Prostitutes in the country of Zambia, located in the sub-Suharan section of Africa, are being given a chance to find true love. Hosted by Muvi TV, 18 former prostitutes compete against one another for a prize equivalent to about $9000 and an all-expense paid wedding. Many of these women have turned to prostitution to help support their families. “I needed to sustain my living and that of my children,” said 28-year-old Precious Kawainga, a contestant on the show. “I found prostitution because of rejection. The father of my children turned his back on me,” said another former prostitute.
Though the reality television series is intended to help underprivileged women, the show has had mixed feelings in the community. “Once a prostitute, always a prostitute. It is very difficult for them to just change overnight," one viewer, Humphrey Banda, said. However, another, Prisca Chisenga, expressed a contrary view. "It is not fair to judge them by their past," she said. Some clergymen in the country had also expressed their concern believing that the show would corrupt moral values.
Despite the mixed views, the show is actually intended to provide aid and help improve the lives of the women. Proving that they are not solely seeking ratings, the show offered a constellation prize of $1000 to $1500 and a full-time job to some of the participants so that they do not return to prostitution. Though reality television shows were introduced in Zambia about five years ago, many of the shows have become exceedingly progressive, including this one, showing that in the business of TV, forms of community service can still be popular.