four different women, and produced six children with them. Furthermore, a search of Bridger’s house by the police later revealed a collection of child pornographic materials, which corroborates his preference.

His is an apparently obvious case of paedophilia, so let’s move on.


The Bridger girls in new dresses - NARA - 285277

As a society, we are eager to lock paedophiles up and throw away the keys, but we are less vociferous about grown men marrying girls as young as 9- years- old. How is that any more acceptable? What is the difference in sexualities between Mark Bridger, and a man who pays a bride price in cash or live goods, for an unsuspecting child that he will take home and rape? Does it become O.K because he given her parents a goat in exchange for their daughter…Seriously?

In these instances the difference between paedophiles and adults that marry children, is just a question of semantics. In both categories, they want to sleep with children. People need to be as aggressive with those adults as they are with ‘paedophiles.’

Although underage boys can be married as children too, it is rare. Usually in developing countries young boys are normally kept within the family unit because they are perceived as having earning potential. Their families will educate them, and try to find jobs for them. Some of these families do not see earning potential in girl-children, do not send them to school, or work, and instead marry them to the highest bidder, in order to receive some form of remuneration.

According to Plan U.K, 14 million girls under the age of 18 are married off each year, across the globe. The prevalence rate in Europe includes 10% in Great Britain, 14% in Turkey and 10% in Ukraine. In certain parts of the world like Niger, Chad and Mali, the rate shoots up to as far as 70%.



Map of Niger

Map of Niger 

Mali, June 2008

A young girl in Mali 



I could say many things about the effects of child marriage on young girls, but I think Bernadine Evaristo encapsulates it best with a quote from her novel called The Emperor’s Babe in which an underage girl recalls her sexual experience with her older husband. ‘Legs straight, you like me tight, it is your size (and shame), you tore me unformed, drew blood before eggs ripened.’ She later states, “I’ll never fall pregnant for him […] I probably can’t anyway, he ruined me before I was ready.”

Was that harrowing? I thought so too.

You will probably freak out, but if we pay attention, we can water this phenomenon all the way down, and see traces of it in the way we live our daily lives. For example, in some cultures it is seen as preferable for a man to date a woman that he is older than. What’s wrong with a man just dating someone of his own age and (hopefully) intellectual capacity? Furthermore women are being schooled into thinking that they cannot have any body hair at all, unless it is on their heads or eyebrows. It is supposedly cool for them to have Brazilian waxes, and be hairless like pre-pubescent children.

Let us be real about this. There is something disturbing about the infantilised image of hairless women, shown in magazines, films and lad’s magazines (supposedly soft porn, for those of you who are unsure). Ask yourself where it comes from?

What is sexy about a woman that looks like a child? When you have finished asking yourself, then ask Mark Bridger and other paedophiles the same question…And see what they say.

At what stage does sexual interest in underage children become paedophilia? I say at any stage.

If it walks like a paedophile and talks like a paedophile, then it is needs to be treated like a paedophile…Goat or no goat.

* Some quotes taken from The Emperor’s Babe by Bernadine Evaristo, Penguin, 2002, I have no copyright.

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I Am Not Black, I Am Fair Skinned…

I am not Black, I am Fair Skinned…

What do you think about this?

Some weeks ago, On Naomi Campbell’s modelling TV competition called, The Face, U.S talk show host Wendy Williams interviewed a black model called Devyn.


Wendy: Is it hard to be a black girl model?

Devyn: I don’t really consider myself to be a black girl model. I mean, I know what my ethnicity is, but I’m fair-skinned and I feel like I have an international look.

English: Naomi Campbell at the Cannes film fes...

Supermodel, Naomi Campbell.

Naomi Campbell wasn’t happy about Devyn’s statement and Campbell was heard in the background saying things that I won’t repeat here. However, there are supermodels darker than Devyn, such as, Grace jones, Naomi Campbell, Iman and Alek Wek, who have all appeared in international shows for the world’s most popular couturiers. So what was Devyn thinking?

