Are Young South Africans Really Renting Bottles At Top Night Clubs Around The Country?

The game of Intsa Lies for Insta Likes has reached new levels. Is this the final one?

Living in a time of internet hypervisibility means that sometimes things are done purely for the ‘gram. We have perhaps all dabbled in this at least once (some maybe more than others).

And by that I don’t mean in extreme forms, but for example, creating a fragrance flat lay captioned “today’s scent” when you really didn’t even leave the house that day. A harmless white lie that didn’t cost you a thing.

But as the viral 2017 ad campaign #DitchTheLabel revealed, thousands of social media users are living under pressure to portray a certain agreeable, aspirational lifestyle on Instagram, resulting in a cycle of Insta lies for Insta likes.

The campaign highlighted one the most common Insta lies; “Going all the way to Starbucks, buying a coffee and opening up your MacBook – taking a photo of your #WorkSpace, closing your MacBook and then going back home.”

However, social media pressure and the general pressure to peacock to strangers can manifest itself in more financially fatuous forms. This is especially if the environment you are constantly exposed to triggers the need for you to live up to a certain unsustainable standard.

In this particular instance, those environments would be night clubs – Gatsby-esque establishments known for a culture of superfluity, revelry and the strategic “product placement” of the female form.

It’s not unusual for people (heterosexual men) to spend up to a decent salary’s worth of money on unreasonably marked up alcohol, buying premium liquor that retails for about R500 to R900 in-store, for quite literally quadruple the amount.

We spoke to a former club promoter/music video model *Lisa who used to work at NYC, Harem, Kong and Booth in Joburg. She broke down the whole phenomenon of encouraging willing patrons to spend mega bucks in night clubs.

Hey, big spender!

This is what Lisa shared:

Club managers hire around 10 to 15 girls who are called ‘hostesses’ to work in the VIP and the VVIP sections in the club (this is where you typically find “big spenders”).

Basically, the hostesses generally hang out (dance or “look sexy”) in these sections and are then accosted by the big spenders.

“It’s the kind of job you have to be drunk for,” Lisa explains chuckling.

The girl will then spend time with the keen customer in question and play into the male ego’s need to buy expensive bottles of [alcohol] to impress women. There are no sexual favours involved in this process. Generally, the spender (who is usually a guy) will offer to buy the girl a drink, so her job is only to choose an expensive drink, which is usually champagne.

Of course, she would have to entertain the guy’s conversations and sometimes even dance with him, but there is no sexual touching or forceful behaviour involved. There are almost always bouncers in close proximity should the spender become forceful or touchy.

These guys are sometimes unaware that the girls’ job is actually to get him to spend his money, so he usually tries to impress her by spending a great deal of money.

Lisa goes on to divulge that the bills can “go pretty high, hey –  between R15 000 and R100 000.”