Thursday, 13 February 2014

Harare’s Avenues prostitutes now sell sex in broad day light

THE dazzling day light occasionally breaks through the foliage of canopying jacaranda trees in the avenues area and apparently escaping from the sun’s powerful gaze, a group of women relax under a huge tree.

Noontime in Harare, with cars roaring past and vendors selling airtime, discreet apartments have already opened their doors for business and many of the women who work in them are mothers.
A man of about 30, comely and elegantly attired, is leaning on his metallic silver car; he shifts legs and then signals to one of the women, who cautiously saunters towards him.

The two exchange words and voila, in less than a minute they reach a deal — which takes them to one of the sex havens dotted around Harare.

When the WeekendPost crew approached the remaining group, (with no cameras of course) the women looked expectant, hopeful that they were about to do business again. But it is not easy to convince these hardened women to open up, they loathe intrusion in particular from the police and journalists.
Prostitution in the country has assumed a new dimension, merging day and night into one, as women try to coax a living from the world’s known oldest profession.
“How much are you going to pay for the interview,” asked one of the girls dressed in a skimpy and tightly fitting scarlet dress.

But we could not pay and took time befriending the proud ladies of the night — oops!! — of the day.
In the end the red- dressed girl (we will call her Memory) obliged to give us an interview.

“It’s an open secret,” says Memory, the woman who appears to be unfazed by stereotypes attached to the profession which she stumbled upon.

“People know that these places operate during the day. Okay, except maybe for the married women but men know,” she adds, smiling naughtily.

And indeed men seem to know because these women seem to be the archetypical advertisers who parade themselves in ways a few men can dismiss. They entice men for a price of between $5 to $20, share flats and work around the clock. Wary of police they dress more decently than during the night when prostitutes parade their ‘produce’ almost naked.

“I am here like every day and daily we have men lining up for our services. Here and there we get new clients but most of the people we service are regulars,” said Memory.

The women, smartly dressed appear disinterested, but a closer look shows they mean business as they try to hook up with sex-hungry men.
Just nearby, a man emerges from a nearby flat. He casts a nervous eye down the street before scuttling through the alleyway and leaving probably headed for work.

Most of the daylight clients, the women claim, are professionals who do not reek with alcohol as is often the case with night clients. They say, the men are usually married, who show them pictures of their families. Most of the men they say work in the central business district and are “very clean and tidy, focused and short of time.”

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