Her comment was considered to be outrageous, and it sparked controversy, but my guess is Devyn was just saying what many people think. I understand that dark skinned models have had to fight to get to where they are today, and she doesn’t want the stigma that is attached to it. I get that.  As far back as the eighteenth-century, prominent scientists such as Robert Knox and his peers, went out of their way to prove that non-white people were genetically inferior to white people, and for many years this was the hypothesis regarding race. If you truly want to depress yourself, you can read Knox’s paper called The Races of Men. Nevertheless, between slavery, colonialism, and apartheid society has been told that non-white skin is wrong, unworthy, unsexy, the opposite of angelic, doesn’t sell, blah, blah blah.  People read and watched those disseminated messages, until they believed and internalised them.

Internalised racism. How about that? Racism against yourself.

It is one thing to succeed in colonising a country, but when you have successfully colonised a mind, you have succeeded indeed.

Sandra Laing’s life story is an example of a family that never came to terms with its apparently black heritage, and it eventually tore them asunder. Sandra was born in apartheid South Africa in 1955, to two white parents. Sandra however, had afro hair and darker skin.  The white middle classed, pro apartheid society that she lived in, considered her to be black, and her father had to undergo a blood typing test to prove that she was his daughter. I saw the biographical story, and I personally believe that he had love for her. He worried about her wellbeing, drove her to school on her first day, held her hand, consoled her…All the things that a loving father would do. But there was something sinister about this love, because her parents could not accept that she was black. They loved her on the condition that she must think herself white, and learn to behave like a white person. How does one do that?

At one point Mr Laing took his case to court and fought a legal battle in order for Sandra to be reclassified as a white person, so that she could attend an all white school. Her parents sent her on a series of dates with white boys, in order that she could be assimilated into the white Afrikaner society. The experience with the first guy she dated was just plain awkward. The white Afrikaners in the restaurant that they went to, made it clear that her presence, or her black presence with a white boy, was unwelcome. She eventually excused herself, went to the ladies bathroom and climbed out of the window to escape. (I would have just opted for the door.)  She was driven home by one of her father’s black labourers, whom she later fell in love with. This was when her father’s love began to run dry. He didn’t seem as if he would tolerate her copulating with a black man, and at one point, Mr Laing loaded a gun and began shooting at her lover.

Sandra became pregnant and was made to choose between her parents and her boyfriend, she chose her boyfriend and moved to Swaziland with him. Whilst Sandra’s mum made some effort to be reconciled with her, Mr Laing disowned her. Sandra married the black man who later divorced her for being a ‘white curse’ on him….You just can’t win can you?

According to the ‘one-drop rule’ it only takes one drop of blood, somewhere in you, for you to be classified as black. We are what we are, and I think that there was black blood somewhere in the Laing family lineage. If her parents could have accepted that, they would have saved themselves a lot of strife.

Mr Laing died before meeting Sandra again, and when Sandra finally traced her mother, years later, Mrs Laing was also dying. An entire family was destroyed.

Personally, I think it’s a sad day when anyone, black or white, has to negate their heritage, either because they don’t feel comfortable with it, or because they have been made to feel uncomfortable about it.

Knowing who you are has to be the best thing that you can do for your self-esteem.

I’m not sure about you, but I always find myself drawn to people who are comfortable in their own skin.

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Death Becomes Them: The Gay and Lesbian Witch Hunt…

Death Becomes Them: The Gay and lesbian Witch Hunt…

English: Gender symbols for homosexuality (les...

Presenter-So are you telling me that if you see gay people here and you know they’re here, you will burn them?

Steven-For sure I’ll burn them…I don’t care even if it’s my own brother, my own son, I will burn him.

This is Mtwapa, Kenya, 2010. Steven is the speaker for an angry mob that are looking for some men that the national media have ousted as being gay. The indignant gang are waiting for an opportunity to kill the gay men and rid the community of their illegal and apparently inhuman shenanigans. You can be sure that all sorts of illegal or immoral activities take place in the community, such as theft, murder and child marriage, but none of those illicit such emotional responses as that of homosexuality. Kenya isn’t isolated in this matter and homosexuality is illegal in Sudan, Tunisia, Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria, and the list just goes on. There are also disparities in terms of law, which I presume are based on culture. In some of the aforementioned countries, sex between two men is prohibited, but between lesbians it is perfectly legal.

