At the beginning of this year, a twenty years year old socialite, Karabo Mokoena, was burnt to death by her boyfriend.
Bare documents what may have led to her demise and also to many other unnamed young ladies that are seduced by the flashy lives led by others on social media, with posts about expensive trips, clothes, fancy food and numerous lavish gifts seduce young girls into a life of being kept women for so-called ‘Ministers of Finance’ or #Blessers, or more commonly, known as sugar daddies.
In the book, the protagonist is told the words; “Relax; all you need is a Minister of Finance in your life, someone who will support your desires” by one of her friends, which is a sentiment we see echoed in many a young lady’s life.
Bare is a story of Treasure, a naïve dreamer who leaves her dysfunctional home and walks straight into the greedy heart of Johannesburg, a city disguised as one where dreams come true and she chases fame and a happy ending which is only shown to be an illusion.
But, building a life in a big city doesn’t come easy and Treasure watched the tall buildings, fancy cars and well-dressed men and women zoom past as they drove north through the city. She thought designer shoes, beautiful dresses, and weaves and asked how she can fulfill all that she desires when she hasn’t started working.
Treasure is taken advantage of by all the men around her for their own selfish needs and this has the effect of chirping away her self-confidence and esteem. Her father’s abuse of her mother and his power over their family, losing her virginity, being gang-raped at a club, and also being raped during model casting. All these tragedies lead her to literally sell her soul to a powerful man several decades her senior and married, one who gives her the lavish lifestyle she craves but he slowly owns her life by taking each piece of her soul.
The author, Jackie Phamotse, highlights why Treasure couldn’t resist money and the power it brought and the reason why she chose to stay in a toxic relationship and with a man that was not capable of loving her the way she needed.
While reading, I came to understand why the character made the decisions she did. I found that I could relate to a lot of what she was thinking.
I applaud Jackie Phamotse for writing a book that is socially relevant and sparks the conversation on what really goes on before and after that fly photo with the fabulous dress and the fancy food has been taken and posted for millions of followers to like and retweet.
This review, of Jackie Phamotse’s Bare, was written, for Turn The Page Africa, by Mable Amuron.
You can purchase copies of the title by following this link Bare.