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Meet Pipeline Estate’s Jill of all trades: Waitress, church soloist and prostitute

 *Sylvia is waitress, a soloist in a church and a prostitute with a schedule is tighter than a politician's

As dusk falls, another characteristic of Nairobi’s Pipeline estate emerges. The scene changes as most residents; both men and women, young and old throng the bars.

Sylvia (not her real name) is a 26-year-old resident of Pipeline is a single mother of one with three jobs. She rarely finds time to sleep and says men from all over the county go there to sample the 'delicacies' on offer in the area.

She is a waitress, a soloist in a church and a prostitute and her schedule is tighter than a politician's. I met her as a waitress in one restaurant at Tassia estate.

"I left Vihiga when I was 20 and came here to look for a job because my poor parents could not afford to take me to college," she revealed.

She offered to introduce me into the area's nightlife. Days later, we met at Pipeline stage at 4pm and she led me to what she called a trendy pub in the area, a-storied timber and iron-sheet structure.

"I pay Sh5,000 per term for my child's school fees and Sh4,000 as rent monthly. I am paid peanuts as a waiter and have to come here to get more money to sustain myself.

"For a room and a quickie here, one pays Sh200 but it costs Sh500 without a condom. That's why men love this place because of the cheaper rates," she explained.

As time goes by, a woman who introduces herself as a gospel artist walks in hawking music CDs. A male patron cheekily offers her a drink but she declines and promises to come back later for the drink. Another patron beckons Sylvia and I use the opportunity to slip away.

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