Porn hustler wants SA to enjoy sex
Johannesburg - While other people his age dream of following in the footsteps of moguls Patrice Motsepe and Tokyo Sexwale, Soweto businessman Kagiso Modise plans to become a mogul of a different kind.
Modise aspires to head a pornographic empire like his role model, US porn king Larry Flynt.
Flynt, who pioneered the business of pornography in the 1970s, was left permanently disabled after he was shot by a white supremacist, apparently opposed to pornography, in 1978.
Recently, Modise, 38, took his first steps towards realising his dream with the release of Soweto Sex Files.
But fearing that he might suffer the same fate as Flynt, Modise is careful about having his picture published.
“You never know. There might be people out there who think they own the rights to morality,” he explains.
Soweto Sex Files, which precedes last year’s first exclusively black South African skin flick, Mapona Volume 1, is the first pornographic film to be shot in the township.
But unlike Flynt’s mega-bucks offerings that are shot in stylish locations, Soweto Sex Files depicts the township’s rough and humble surroundings.
Budget constraints forced Modise, a former street photographer, to beg friends to transform their backyard garages into makeshift studios, with newspapers used to cover up stained walls, giving the set that unique kasi feel.
Friends surrendered their bathrooms to allow Modise and his crew time to shoot scenes.
And, unlike their US counterparts who use the f-word to express their pleasure, Soweto Sex Files’ eight actors use isiZulu and “tsotsitaal” words.
Modise says the actors were recruited via a website.
More than 50, mainly black African males, from across the country applied. The only strict requirement was that applicants provide their latest medical certificate.
“We do not discriminate based on the size of your member,” says Modise. “We don’t even look at the shape of your body. We want to portray reality.”
But filming was a headache - the cameras rolled from July last year until late January.
“None of the actors had any experience in acting. Sometimes guys would just go limp during a scene so we had to be proactive and change it,” says Modise with a chuckle.
When he told his parents and girlfriend he was shooting a pornographic movie, they were disgusted. “Sies!” was his elderly parents’ response.
His love for pornography dates back to his high school days when he would exchange illicit VHS tapes with his mates.
To him, pornography is simply business.
“Porn is not seasonal. It’s not like ice cream. Demand for it will never cease.
“Larry Flynt identified an opportunity and stuck with it, and today he’s running an empire. And he also did it at a time when America was very conservative,” he says.
According to Modise, although black South Africans are conservative about sexuality, their attitudes are slowly changing as a result of a growing black middle class, which is “open minded”.
He cites the recent opening of the first adult shop in Soweto as a case in point.
“We are slowly but surely moving towards an era in which a black person goes into an adult shop and buys a DVD and vibrator without being embarrassed.
“Naturally, blacks, just like everyone, are having sex but it is how we were raised that is different. We (blacks) tend to treat sex as a taboo,” he says.
But is it not dangerous to promote pornography in a country that is among the hardest hit by HIV/Aids?
“No,” he argues. “Pornography can actually be used as a vehicle to promote safe sex and spread the message about HIV.
“In this film, we adhere strictly to the use of condoms, safe sex. We are saying to people they can enjoy sex while also being careful.”