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Pleasuring Men Earns Me A Million A Month. I Can't Afford Guilt

We came into this to survive. And survive we have. Scratch that, we have flourished. PHOTO | COURTESY
I first heard of this from a close friend. There is a clique of women of the night. High rollers who are in a class of their own. Although they operate from a seemingly low-class premise, this is a well-oiled enterprise. A behemoth business that rakes, for the veteran, in excess of one million shillings in a month! This includes all other businesses tied to the main course: The business of pleasure. It took a while but I got a chance to interview four who operate as a team.

They were wary of me at first and I  had to act like a client and pay upfront for their time. I was lucky it was during the day and an off-peak hour for them. 

I interviewed four women, Jane*(16), Sarah* (18), Destiny*(27) and the matriarch, Winnie*( 32).
*These are not their real names.

(I will use their initials for the transcript below. My questions are marked as ER*)

ER: Ladies, so lovely of you to allow me this interview and I'll be as brief as possible. Why this? Why not salon business or clerical work?

J: I do it for the money. I didn't get a spectacular education like you. I had to survive.
S: Same reason as everyone. I have to eat. To eat, I have to work and I found myself here. It pays my bills and it pays well.
D: (Chuckles). You already know my answer.
W: When I started this, I did it to feed myself and my kid. I had run out of options and it was the only thing that I really didn't have to invest much at first but could get something to support myself. I lost my job and a friend begged me to open my eyes and do what I have to do to survive. Now it is just like any other business to me. I am working because I know what I am doing and I am good at it.

ER: Now that I've realized that there is money in this business. If you don't mind, how much do you make per day? per month maybe. (They all seemed uncomfortable when I asked this. I had already also noted their dressing, watches, and handbags. These were rich women.)

W: I can't tell you the exact figure. I don't know where you will take this information.

ER: Okay, what about a rough estimate?

W: It depends on the lady and time of the month. Also what the client wants is important. There are days these girls make 20-30k, some can even go up to 70k. It really depends on what the client wants.
(The figures threw me off because I don't make that much in my numerous hustles).

ER: You said the 'girls'. What about you?

(W laughs).
D: She makes around a millie a month this one. Usimwone tu hivyo. She is the expert.
(They all laugh and I join in laughing at the frankness that they say it. I look again at their earrings and spot the iPhone that J waves in her hand. I may deny it but I know what they say is true.)

ER: So how do people find out about you? How do new clients come along? Of course, you have frequent customers.

J: It's more of referral. A client comes and I do him good and he will tell a friend who will want to come and so on.
S: We also place our phone numbers on some adult sites and now and then you get a call by some guy who wants to gerrit. (She bursts out laughing at this point)

READ: How To Survive In A Strip Club- Lessons From A Veteran

ER: You look young. How old are you? (I ask Jane).

J: I just turned 19 the other day. I had a party at a club in town. Fantastic memories.
S: Hahaha.. She's lying. She's not even over...
W: Do you have any other questions? We have to get ready for work.

(The way she calls this work still proves tough to wrap my head around)

ER: Do you feel guilty sometimes? I mean sleeping with so many men can be..you know..

W: What? Immoral? How many people collect garbage in this city.. How many are thieves? I do not steal from anyone. I provide a service and leave my clients satisfied. I cannot afford guilt. It's a win-win if you ask me. Hizi vitu ni vile mtu hufikiria tu. Ukiichukulia kama kazi uko tu sawa- Perspective is important in this business. Take it as any other work and you'll be fine.
S: Many judge us and call us names but we don't care. I eat well, dress well and invest for my future. I make more money than many people I know.

ER: What do your friends think about this?

D: Our friends are those we work with to provide this service. They understand us so no big deal in trying to conceal our true identity. Outside there we do not have real friends, just acquaintances.

ER: Enough of the moral stuff. Tell me about the games you play. What value for money do I get?

J: Well, you see me. I take up roles. Apart from my normal sessions as a Kenyan. I can front as an Ethiopian. I know a few phrases I can take care of gentlemen who will have asked for a lady from Eritrea.
D: We give the experience and can even do the accents. (She says a sentence in some foreign language that sounds like Somali. I cannot believe it as it sounds so authentic).
W: We work as a team, have our own clients but take care of each other from police and harrassment from psychos or even the landlord.

ER: Now that you mention it. You girls live in the middle of town. Isn't that expensive?

S: Not really. What I make covers my rent and we basically live at our workplace. We also frequently go out for outside jobs in offices or homes. That has to be with trusted clients though, or at a premium.
W: These premises have been restructured to cater for our type of job. I have a house somewhere else where I go once in while when am not working here.

ER: There's always the risk of disease, right?

J: We take care of ourselves, man. Don't assume we are as ignorant as some people think. In fact for people who really dont't want to  use protection, we will agree for a premium, as long as they agree to take a test. This does not apply to everyone though. We vet clients.

ER: A test?

S: Yeah. No way I'm giving myself to someone I don't trust. You have to prove you are clean. Even after this we still have our ways of taking precautions. Just in case.

(W's phone started ringing and my interview was interrupted. It was about to get busy.)

I thanked them for their time.
I cannot confirm or deny if I left immediately.

PS: I later came to find out that J is only 16. Illegal. She has more money than many people I know. I didn't get a chance to ask if they planned to stop.
They cannot afford guilt. They do what they have to do. It's just business.



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