June 5, 1997


Dear Friends, Fellow Hokoers, Allies and Supporters

SWEAT (Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce) in association with Knights Gay Massage Parlour and Escort Agency invite you to attend the First Annual Hookers Masquerade Ball. The Ball the first of its kind is to be held at the Riverclub, Observatory. Cape Town on June 7th, 1997. Time: 20H00.

This fun filled celebration of whore pride and trade is promising the city sex workers and celebrities a high camp, fashion filled evening.

Amonst distinguished guests are real live whores, both male and female to hit the River Club in ravishing garb.. The gear ranging from couturier designed outfits (whispers from certain quarter reveal that Mama San is having a priavte designer put a fab outfit together for her) to real live dominatrixes in fetish gear (yep some clients are coming too), Sophia Foster a local Cape Town based singer and celeb, Cassandra a well known drag artiste of note, gorgeous, hnky male strippers and fabulous music.

Party attenders are encouraged to call Knights and book tickets to this zhoozh affair at (021) 434-0428.

"Apparently Mama San, SWEAT's own Agony Aunt, is making an appearance on Saturday night in a designer outfit, followed by two handsome barechested, leather clad male slaves" confirmed Shane Pink-Petzer, SWEAT's Programmes Co-ordinator.

"It promises to be a lavish affair, Virgin Airlines, Obz Cafe, Elaines Bistro, Patrick van Blerk, Zerbans, Charles Coetzee-Namaste', Kate Carlyle-Moonshine and Mustardseed, have been amongst prize donors for the event,"

He went on to say:

"The costumes people are going to wear sound amazing, we are expecting hundreds of people to dress up, a leather mans group has bought tickets and they are rocking up in full leathers, Mama San is coming in full regalia, Cassandra is going to entertain us with drag artiste' and the lovely Sophia Foster is making a special appearance."

SWEAT is the only community based sex worker organisation in South Africa. Receiving some fudning from the National AIDS Programme and the AIDS Foundation we are still short of money to adequately resource our organisation. Founded in 1994 we are still working with two fulltime staff members and we have only just taken on two volunteer fieldworkers who are receiving a small honorarium for their efforts (and I mean small). We have no administrator, no money to appoint a Director, no money to give staff a raise who have been on the same salaries for two years and a shoe string budget to tackle an ever grwoing sex industry as the economy plummets, HIV figures loom at more than 1000 new infections daily and the new HIV figures show that 2.4 million South Africans face AIDS in their own lives as they are positive and are wither asymptomatic or are facing full blown AIDS. Health budgets have been cut and SWEAT is finding it increasingly difficult to make up the difference in its budget. Being the only Prostitute organisation in South Africa we are a specialist agency in that over the years we have accumulated a deep understanding of the issues around prostitution.

It came as a huge surprise to us a few months ago when Ken and Ian of Knights approached us to run the Ball. We had our own plans to stage a Hookers Ball. This was a golden opportunity to allow sex workers themselves to run with a project which was an indication of empowerment, and for us was an indication of how far our positive role modelling had impacted people within the city sex industry to elicit such a positive response. A sex industry with with social responsibility and an effort to show solidarity with "their" own organisation and raise some money is remarkable.

SWEAT has been overwhelmed with the response from mainstream folk outside the sex industry who have been wonderfully supportive of this event.

Reuters, Sunday Times, SABC, House and Leisure, Mnet and Bush Radio have all expressed doing some media coverage on the night of the 7th.

We trust you would be there to support us. if you can't please send a note of support either by fax or the net.

In Prostitute Solidarity,

Mx Shane A. Pink-Petzer
SWEAT Cape Town

[Rights Groups]

Created: April 20, 1998
Last modified: January 25, 2000
PO Box 373, Woodstock 7915
Cape Town, S. Africa
Tel: (021) 448-7875
Email: sweat@iafrica.com