By KATE HALIM
Kelvin Akparanta makes money from sleeping with different women. In a video that recently went viral, Akparanta described how good he was in bed.
Curiosity led this reporter to his Instagram page where he described himself as Africa’s number one Man ashawo (Male prostitute). He also displayed a form that his prospective female clients have to fill to enjoy his services.
In an interview with Saturday Sun, Akparanta said that he prays before meeting a client because the world is evil. He also revealed some of his future plans. Excerpts:
How did you get into ashawo business?
I decided to make money from having sex with women instead of doing it for free. I am a professional in other fields too. The reason why I made that video that recently went viral is to help build my other businesses.
I am a professional graphics designer. I am a graduate. I studied Biochemistry at the University of Calabar. I am an orphan. I lost my parents when I was in primary school. My uncle saw me through school.
After school, the reality of the society where I found myself in hit me. I discovered that without the right skills, you couldn’t make it in this society. I started getting money from women.
As a sharp guy who knew what I wanted, I started to think of other legitimate ways to make money in this country. I love technology and using computers. I had a friend who had a computer he uses to play games. So, every night, when he is asleep, I use the computer to watch tutorials on YouTube about how to make graphics. After a while, I was able to master the art of graphic designs. I started making money from graphics design. At a point, people started referring me to others for jobs.
So far, I have done some big jobs. I designed for Calabar Festival. I have designed for Miss Africa Calabar and some big corporations under a company name, Box One.
The male prostitute thing was like a joke. I saw it as an opportunity to be famous. I define myself as phenomenal, smart and intelligent. I took advantage of an opportunity that presented itself to advertise myself.
How does your family feel about your prostitution business?
Some of them have been calling me but I have been avoiding their calls. They sent me messages saying I am spoiling the family name by saying I sleep with women for money. I responded to some and apologized. I told them that I didn’t plan for the video where I explained what I do to go viral. I let them know that I am an adult and I have my life to live. I tell them sorry about their family name but I still have to worry about my own name. As far as I am doing something that no one else has been able to do, that’s courageous enough.
How do you cope with the stigma of being a male prostitute?
Some of my friends ask me the same question all the time. I ask them how they cope with stigma of poverty. As long as I am getting clients and making money to fund my lifestyle, I don’t care about the stigma. Let the stigma be there. It means nothing to me. As far as I am living my life, I don’t care about the stigma of being a man ashawo.
How many clients can you handle in a day?
Some of the things I said in the interview that went viral were exaggerated. When I granted the interview, it was meant to show my comedy side. It’s not like I sleep with women everyday and all the time. With digital marketing, I have been able to grow my customer base in graphics designing. I have jobs to do everyday. I manage social media accounts for some brands. It’s not like the ashawo work is what I give 100 percent of my life to.
Sometimes in a week, I can have one or two clients to have sex with. I don’t really mind. The five thousand naira I mentioned in the interview was what I charged back when I started.
Right now, five thousand naira can’t buy me a shirt, fuel my car, and fund my lifestyle. That was meant to be humour. These days, I charge higher.
In a day, I don’t mind if I have one or two clients. I granted that interview four or five years ago. It isn’t a recent interview. I have played down on my prostitute business because I am trying to prove my worth to people. I am living my life now polishing my skills and making money from my talents.
Do you believe in God, what religion do you practice?
I am a Christian. I pray before meeting a client and before doing the do. I tell God to protect me and keep me safe from all evil. I tell him to save me from danger because I don’t really know who I am with anytime I meet a client. I remind Him that He is the Father of the fatherless.
Don’t you think your pastor and church members have watched the video where you talked about sleeping with women for a fee?
I am not very religious. I am sure some of them must have watched the video and they may be trying to reach me. I choose messages I reply to. I don’t give people the opportunity to tell me trash. They must have been messaging me. I know that some of them are the ones who are being judgmental about what I do.
There are some guys who sent me messages asking how they can join me in the business of having sex for money and I was shocked. Some want me to refer customers to them. I now know that many guys do the same thing I am doing but they are doing it in hiding. They are not bold enough to come out like I did.
The society is hypocritical. I tell guys to stop pretending because as a man, if you have more than one girlfriend, you are an ashawo. If you are a husband and you cheat on your wife, you are an ashawo. There is no difference between you and I. The only difference is that I get paid to sleep with women while you spend money to do the same. Stop the pretense. He who is without a sin should cast the first stone. We are all sinners.
