As many struggle after losing jobs, getting pay cuts during this Covid-19 pandemic. But for sex workers, it has been business as usual. In fact, many are making more money than before.
Ann Waithera, not her real name, a streetwalker who operates in Westlands and Hurlingham exclusively told Mpasho.co.ke that she’s happy now because she’s making more than enough since Covid-19 ravaged the globe.
‘LOCKDOWN IENDELEE. I GET BETWEEN 3-5 CLIENTS IN A DAY AND THEY PAY HANDSOMELY. FOR LOCAL MEN, I CHARGE KSH 1,000 PER HOUR AND FOR FOREIGNERS KAMA WACONGOLESE NA NIGERIANS, I CHARGE KSH5,000 FOR TWO ROUNDS,’ SHE SAID.
Waithera, a slender, light-skinned mother of two, revealed that she sends part of the money to her mother who lives in Rongai with her kids and spends the rest on her personal use including paying for her bedsitter in Amboseli, Lavington.
‘FOR THE PAST FIVE MONTHS I HAVEN’T BEEN IN THE STREETS AFTER THE DUSK TO DAWN CURFEW WAS INTRODUCED. I HAVE BUSINESS CARDS WHICH I GIVE TO MY CLIENTS WHO ALSO REFER ME. I HAVE BEEN MEETING MY CLIENTS IN THEIR HOTEL ROOMS AND OTHERS AT APARTMENTS, WHERE THEY SPEND. MOST OF THOSE WHO BOOK APARTMENTS ARE MARRIED MEN WHO’RE TIRED OF SPENDING THE WHOLE DAY AT HOME WITH THEIR WIVES AND KIDS NOW THAT THERE IS A CURFEW,’ SHE ADDED.
Mary Akinyi* who operates in the CBD’s downtown brothels, on the other hand, has been suffering.
‘CLIENTS HAVE DISAPPEARED. MAKING KSH500 IN A DAY NOWADAYS IS TOUGH. UKITOKA NA KSH200 UNASHUKURU. BIZ IKO DOWN,’ SHE TOLD MPASHO.
The 33-year-old sex worker blames herself for not being tech-savvy.
‘I ENVY THOSE WITH SMARTPHONES AND WHO CAN BE ABLE TO JOIN SITES THAT OFFER CALL GIRLS. MIMI NA HII KADUDE (PHONE WITHOUT INTERNET) YANGU BADO NIKO ANALOG,’ SHE EXPLAINED.
‘I HOPE PRESIDENT UHURU LIFTS THE CURFEW SO THAT WE CAN GO BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL. NOWADAYS WE ARE HARRASSED ESPECIALLY BY THE POLICE, WHO THREATEN TO TAKE US TO JAIL AND BECAUSE OF THAT, I CAN GO FOR LIKE THREE DAYS WITHOUT A CLIENT.’
Well, sex workers have gone digital, some do house calls and others sharing their videos to entice clients who pay to watch.