Decked in a chadoh, she started her 15-minute video with the Islamic greeting, ‘Salamu Alaikum,’ before delving into marketing her products using apparently explicit and x-rated language.
Yasmin Harka, a Youtuber, is one of the many self-acclaimed sex therapists that dominate the cyberspace, targeting mainly northern clients.
Yasmin, and others like her, claim to be providing solutions to the endemic problems affecting the sex life of the ultra- conservative people of the north, where for cultural and religious reasons, sex is rarely discussed.
Other famous online sex therapists in the mould of Yasmin include Jaruma, who plies her trade using social media platform, Instagram, and has over 1.2 million followers and is rumoured to be worth $2 million and Munira Abdulsalam, a fast-growing Youtuber with over 208,000 subscribers and over 5,000 views for each of her 408 videos.
Their merchandise is the same, sold in different ways, each claiming to have the solution to bedroom challenges, especially for women.
One common feature with them is the x-rated language and visuals they deploy in carrying out their business on the largely unregulated social media space.
Hajia Aisha from Kano, while affirming the effectiveness of herbal aphrodisiacs, popularly called Kayanmata, in solving sexual health problems, particularly among married people, in traditional societies, expressed concern with the modus operandi of today’s sellers of such products.
While Zumbur is Munira’s star product for men, Jaruma has developed several products from Goron Tula (Silky Kola), among them ‘pussy fire’ and ‘divorce is not my portion,’ her star product, which costs a whopping N500,000. Yasmin’s Madara gives stamina to men and women.
Among others, they all claim that their products treat deep seated infections that affect male sexual performance, delay ejaculation and increase organ sensitivity. They all insist that the products are safe, and have retained their customer base because of efficacy and safety.
The prices of the products range from N100,000 to N500,000. Some are even sold in foreign currencies like USD, pounds and Euro and are listed on international online stores like Etsys.
Reacting to the trend, the Chief Imam of Ansarudeen Mosque, Dr. Olaofe Musa, averted that the practice of using sex enhancement drugs or aphrodisiacs should be frowned upon because a muslim man is entitled to more than one wife and and a situation where a woman uses this means to make herself the only one who can be desired by her husband when her husband has other wives is unacceptable and capable of bringing problems to the family.
“It can also lead to promiscuity if the husband of the user is not around and the wife goes into sexual overdrive,” he added.
For Pastor Godfery Akon of Calvary Chapel, Abuja, the booming aphrodisiac trade and growing market for sex therapists is a testament to the dwindling moral values of our society.
“This is obscene and lewd communication which is frowned upon by the bible. Ephesians 4:29 says let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. We are also told that bad company corrupts good habit.
“There are two issues to critically look at, first is the manipulation that comes with it. Their customers are first made to believe that they have sexual challenges (low libido) and their lives are functioning less than it should as a result of low sexual performance.
“Secondly, it encourages perversion and all manner of sexual misconduct, that challenges societal norms. I frown at this and as a religious leader, I can tell you that it is not biblical.”
While religious leaders see the trend as a reflection of declining moral values, medical experts say sexual challenges such as erectile dysfunction are medical conditions and should be treated as such.
According to Dr. Hayatu Umar, of the Department of Internal Medicine Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, erectile dysfunction is a medical condition that can affect marriages.
“Our local aphrodisiacs function like Viagra by relaxing the vascular smooth muscles of the penis, thereby improving circulation (vascular engorgement) to the area resulting in erection.
“For individuals with underlying medical conditions like heart diseases, hypertension or hypotension, they should take them under medical advice.”
He further stated that taking lower doses of aphrodisiacs may not pose a serious threat to some individuals and listed adverse effects associated with their usage to include eye vascular occlusion which may lead to temporary or permanent blindness, color blindness, myocardial infarction (heart attack) malignant cardiac arrhythmias and stroke especially in older people.
“It is medically advised that those taking anti-hypertensive, antianginal drugs, alcohol should be extra careful with aphrodisiacs. They can cause a further significant decrease in blood pressure leading to devastating consequences like vascular events.”
Inspite the popularity of aphrodisiacs with online marketers practically putting them in people’s faces, there are those who do not believe in them and would have nothing to do with them.
Speaking to 21st Century Chronicle, one respondent, Kole Mustapha (not real name) said she has heard about aphrodisiacs but has doubts about the veracity of the claims of the sellers and their safety.
A middle-aged lady, Tolu Kehinde (real name withheld) said she has no interest in sex and has never given aphrodisiacs a thought, despite having seen the advertisements.
When told kayanmata is made for people like her, to improve their sexual urge, she said “then it is probably worth a try.”