Prostitution is a booming business in Kenya and it’s going digital.
Sex workers both streetwalkers and online hookers are minting millions from this profession and Mpasho.co.ke recently interviewed quite a number of sex.
Selina (not her real name) a 26-year-old slay queen living large said,
This work has helped me complete my public relations course at a private university. I take care of my seven-year-old son, two siblings and my single mother.
She said she has apartments in Kileleshwa, where she collects Sh400,000 per month.
Selina travels especially to Bali and Bangkok for holidays.
If I were to choose a profession again, I would choose prostitution over anything,” she said.
Streetwalker Anita (not her real name) operates along Koinange Street and around City Hall. She says she prefers it because she doesn’t have to pay the brothel madam.
‘I was affected by the demolition of Simmers. With the new Constitution and the addition of more positions, we make a lot of money,” said Anita, who was dressed in a skimpy red dress and six-inch red stilettos.
But at times we don’t get enough money. Last year before the election, I met this noisy politician from Western Kenya who unsuccessfully ran for parliament.
He took me to a hotel in Kasarani and had sex with me the whole night the next morning he gave me only Sh1,000. What really makes me bitter is he did it without wearing condoms.”
Central Police Station boss Atavachi said prostitution along Koinange Street is not active nowadays.
“After the demolition of Simmers, the number of sex workers has declined. Many target drunks who frequent city clubs.
Thirty-year-old Rita (not her real name), who a streetwalker in Hurlingham, is threatened by digital prostitution.
“In two years, I’m afraid we will no longer have jobs. Some of us are not tech-savvy and using an android phone is a problem, let alone creating a website to market myself.”
But Phelisters Abdalla (real name), a proud city mobile sex worker, said,
As the world is developing, we’re also developing. We’re trying to go digital and I don’t think it’s going to hurt us at all.
Everyone has their own clients whether online or at that spot in the street and a brothel”, she said.
It depends how you manage and, package and identify yourself. There are clients for every class.
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She said she has both local and international clients.
I go everywhere from the streets to the brothels. I have private clients as well. Most book through my email.
Phelisters said the sites offering sex are very confidential and only those who visit the sites know where to get the services.
Like other sex workers, Abdalla said,
We’re not looking at the legalisation of prostitution but safe working environment; decriminalisation of sex work so your work can be treated like any other profession.
Clients pay different prices for different services.
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“if you want more money you don’t condomise it. Our clients like it raw and so do we.
Don’t they fear contracting HIV/AIDs or STIs?
“My girls always carry HIV kits around,” Maureen said,
Before they get down to business, they have to do tests first, thanks to my pharmacist, who supplies me with HIV kits every month.
“Some of our clients also ask us to go for a test at a credible hospital a week before we met.”
That sounds good but it takes about six months for an HIV infection to show up.
Dr Fredrick Kinama said the most common STIs he treats sex workers for are syphilis and gonorrhoea. which typically take as long as two weeks to cure.
Sex workers face a lot of challenges, including arrests, violent clients, diseases, harsh working conditions and even murder,” Abdalla said.
“The problem is that sex work is criminalised. This puts us at high risk of contracting disease especially when clients force us to have unprotected sex,” she added.
Monicah, a 31-year-old former sex worker, has recently celebrated her third wedding anniversary but she’s thinking about going back to the streets.
I’m happy to have my husband and son but at times I miss the streets, said Monicah (not her real name).
Although I used to face a lot of challenges such as being rained on, arrested and beaten by fellow sex workers, I would one day go back. Prostitution is like witchcraft, you can’t stop it once it’s in your blood.