Had a reader letter on OneLove web site that disturbed me on so many levels it's not funny. He says:
I am a boy of 15 years of age, and am here just looking for sugar mommy or sugar daddy who can take care of me, i live in Ghana with my elder brother, so if u really want me u can send me a message on my yahoo ID ( ID deleted by me).
Thanks and hope to hear from u now…. bye.So here are my issues:
1. What circumstances would force a child decide that he's willing to trade sex with an older partner for material gain?
2. The consequences of sugar daddy/sugar mommy relationships on young people ( including the fact that the younger partner usually does not have the power to negotiate using a condom)
3. The age of consent for sex in South Africa is 16. So this boy is not even old enough ( legally) to be considered to be giving conset.
4. He gave out his Yahoo profile, making him an easy target for every paedophile who doesn't mind the issues I raised above to contact him.
5. Chances are, OneLove was not the only web site where he put his message. Which means, even if OneLove readers donot respond, someone else still has the opportunity to do so.
My opinion matters?
I don't think it does in the great scheme of things. And I'm always surprised, even chuffed, when people approach me and imply that I am influential as a writer/blogger or journalist. Huh! I'm not so sure about that, but I won't argue too much, just in case whatever gloss they see on me actually rubs on and stays.
Had a call from a representative of a well-known brand product asking me to host something that sounds like a focus group ( but more informal) where users would discuss the product. I have nothing against the product, though I don't use it. But one of my family members needs it, and occassionally buys it.
Knowing how stressed I can get when I plan to entertain, I had to turn down the offer to host, but I will attend. If nothing else, I will learn more about the product, make some new friends and establish a tenuous contact with the company. I'll tell you more about them if I end up blogging about the meeting.
The conversation inspired me to approach Mica Hardware, my favourite hardware store, and suggest that I blog about their gardening products.
It would be one of the most enjoyable, and easiest, blogging gigs I could line up because:
a) I already love gardening
b) I already use some of their products and would love to use more.
c) I love chatting and writing about gardening, and already talk about it here.
d) Setting up a blog on the issue, to link with their web site, would be easy.
BUT, it would be a professional relationship ( i.e. money and/ goods would change hands) and I'm not a horticulturist, or see myself as an expert in any way.
So I don't know if they could be convinced that they want a veg gardening blog or even if they did, if I 'd offer them value.
But it's good that the idea is out there. Also sent an email to a foundation that has expressed interest in food security, to pitch a project on gardening with them. Huh!