They have been called the “sperm hunters”, a gang of beautiful women in Zimbabwe that travel the streets of Zimbabwe, having sex with unsuspecting, albeit willing men, and harvesting their condoms full of sperm.
News of the promiscuous crew has sparked fears of taboo rituals in Zimbabwe, where the men are preyed upon, drugged, lured and sometimes threatened into repeated bouts of sexual intercourse before they are dumped by the roadside.
“Now, men fear women. They said: ‘we can’t go with you because we don’t trust you’,” 19-year-old Susan Dhliwayo recounted in a Zimbabwe Times article.
The sperm is reportedly used in good luck “ju-ju” rituals.
In one recorded case of sperm hunting, the Nhokwara sisters and one of their boyfriends were charged with the bizarre crime of attacking male hitchhikers and harvesting their sperm for ritual purposes.
The sperm-hunting crew were exposed when they got into a car accident and 30 used condoms were found in their car boot.
The group is facing a 17-count charge of aggravated incident assault even though a woman raping a man is not considered a criminal offence in Zimbabwe.
In their defence, the women denied allegations that they were sperm hunters, claiming instead that they were simply hard-working prostitutes.
Whatever the reason, the men of Zimbabwe are wary. One woman told the Agence France Presse that she had recently pulled over to assist male hitchhikers who refused to enter her car for fear of being raped.
Semen has become a lucrative commodity in Zimbabwe, University of Zimbabwe sociologist, Watch Ruparanganda said, adding that now businessmen furnish street youth with a hotel room, booze and prostitutes and asked to hand over the used condom after the fact.
The rituals could be for anything from enhancing good fortune, boosting business or protecting criminals from police detection.
The Zimbabwe National Traditional Healers Association slams the practice.
“We believe that this is a form of witchcraft. So we are totally against the idea,” said spokesman George Kandiyero.
“It has really frightened people,” he said. “It has really brought in a bit of shock because normally it was the other way round, normally we know of men raping women, not women raping men.”
“We do not have the exact number of confirmed cases,” said national police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena of the phenomenon that was first publicised in 2009.
“These cases occurred mostly when the victims were hitchhiking and boarded private vehicles. We encourage people to use public transport.”