Sunday, August 7, 2022

The life of cougars and Ben 10s

If you thought the cougar is a Western reality that has no place in Africa, think again.

Perhaps taking a leaf from American celebrities like Mariah Carey, Tina Turner, Jennifer Lopez and Halle Berry who shamelessly flaunt their younger catches, the Botswana cougar is on the prowl and not restrained from love and sex.

Lelentle Sedimo, 36, is one such cougar. Although snubbing the monikor ‘cougar’, she is proud of her relationship with her 25-year-old lover.

With an eleven year gap between them, the corny ‘age ain’t nothing but a number’ comes into play here. “If my boyfriend was older, it wouldn’t matter that much but just because I, the woman am older, people look at us oddly and gossip about our relationship.”

The two spend a lot of time together and even hang out in public. “We both enjoy eating out and occasionally partying together. We love each other and we are adults in a consensual relationship. Yes, I am older but Thabiso is understanding and mature. Actually, he is the one who approached and proposed me. When he told me his age a few weeks after our courtship, I was fine with it because I love him and the way he treats me.”

There is the stereotype that younger men only want money from their older lovers. Lelentle’s case is slightly different. “I have been with my boyfriend for over a year and he has never asked for money. He pays for dates except if I suggest we go Dutch. We both work and have our own separate rented homes and cars. Material issues don’t come into play in our relationship. The only issue has been my two children from a previous relationship, who are struggling to warm up to him. I’m positive they will like him as time goes by,” she says with a glint of hope.

Rethabile Motlou, 42, is not so positive about the experience. Divorced four years ago, slowly crawling towards 50 but still looking hot and sassy, this “diva” as she refers to herself, has never had a problem with suitors. Actually, men still drool over her and I notice this as we sit at a popular coffee shop for a chat. She has a dignified sexual appeal and the way she carries her assets would deviate the attention of any hot blooded male.

Rethabile has it all ÔÇô good education, a well paying job, money, snazzy cars, several properties and good looks. However, she hasn’t been lucky with love.

“I got married at 28 and was divorced in 2009 due to irreconcilable differences as we divorcees put it!” she says laughing.

However, she wasn’t prepared for the struggle of finding a new partner.

“I was carefree and went on many dates. Younger men also asked me out. I dated three, one who was a 35-year-old businessman; a pilot aged 32 and an unemployed man in his mid twenties. I only slept with the latter and although the sex was mind blowing, I didn’t see him as relationship material as we had nothing in common. The other two were adamant that I am ‘too independent’. I don’t know what they wanted but I guess I am not it. I’m not keen on younger men now. They show me off as this ‘rich and pretty older catch’, which unsettles me. A man on my level and age wouldn’t do such things. I’m still looking but my eyes are cast above age 40…”

Thabo ‘T-bo touch*, 28, is a Ben 10 (a young man who dates older women). His reasons for this are simple ÔÇô “They have more money and are more experienced.” Thabo works at a large hotel and meets many women there.

“I am a tall, dark good-looking man with a toned strong body. Women are attracted to me but I prefer the older ones. They spoil me and are mature and discreet about their affairs. Most of them are divorced or single women. I have now settled with a 43-year-old woman. She is quiet and monetarily generous. She is also helping me start up my own business. She isn’t attractive or sexy but who cares?”

I eye him carefully with a questioning look.

“I am not trying to marry her,” he responds. “Obviously one day I will want to settle down but I won’t marry an older woman. I will choose from women who are my age or younger.”
So he also has contending issues about older women?

“As much as we can sleep and date them, we can’t marry them. My elders at home would take me straight to Sbrana psychiatric hospital if I took a magriza (old woman) home. In life there are some things you do but you don’t officialise…”

And there you have it ÔÇô the multi faceted life of cougars and Ben 10s, with all that attraction, flair, experimenting and proudly turning against societal norms, for gain or love. You live only once, right?

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper