In these interviews with IKENNA OBIANERI, some s*x workers in Anambra State expressed their frustration with the path that life has led them and expressed gratitude for their encounter with the Save Young Girls Motherhood Foundation, founded by Reverend Sister Dorothy Okoli, which is trying to rehabilitate them
What is your name, your age and where you are from?
My name is Chinechelum Ede. I am 27 years old. I am from Enugu State. I am here in Onitsha to do prostitution. I have been doing this job for over five years now.
Where are your parents and what is your position in your family?
My father is in Aba, while my mother is in Nsukka. They are not living together. I am the fourth child.
Why did you go into this job?
I went into this job out of frustration, when the suffering became too unbearable and having unsuccessfully searched for job and found none. I don’t like the job and I am looking for a way out but I feel trapped.
Did you go to school or learn any vocation?
I did not finish my secondary school education because my parents separated and I was not able to fund my education. I did not learn any vocation as there was no means of doing so. I took to prostitution to see if I could raise money to start a trade.
So, how much have you been able to raise?
Sadly, I have not raised any tangible amount; we spend a lot on payment for accommodation, feeding and hotel needs. The bills we pay are far too much that it is difficult to save the money. I am in a regrettable state now, not knowing what to do, whether to go forward or backwards. I am in a fix.
What has been your experience with men who patronise you?
Various men patronise us. We see a lot of them, such as office workers, agberos; a lot of married men come too; they sneak in at night to avoid being seen by people who may know them. They tell us that the reason they come to us is because their wives don’t give them what they want. But we also see bad customers; those who have negative motives, like ritualists, Yahoo Yahoo Boys. Many of our colleagues who were unlucky have been killed. But despite all these fearful experiences, we still continue because we don’t have any other option.
How did you feel when the Save Young Girls Motherhood Foundation visited your brothel?
For the first time in my life, I felt a sense of belonging and my hope was raised. It was the best experience in my life and I want to thank the foundation for letting us know that there is a better life out there in society.
What are your expectations?
I am calling on government and good-spirited individuals to come to our rescue. We went into this job as a result of societal and parental abandonment, if they can help to reabsorb us into society and rehabilitate us, so that we start living our normal lives, it will be a welcome development. We are tired of this job, just that we think there is no other option.
I had thought prostitution’d be an easy way out of poverty, I was wrong – 22-year-old Mgbogu
What is your name, age and where you are from?
My name is Success Mgbogu. I am 22 years. I am from Delta State. I do prostitution work in Asaba.
What is your position in your family?
My parents gave birth to five children and I am the third.
When did you start prostitution and why are you into it?
I started at the age of 18 and it is due to my family’s financial challenges. I dropped out of school in SS1; I made a lot of efforts to do menial jobs to further my education, but when the suffering became unbearable, I turned to prostitution.
Since you started, what have you achieved?
Unfortunately, nothing much, most of the money I make goes into paying for the brothel rent and feeding. It is not a palatable experience; I am in a position of not being able to go back and not being able to go forward.
What is your advice to other young girls who may be looking at prostitution as a way of out of their bad situations?
My advice is for them to look at other profitable ventures to go into. If I had someone to advise me, my situation would not have been like this. I thought this was an easy way out, but it is not. People may think it is easy, but we that are there, we know what we go through on a daily basis and we are looking for a way out.
How did you feel when the foundation visited your brothel and what are your expectations?
That was the best moment of my life. Before then, we lived a life of rejection and societal abandonment. Their visit brought hope to us. At least, we can live a better life out there. I urge society to forgive and have mercy on us and see how they can help us to become better human beings that we are supposed to be.