Striptease shows which were largely the preserve of a few clubs in upmarket Harare have become widespread with a number of clubs in high-density suburbs joining the erotic dancing bandwagon.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
As the country’s economic woes continue to affect many Zimbabweans, immorality seems to have become a way to eke out a living for some.
Striptease shows, which were meant for Thursday Ladies’ Nights sessions, popularly known as China Chemadzimai at classy hangout places in Harare, are now a common feature at most night spots dotted across the capital.
A random survey carried out by The Standard Style in Harare showed that most night clubs have been turned into strip clubs, where young girls dance in skimpy and revealing clothing.
Hapizen Plaza, a night club in Hatfield, is now popular with striptease shows where young ladies take to the dance floor in skimpy dressing.
“At times some of these ladies dance in their birthday suits. This place has become synonymous with these dirty dances,” said one reveller at the joint.
“I usually come here on Thursday night for these striptease shows.”
At first, the strippers could easily have been taken for a mere dance group as their outfits were short enough to attract attention, but long enough to cover the essentials.
However, as the night unfolded, the visibly intoxicated dancers started to slowly undress in erotic ways. They gyrated to the music, displaying their stuff and undressing in a seductive manner. From the look of things, revellers mainly men, enjoyed every minute of it. Two strippers took turns to exhibit their sexual prowess on top of one of the male revellers, much to the delight of the crowd.
Stripping shows were popularised by Londoners, a night club in Harare’s Strathaven suburb. The shows have spread to other spots like Tipperary’s, Holly’s and Private Lounge.
Night clubs and other beer outlets in high-density areas have also embraced naked dancing in a bid to attract customers.
Moonlight, a night spot at Makoni Shopping Centre in Chitungwiza is one of a handful of night clubs in the dormitory town which run striptease shows. Another popular spot is Mereki Liquor Centre, which is popularly known as Kumasofa in Warren Park D.
While striptease is all about dancing in a seductive and sexually suggestive manner, most strippers who double as prostitutes have taken the dance too far.
“I do that because I would want to lure some men who can go out with me after the show. I am getting a lot of men these days since the day I started naked dancing,” said a stripper at Moonlight.
Investigations carried out by The Standard Style showed that most strippers and clubs were not registered according to the Entertainment Control Act.
However, police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said it was not the duty of the police to regulate striptease.
“Police do not regulate strippers and striptease clubs because we are not part of the censors. Call the right people,” said Charamba.
According to the law, pole dancing and stripping are not illegal practices in the country — their legality stretches to the pre-colonial era to 1967 when the Censorship and Entertainments Control Act was enacted.
Under the Act (Censorship and Entertainment (Control) Act [Chapter 10 : 04]), raunchy dancers are, however, not allowed to practice without registering; they are not allowed to strip to complete nudity and are banished from having physical contact with patrons.
But, the regulation has proven an arduous task for the Censorship Board as evidenced by the proliferation of unregistered striptease clubs. Efforts to get a comment from the permanent secretary in the Home Affairs ministry, Melusi Matshiya were fruitless last week.
Beer outlets and night club owners are taking advantage of the laxity in law enforcement by engaging young ladies in strip tease shows, which are attracting massive turnouts.