Young Africans Who Want to Be Porn Stars
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Hundreds of youths try to escape poverty by going into Africa's porn industry. Few realize how difficult and unsafe it can be. By contrast, the largely Web-oriented African market is small but emerging. The leader on that continent would be South Africa, which hosted Sexpo, a public expo focused on all aspects of sexuality, in the second half of 2010. "The size of the entire adult industry in South Africa is said to be worth 60 million rand ($8.9 million), but that cannot be independently verified. It is probably the biggest in Africa. Nigeria should be worth about half of that," says Tau Morena, co-founder of Sondeza ("Bring it closer" in isiZulu), an African adult online network with more than 39,000 members (almost half of them South African) and an average of 7,000 unique visitors daily. No wonder, says Koh Bela, that some African youths see pornographic actors as examples of success -- all the more because some manage to earn far more money with one film than the average African does in a month. What these young people do not always know, though, is that big money is rare in this sector. Besides, the threat of human trafficking -- the third most widespread criminal activity worldwide, according to the United Nations -- is worrying in some countries.