By Sylvester Munanjala in Lusaka Zambia.
R&B musician Camilla Decruz 21 (born Camilla Chandla) has warned young and aspiring Zambians in any sector to avoid sexual predators who appear as benefactors to help promote their careers. She said this could lead to all types of problems from getting infected with Sexually Transmitted Diseases to unwanted pregnancies that could blight their careers. She said this was very common especially in the entertainment industry because some men will promise anything to a struggling aspiring musician or model with the only condition that they sleep with them first.
In an interview with Iroko Magazine in Lusaka recently, Miss Decruz said “Upcoming musicians should be careful not to lead or indulge themselves in activities that will ruin their lives just for the love of their music career”. She said some rich benefactors have been known to use aspiring youngsters for satanic rituals when they initially offered to help promote their careers.
“Most people come to you all in the name of wanting to be your manager or sponsoring your music but all they want is to have sex with you or sometimes even use you for Satanic motives”.
Camilla who sings RnB in the local Nyanja and Bemba languages said she was warning aspiring musicians especially because she was personally a victim of this practice and had several experiences of this nature. Without naming names, she said a well connected and wealthy man approached her and offered to be her manager and help promote her career. Excited by the prospect, the man invited her to meet him in a local hotel which she did. She later noticed during the meeting, the man said he will be her manager if she accepts to sleep with him. She angrily stormed out of the hotel saying she preferred working without a manager than sleeping with a man to get one!
“ If I was able to go through that temptation and managed to escape it, how many more young musicians out there are actually falling prey to such vices?. These people don’t care about sponsoring your career, they just want to use you” she said.
She advised young people to work hard and they will succeed through sheer determination and not through favours from men she considered sexual predators.
Nandi Nthani, a DJ at Roots FM in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, observed that it is not only the rich and well-connected that try to take advantage of youngsters, but work colleagues and close associates. Like Camilla, Nandi said she had also been a victim.
“A colleague and friend in the media who had been there way before me and is well connected, tried to take advantage of me” She said. “He told me there was a documentary he was working on and wanted to use my voice in it. I agreed, but when we met to dicuss the documentary, he wanted to take advantage by enticing me into having sex with him in exchange for adding my voice in the documentary”. She refused the offer and walked away with her dignity in tack.
She had a warning for both young men and women who might fall prey to sexual predators who you can smell a mile off.
“For the ladies, don’t open your legs to anybody to help get you to the top. Even men too, don’t go on opening your legs for the boss ladies to get you to the top. Your talent will take you to the top” She concluded.
Sally Phiri 21, a Presenter and Journalist at Muvi TV called on Zambian authorities to introduce draconian laws that could help punish some of these sexual predators who were sometimes destroying the careers of youngsters.
She described advances from some men as ‘awful and heartbreaking’ and called on youngsters especially to beware and look out for the telling signs some people were more interested in getting sexual partners and not promoting the careers of youngsters.
“We are sexually harassed in many different ways. The way someone stares at you, the way they touch you, sexual harassing words and conversations they use etc.
To get round the problem, model Tadijah Antonio 21, decided to hire a female manager instead.
She said most young girls gain nothing from sexual predators and lose their
dignity, pride and confidence for nothing. Rapper Oliver Chibili aka “Pricetag” advised aspiring musicians to avoid selling their “souls to the devil”.
Camila Decruz began singing at 18 and will release her first album soon. She has two music videos on the market.