By Tsitsi Ndabambi
Until people get to personally know each other instead of just a glimpse from a distance, they will always be judgemental of one another. What will change the misconception will be learning their history or the story behind their character.
Sex workers or as they are harshly called prostitutes are among the lowest rated and respected people on mother earth and no “normal” person will ever want to be associated with them many would no doubt argue.
That said, more than twenty young girls and two boys between the ages of 14 and 17 who sell sex in Hopley and Epworth in order to make a living were in a for a Christmas treat last Saturday courtesy of Protection of Adults and Children Trust (PACT) and entertainment by Gwenyambira Nancy Nasibo Mutize.
Mocked and rejected by society, each of these children who shared their stories during the Christmas lunch in Greencroft, Harare caused even the area’s strong counsellor, Kudzai Kadzombe, to shed a tear or more.
PACT members United States-based Catherine Mhizha, from England Eustina Gudu, Chido Nyatanga, Susan Masvingwa Nyirenda and Chipo Matiza Sibanda took time away from their vacation and spent the day with them.
In equestrian life people hold their horses. In the Middle East they probably hold their camels. Here the sex workers definitely held their thighs and shared a moment or two educating the world on the world’s oldest profession, taking time off from practising and instead showing the compassionate face behind the profession much loathed. It was not only about eating and sharing gifts, but a time of pouring out on how they got into the oldest profession at such an early age, as early as nine years-old.
“I used to stay with my mum and my step dad raped me and whenever I told my mother she never believed me, she just brushed it off,” said a 15-year-old who identified herself as Tana.
“Then when she died I ran away from home and went to staying with my friend who introduced me to prostitution at the age of 14. All of us here get paid 50 cents or a maximum of $4 per service.”
Simba who stays in Budiriro also shared his story.
“I look and act feminine so my mother chased me away from home because she defined me as being demonic or cursed. I started sleeping with clients of both sexes, but unlike our female colleagues, our fees are more and we attract more male clients.”
The young girls who share rented rooms paying $30 a month said they plied their trade in bars around Epworth and a night spot in Hopley better known as “Kwa Anthony” where the bar owners allow under aged children to patronise such places.
One girl shared a sad story alleging that she has been sexually abused by police officers after approaching them to report a case of assault by her client.
After sharing their sad stories, they all expressed their wish of living decent lives where they do not get to sell sex for a living. “We do not enjoy what we do, we prefer to go to school and pursue careers. The men who sleep with us are heavy; we experience chest pains and some of them beat us up and refuse to pay us after sex,” said Tana. The Herald