Some girls have more than one boyfriend and they are abusing me, they don’t know that we are in the same business. I am outspoken about what I do and I make more money from it while these girls are still playing local matches.
Do you have a girlfriend, what does she think about what you do?
I have a girlfriend but I don’t want to bring her into this issue. We are cool.
How much money do you make from your prostitution business?
Like I said, that interview portrays my life five years ago. Whatever I make from ashawo business is side money. I use it to buy clothes and buy drinks for my friends. I don’t drink or smoke. I don’t calculate the money I make from ashawo business as my income. I spend the money on my wears because I need to look good.
Why don’t you drink or smoke?
Drinking is not my thing. I come from a good Christian background. Right from when I was a child, I was taught that smoking and drinking are bad habits. I don’t fancy smoking and drinking. I select my friends in such a way that none of my close friends smokes or drinks too. I don’t see a reason why I should drink or smoke.
The first time I took alcohol, I had impaired judgment. I like doing things when I am thinking straight. I don’t like blaming my decisions on something that I induced. I hardly go to clubs.
I am into artist management too. I have a comedian I am managing. They are the only ones that drag me to the club once in a while. I am not a social person. I don’t like going out. I don’t even like being in the presence of people.
Who are your clients for your ashawo business?
I have a general clientele. There are different women who demand my services.
What are some of the risks and dangers you face doing your prostitution business?
The very imminent risks are infections. There are some clients that won’t want you to use a condom to protect yourself. There are some clients that would to do oral sex and oral is not safe.
The other risk is safety. There are some ritualists and kidnappers who prey on people. You don’t know who is who these days. You don’t know if the client you are meeting wants to harm you. The fear of the unknown is the biggest risk in the business.
Have you had a near death experience in this business?
I was with a lady in Abuja and I don’t know what she wanted the condom with my semen in it for. She wanted me to hand it over to her and I refused. A gun was pointed at me. I put the condom in my mouth and pretended I swallowed it. I was scared to death that day. That is the only near death experience I have had doing this business.
How do you relax since you don’t like hanging around people, what do you do for personal enjoyment?
I am not a movie person too. I sleep off while watching a movie. I love my own company. Innovative thinking keeps me relaxed. I love it when I spend time with myself.
Where do you see yourself in the next two years?
I have a vision for 2023. I call myself Africa’s number one ashawo in the viral video and it was pun intended. I see myself as number one brand strategist. I really want to go fully into brand strategy. The video is not recent. I want to turn this negative publicity around and make a fortune out of it. There is always an opportunity in any negative situation. In the next two years, I want to be the most sought after speaker, digital marketer and brand strategist. That has been my dream even before that video went viral. I am also a writer. I have a book that will be published soon. I hope to maximize my talent to the full.
Do you have plans of getting married and having children?
Yes, I want to get married and have children. I love myself and I want to transfer the love I have for myself to my family. It might happen next year or in two years time.
What advice do you have for young men in Nigeria who want to make money but they don’t know how to go about it?
After that video went viral, I cried when I opened my DM on Instagram. Some guys were asking me what charm I use to get female clients; some asked if they could join me in the business. I was sad because I saw a big mental shift in the minds of Nigerian youths.
Some were calling me their role model. I tell them that I am not their role model. I tell them not to be like me. Apart from me being a male prostitute, I have skills. I have a career I am pursuing. For the people who want to be like me, what are they doing with their talents?
In that line of business, you will end up wasting your life. Don’t be like me. I don’t want to be your role model in that aspect. If you want me to be your role model in business, that’s fine.
I have to organize training for young men and when they come for training, I will tell them that prostitution is not the way to go. I know what it means to spend five hours of your life on a woman. It means you have wasted your time. Imagine how much they can accomplish doing profitable things.
Young guys should develop skills that will bring them money. They shouldn’t tow that road of selling sex for money. I have been able to turn my life around and it is possible for young guys to do the same.
They need to harness their talents and follow their passion. Where your passion and talent meet, that’s where you will maximize progress. I want to use the publicity the viral video has gotten me to impact the lives of young people positively especially those who have gotten a wrong impression from that video.