I doubt that the men above would have raised an eyebrow, had several women been ousted as lesbians. I presume that they would have located some cameras and sought to document the evidence for their own personal gratification. But should members of the lynch mob have time for all of this? One in two people in Kenya live in complete poverty, and certainly, several members of that mob wouldn’t have had the privilege of regular meals, sanitation or clean water. Under these circumstances you could be fooled into thinking that they would have more pressing issues to consider than policing the lives of homosexuals.

Thousands of miles away, in Nebraska, United States, a woman has her house bombarded by a group of men that physically attack her. By the time it is over she has sustained severe cuts all over her body and her home has been doused with oil and set on fire. It happened for one reason only. The fact that she is a lesbian. How can those men justify the vindication? In the U.S. Jay and Young 1979, conducted a study revealing that 40% of gay men and 39% of gay women had attempted or seriously thought about suicide, at some time or other. No doubt that it is a direct result of the harassment that they receive.

Having worked in social housing in London, I witnessed first hand the hate crime that LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans-Gender) people were subjected to. Faeces posted through their letter boxes, physical assaults, and other forms of social recriminations. The victims came to our offices seeking refuge or some form of anonymity. The notorious case of 11-year-old Damiloa Taylor who was stabbed near the North Peckham housing estate in 2000, struck a chord with many people across the country. He bled to death 30 minutes after the attack. Before his death, Taylor had suffered vicious and sustained homophobic attacks at school by a group of boys. Ultimately, the 11-year-old boy may have been killed because the bullies thought he was gay, though there has been no evidence to suggest that Damilola was actually gay.

President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, with...

Back in Kenya, the stigma of being gay has driven a young man called Melvin into hiding. When his family discovered his sexual orientation they reportedly whipped him and cast him out of their community.

As fierce as his lashings may have been, they weren’t loud enough to conceal the voice of Bishop Julius who was busy declaring that…

The sodomy people, the homosexuals are even more stupid than dogs. There is no female dog that mates with a female dog, or male dog with a male.

The government and church leaders in Kenya blame all traces of homosexuality on western colonisation,  in-between denying its existence in their country altogether. Melvin knows that it is a lie, he turned to prostitution  to support himself and his young sister and receives 3-4 male clients per night. Because Melvin cannot access healthcare without fear of attack, he continues to spread his HIV to all the men that he sleeps with for money. This is also because the men demand and pay him more for unprotected anal sex.

Many people despise homosexuality, and their reasons may be cultural, (they are entitled to their opinions), for others it is biblical (we all know or have access to what is in the bible or Quran etc). We know.

I am not here to act as an advocate for gay and lesbian people, but hatred of homosexuals does not excuse whipping, attacking or killing them. There is no need for anymore physical action. We have heard you loud and clear.

*Some quotes and scenarios refer to Africa’s Last Taboo. Copyright, Channel 4.

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Usain Bolt Is More Than A Champion, He Is The People’s Athlete


Usain Bolt is More Than A Champion, He Is The People’s Athlete 

Diana was the people’s princess and Usain Bolt is the people’s athlete.

Elated after his 100 metre finals win in London, the lightning Bolt paced around the track, sauntered in front of fans and then finally threw himself into a crowd of well-wishers. It was literally history in the making.

To be able to run a 100 metres in 9.63 seconds is an achievement that other sprinters can only dream of, and you could have flown a plane in the distance between him and his competitors at the finishing line. After the race, fellow 100 metre participant,  Richard Thompson of  Trinidad and Tobago could not help but state that Bolt was “the greatest sprinter of all time.” But I believe that what Usain Bolt has going for him is his humility, generosity of spirit, and child-like willingness to embrace his people.

Birmingham and Jamaica sign 2012 deal

Birmingham and Jamaica sign 2012 deal (Photo credit: Birmingham News Room)

When Bolt swaggered into the 2012 opening ceremony bearing his country’s flag not just Jamaica, but the whole world became unified in acknowledging him as the greatest sports personality of our time. No other athlete’s presence conjured as many cheers as that received by Usain Bolt. As the camera panned across the rest of the Jamaican team that were walking behind him, anyone could concede that they were completely happy to have him as their leader, and respect from your peers is respect indeed.

