We sometimes fall victims of certain undesirable circumstances or unacceptable lifestyles that we are at times left of no choice but to take their course and embrace them. In some extents, we tend to do them for life or for such a long period to fulfil a certain reward or gain from what we want. Some might not agree with this article but you will find some sense in it.
In this world, there are many things which go against the normal activities of a human being. They are viewed as abnormal/vices. Some refer to them as taboos. Things like prostitution and the likes. When the people in the community get a hint that so and so is a prostitute, their attitudes towards them abruptly changes to the negative. The community doesn’t endorse such acts. They are crowned all sorts of bad names and tagged with mannerisms of immorality. In some communities, they are burnt!
Do you ask yourself these questions before judging the people you see…?
‘Why is he/she in prostitution?’
‘Why is the 12 year old kid in prostitution?’
‘Do you think all of the culprits enjoy what they do?’
Have you employed the ‘bottom approach’ in diagnosing the root problem of the high influx of teens in this kind of lifestyle?
I hope this story touches your heart in one way or the other to help you come into reality about this growing sector.
Not all people who got in this business are happy or chose to be. To some, circumstances forced them to do what they would previously have imagined.
Currently, Mary is a third year student pursuing Bachelor of Business Administration in Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology(Jooust). She is currently aged 26yrs and she has plans of setting up a foundation to help young poor ladies. That’s so generous of her! But do you know why? You need to know her roots.
Her background wasn’t s good as you would maybe expect it to be. She had actually given up completely on life. All she wanted was to drop down dead one day. She just didn’t know the mechanism to eliminate herself from this world.
At age 8, her parents were killed in a mysterious way by people who had previously made contact with her. She actually knew them. It wasn’t just the normal death as she recalls. It was a horrendous night! She watched in disbelief as they breathed their last.
She recalls at around midnight when thugs broke inside the house and tied her and her dad. They then undressed her mum and raped her before killing her with a kitchen knife as they watched. Later her dad was kicked severally and later stabbed in his skull as they pushed the knife deep inside his head. As if not enough, the thugs went ahead and raped her too.
She didn’t know how she got to hospital. Her relatives came and offered to pay all her parents burial and hospital fees. Her uncle agreed to take care of her. Days started off well as she was well but as she continued spending time at their house. She started noting something weird. She at one time caught her uncle in flagrante delicto peeping at her inside the bedroom as she changed her clothes. This went on for sometime until it reached a point where her uncle started touching and holding her inner thighs and making her do things she didn’t like. This went on for sometime as she cried the entire night. Her aunt asked her why she looked so sad always but she didn’t want to say what she was going through. She even didn’t know where she would escape to in case the worst happened.
The worst blow on her face came when her uncle approached her inside the bathroom and started forcing himself as he tried to wolf down her ‘forbidden fruit.’ She tried her best to escape his animosity but to no avail. She took the stone she was using to scrub her legs with (soap stone) and dashed out of the bathroom on her birth-suit. She rushed to the living room and pulled one of her clothes from her suitcase and ran as she fitted it into herself. She walked out of the homestead. She vowed never to go back there.
She was 9 years at that moment. She started wandering on the streets. She couldn’t imagine what kind of life she was leading. She was devastated. She ate with other street children and begged for food in the streets. Luckily, she had such ‘begging-face’ that would force strangers to offer her some food.
At one point at around 11 pm at night, she sat on a pedestrian pathway which was located just at the side of the road, imagining how her parents were ruthlessly murdered before her. All this time, she cried bitterly until she had no tears anymore. She just cried but no tears were dropping down her cheeks.Her face could tell she was going through a lot.
At one point, she heard of an organisation that was offering to help young girls to prosper in life by sponsoring them. She made it to the office and after a series of questions, she was rejected. They informed her to give some kind of bribe of which she didn’t have. She walked out of the office weeping deep inside her heart.
After all she had gone through in the 2years of orphan life, nobody had showed her what good life was. Nobody had even taken her as a house help. The very own blood relatives had proved to her incompetent such that they would go to the extent of being vultures awaiting to feed on her flesh. She had seen no meaning of life. This time around, she wanted to die. She wanted to take her life. The pain was unbearable, the hunger was killing her, the demotivation in her life was schizophrenic, the rejection was depressive and the feeling of deprivation of self-belonging was unbearable for a 9year old.
Just as she was wondering in the streets one time at night, she came across a lady who seemed to be interested in her. She was the same height as her. Her name was Irene. This was to be her first friend. She was 15 years and an orphan too. She had been a prostitute since age 9. They lived together in the streets as she explained to her how she came to become a sex-worker at her age. She offered maximum protection to Mary and ensured she ate food thrice a day.
No sooner had they spent a year than Irene introduced her to prostitution. At first, she didn’t like it but as she looked back to where she had come from, she didn’t want to remember her life back then. She felt at peace with her new life and friend- Irene. At age of 10, Mary joined the prostitution business. As she started getting ‘small-amounted’ notes, she could save and spend a little. She admits she didn’t know where this saving culture had been developed in her system. She had always wanted to save. Irene went ahead and took her to a bank where she opened a bank account to save the cash. She had also being taught by her fellow friends on how to avoid pregnancy. (Her biggest fear was contracting HIV/ AIDs because she had been previously briefed about how it had killed a lot of their fellow prostitutes)
Her life as a prostitute wasn’t smooth as some may think. She was doing it while reminiscing her old halcyon days with her family, her beautiful mother’s smile and her warm father’s hug. She was the only child in the family. She wept every day. She didn’t love what she did. She felt very painful during the acts (dyspareunia). Some clients beat her up and went ahead and rejected to pay her after she had served their desires. Others didn’t want to use the protective methods and would force themselves into her without her consent.
Days flew and months counted. She practiced this till she hit 17years. That was 7years of perseverance and hard painful labour. As young as she was, she couldn’t imagine she could ever make it. Luckily, she had finally accumulated a huge amount of cash in the bank such that she now left the prostitution business and opted to go back to school. She completed her high school education and joined university in September 2013.
Due to how she suffered, she doesn’t want any other ladies out there to suffer or go through the same kind of life she went through. She has finally decided to set up an organisation in the near future. The organisation will be for assisting young girls -who have no one to take care of them- to go to school.She doesn’t want to hear of any lady being subjected to stigma or extreme suffering.
Again let’s ask ourselves as Citizens of this world.
How many times do we judge people by actions they do?
Hope we ask ourselves as to why people engage in such things /activities that the community at large term as ‘taboos’ or ‘unacceptable’. Getting the root problem will help solve everything. If Mary had got someone to give her a feeling of love at the most vulnerable moments, she couldn’t have engaged in prostitution at 10 years of age.
Mohamed Tokal Morowa is a student at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration