The Soft Life (Paperback, 176 pg) Lebohang Masango

For once, this is not a book about ‘transactional sex’ or HIV. There is no moral panic over women having standards in their romantic lives, or easy clichés of desperation in the face of unrelenting African poverty. In this book, Lebohang Masango explores how women in South Africa give meaning to aspiration, romance and love in their pursuit of the soft life — a life free of hardship. Love it or hate it, soft life will not be a passing trend, even if it carries different names in the future. Read more below.

Lebohang Masango


Available on back-order


Become more feminine and traditional ✔
Only date men with money ✔
Forget splitting the bill 50-50 ✔
Embrace the standard of beauty with gusto ✔

This is the mantra of the modern Soft Life coach. Why live a life of drudgery and over-work when you can recline in the arms of your Prince Charming? But is this a new or passing trend? Romance and finance have flirted with each other for a long time. From golddigger and sponsor to sugar baby and sugar daddy to blesser and blessee . . . across the world and throughout history, who women date has been as important as their career paths or where they live. Thanks to patriarchy, dating and marriage are among the ways women move up in the world.

In this book, Lihle, Jolie, Camilla, Nomonde and Bongi women from very different walks of life openly share their stories, providing an insider perspective on the life seen on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Pinterest: The lavish holidays, the designer bags, the dinners and champagne and the luxury vehicles that make the Soft Life so irresistible.

Feminist thinker, author and anthropologist Lebohang Masango explores the many dimensions of this phenomenon, grounding her often unexpected insights in South African pop culture and prominent women who have made this lifestyle the staple of gossip blogs.