During an interview after his win, the U.S national anthem began to play in the background as Sanya Richards-Ross, winner of the women’s 400 metres final stood to  receive her accolade. The interviewer tried to speak through the anthem, but Bolt promptly stopped his interview, leaving the interviewer to wait as he stood in silence in respect of the U.S. anthem, until it was over, and then continued his interview. This can only be defined as sincere humility coupled with true sportsmanship.

Nevertheless, amidst, the worldwide acclaim and scepticism,  Bolt’s focus was always fixed on success and in the same interview he remarked, “It was all about business today, I came out  to defend my title and that’s what I did.”

100m: Usain  Bolt

100m: Usain Bolt (Photo credit: Sum_of_Marc)

Not many sportsmen are as quick on the uptake when it comes to utilising their fame and success to help others. Bolt on the other hand has wasted no time in setting up the Usain Bolt Foundation in Jamaica. “Creation of Opportunities Through Education and Cultural Development,” is the mission statement of his organisation. To date the foundation has spent $4 million to renovate a dilapidated health centre in his birth parish, built state of the art facilities in local schools and Bolt himself has spent time and energy with the young people that the foundation nurtures.

At times, Jamaica has been plagued with some negative publicity, as with many other third world countries. Usain Bolt has silenced the critics and proved that greatness can and does emerge from their country.

Bolt’s recent success at the 2012 Olympics was timely, as it came just hours before Jamaica was due to celebrate its 50th year of independence from the U.K.

There are many Jamaicans waving their flags because of Bolt,  but it has to be said that he has made so many other countries proud. I speak for millions of people around the world in wishing him and Jamaica the best of luck in all that they do.

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Marrying Into Class: Are You Too Poor to be Posh?

English: London's Regent Street

Marrying into Class: Are You Too Poor To Be Posh?

The summer heat may have been clouding their mind-sight as 24 single young and attractive women of all races, cultures and creeds, queued up to introduce themselves to one apparently eligible man. Attractive as the ladies were, they were also very ordinary, and their professions included a mental health nurse, a stripper and a single mum.  They were black, white and Asian, Christian, Muslim and Atheist. They all had one thing in common, a desire for an affluent lifestyle.

The women were somehow selected to vie for the affections of a 23-year-old Romeo, with the hopes of winning and entering into a relationship with him. The said Casanova,  flies his own helicopter to Paris, drives around London in a red Lamborghini, was born into money, educated at Eton and Made in Chelsea. A few years ago, Spencer Matthews wouldn’t have looked twice at these women, but apparently everything is changing.

Up until now social stratification had us believing in class denominators. Upper class, middle and lowest of all, (cringe as you say it) working class. Only 1-2% of the entire human population are regarded as belonging to the upper classes, and those people are usually perceived with a degree of contempt. They are the ruling families, titled people, and those within former religious hierarchies. You were born into your class, and there wasn’t too much opportunity for social mobility, if you were really lucky you could work your way up from working class to middle class.

Although you may resent the upper classes, a tiny part of you would be happy to live their rather comfortable lifestyle. Personally, I would be happy to have a huge estate, a butler, and a bank account with a bottomless pit.

Today the doors are opening for working and middle class people to marry into any class they want to. But is it important? And why should we care? People often think that those from the upper classes are more important or intelligent than everyone else, and I personally think that such notions are ridiculous.

Being upper classed just means you were born into inheritance, usually in the form of land and estates. It does not mean that you have achieved anything through your own attainment. You don’t even have to have anything going on between your ears. You can have a title and still sit in a huge estate that you cannot afford to pay the bills for, and there have been instances of this.

English: Wedding of Prince William of Wales an...

English: Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When the world became ecstatic  that Prince William married Kate Middleton, it wasn’t just because she was a nice girl. No. Prince William is upper classed, and Kate Middleton is middle classed. She is a descendent of coal miners and the daughter of a former air hostess and former RAF pilot. She gave women all around the world hope that they could marry into aristocracy, regardless of where they came from. And why not? After both attending St Andrews University, William and Kate are on par with each other, at least in terms of education. Kate’s ancestors were working class, but they moved up with hard work and entrepreneurship, and now they are a part of the British aristocracy.

For those of you who want to marry Prince Harry and become a princess, head to London’s west end, I hear that he is regularly falling out of nightclubs including the Arts Club in Mayfair. Social mobility is on the increase, meaning that you have the opportunity to be in the social class that you have always dreamed of.

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