Monday, 14 August 2017

Avenues Prostitutes Speak on How They Manage to Have Sex With Lots of Men (INTERVIEW)

It is 10pm and eerily dark, many are tucked under the covers in the warmth of their homes while some are probably sitting in front of a heater or gathering around a fire place, but not for these skimpily dressed women who roam the streets of Harare selling their 'fanta thighs'.

Since it is the body on sale more flesh must show, the women say.

Their odd dresses seem to be a sneer at Mother Nature and her vagaries, but then the pangs of hunger and the drive of need respects no elements of weather.

Thus the nightwalkers prowl the streets, advertising, coaxing and chatting among themselves as they wait for clients.
Avenues Prostitutes Speak on How They Manage to Have Sex With Lots of Men (INTERVIEW

It is another world with its own laws.

Everyone knows her place, regular clients cannot be snatched, no one can invade a spot and newcomers are never welcome.

This is how sex workers in Zimbabwe brave the cold weather to make money. While other seasonal industries such as hospitality take buffeting of profits due to the chilling weather, prostitutes on the other hand, refuse to lie down and play dead as their business goes on a downward trajectory.

Sthokozile Mabhena, a sex worker who plies her trade in the Avenues areas said the chilling weather does not mean anything to her. Originally from Bulawayo, Mabhena says she has a 4-year old son to look after.

"What do you expect me to do? Life is tough and my child will not eat in winter. I have to go out and make money. How do you expect me to survive if I do not go to the streets? Winter or no winter I must sell sex and I have to look attractive," she says.

"We are normal human beings but a girl must do what a girl has to do in order to survive. We have to put on sexy clothes so as to catch clients. I am not the only one doing this and when we stand at a corner and we are about five of us we all aim to out-shine each other and get clients," added Mabhena.

"Sometimes I drink and you know when you are drunk your body doesn't feel the coldness much. So in this profession most of us drink not only for the weather but to stand the clients. Sleeping with lots of men for money is not really nice. Some will be handsome and smart and some dirty but we have to endure both sides of the coin because the ultimate end is money."
Another lady of the night who refused to be identified said they charge $10 for short time and $50 for the night. "On average we make between $50 to$100 a day depending on the time of the week. But we get more clients during the weekend," she said.

Asked on the recent Constitutional Court ruling that outlawed the arbitrary arrest of sex workers she said: "That was a welcome development for us because police always arrested us. Now we can go about our business without police harassment".

The Constitutional Court in April this year outlawed the arrest of sex workers found loitering the streets for the purpose of prostitution, saying as long as there were no men who would confirm being approached by the women for sex, the arrests were unconstitutional.

The court ruling followed an application filed by nine Harare women, who argued that their arrest in March last year and prosecution on charges of soliciting for prostitution denied their fundamental rights to the protection of the law.

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