Webcamming is relatively new in Africa. Most of the continent remains unconnected to the internet, or even to electricity. Also, laws relating to ‘moral’ issues and the conservative nature of society in most of the continent’s 54 countries act as impediments. Despite that, some Africans do now seize on the opportunity to earn a living via online sex-work.
An exclusive series of articles by Destiny Rogers and A. Muriuki on how webcamming revolutionised porn and on the people who work as sex broadcasters.
Pornography in Africa
Most African countries have strict laws against pornography. The continent also traditionally produced very little porn. Most gay porn advertised as African actually featured North or South American performers. A South African production house began supplying nude male photographs and some gay movies online almost 20 years ago.
Then about a decade ago, a foreign porn company began visiting East Africa to shoot gay porn. The low cost of talent no doubt compensated for their travel costs. US$100 goes a long way in most African countries.
However, the advent of camming sites changed everything. Some entrepreneurial Africans with access to high-speed internet realised webcamming could provide an ongoing and consistent income, instead of the occasional opportunity for a one-off payment from a visiting porn producer.
Some African gay cammers risk up to 14 years jail to broadcastIn most African countries with the high-speed internet that enables camming, homosexuality remains illegal. Despite that, facing high unemployment rates and low wages, some choose to take the risk. The main platform used by independent African cammers, Chaturbate, allows geo-blocking. So the broadcasters block viewers in their region from accessing their channel and take the risk.
However, websites that illegally record cam websites add to the cammer’s danger. Those mainly Russian sites certainly don’t geo-block their content. Therefore, in addition to stealing the cammer’s content, they place the broadcasters in countries where homosexuality is illegal in added jeopardy.
(For that reason all images showing faces in this article are of two South American cammers who legally promote their channel on Twitter and Instagram.)
Jeremiah on webcamming
QNews.com.au spoke with Jeremiah who pioneered gay webcamming in his country. He moved to his country’s capital from a remote rural region to begin university. He owned a smartphone and discovered cam sites while searching for gay porn.
“When I first discovered cam sites, I realised I could potentially make money by wanking online.
“In fact, the income proved so good I could afford to move from dormitory accommodation to an apartment of my own. That gave me the privacy to cam more often.
“Later, I ended up in a relationship with a student from a nearby country. I assumed he would despise me for how I made my living but when I told him, instead of despising me, he wanted to join me. So we then began camming together.
libre naked pic.twitter.com/xIRHXruuEp
— soldierkid (@jeimmy2031) October 21, 2019
“We were a great combination. I’m 100% top. He was 100% bottom. Though one day a tipper asked how much to see him top me, and the greedy bitch soon considered changing position for the right amount of cash. But I didn’t want the cash that much. While I have seen other cammers agree to do things they absolutely hate, I decided on my limits early in my camming career. I would only perform acts I actually enjoyed doing.
“Because of the danger of recordings, we restricted having sex to private shows, where only the person paying, sees that part of the show.
“When our relationship ended, I returned to camming as a solo performer.
“A gay friend, visiting to use my computer, came across my cam account. He then began broadcasting also with a large variety of male partners. Many of them went on to start their own accounts – some of them gay, some bi, some straight.
“However, for male performers, there’s more money in gay sex than straight. So the straight guys end up either having gay sex on cam – or pretending to.”
Happy day pic.twitter.com/iIQ9EJOhN2
— soldierkid (@jeimmy2031) October 28, 2019
The future of webcamming in Africa
So far as we can discover, no Africans have yet faced prosecution for camming.
However, most African laws have strict laws against not only homosexuality but also pornography and sex-work. That probably explains why there are no Ugandan cammers despite the country’s reasonable internet. It is simply not worth the risk.
Also, some African leaders, including Uganda’s Museveni, have proposed internet filters as in China and Dubai. However, Jeremiah told us Africans are nothing if not enterprising and cammers will simply move to using proxy servers to remain anonymous and bypass the filters.
In future articles in the series, we look at gay men and women and trans performers from countries like Venezuela saved from destitution by camming. We also examine the issue of ‘gay for pay’ where straight male cammers perform gay sex acts because gay sex scenes provide so much more money for a male performer than straight scenes.
For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.