The mother of your children could be a hooker by day and a wife by night. We spoke to two women who operate in downtown Nairobi who revealed that they have to tafuta since they were married women with family obligations.
Joyce Atieno, who lives in Pipeline Embakasi and plies her trade in the CBD, says that most daytime prostitutes are older women who can’t be away from their families at night and so have to make a living during the day.
She says her colleagues “have children and that’s why they do what they have to do. I don’t think there is any woman who can wish to be a Sh200 per shot prostitute during the day if they have supportive husbands. It’s all for money.”
She said that no woman can sell herself to strange men if she has a responsible husband. It’s the “irresponsibility of the men that drive such women to the streets,” she charged.
The older married hookers give way to younger and more beautiful ‘night nurses’ from 8pm.
Atieno says that bumping into someone familiar cannot stop them from selling their bodies.
“What would my father be doing at a place known to be frequented by sex workers? If he is in such a place, then what is he looking for? If he is there for illicit sex, then he would have no moral authority to lecture me because we are in the same boat,” she stated.
She adds that as much as prostitutes behave like they don’t have feelings and only care about money, many of them would quit if they had an alternative.
“We are human beings, and we all have dreams. We want the best for our children. Some of us dream of being married and having weddings. It’s only that we have to survive,” she explained.
The older sex workers in downtown Nairobi who look married dress conservatively and are not as daring or sexy as their younger competitors. They are not your usual know-it-all sex workers who strut the streets of Koinange wearing almost nothing.
We found some of the ‘day shift’ prostitutes outside a lodging along River Road, where they contribute Sh200 and rent a room with nothing but a bed, blanket and one bedsheet. They charge clients Sh200 for a 20-minute session.
In a nearby pub, we find these daytime prostitutes who will do anything for money.
Its 10am. Most are sporting wedding bands. Whether they are legally wedded or not is neither here nor there.
When desperation sets in, the women openly calls out for clients, literally hawking themselves.
We identify a dimly lit pub and get in. The stairs to the pub are narrow and we come face to face with a female bouncer screening patrons getting into the club on Duruma Road.
The interior reeks of a mixture of urine, beer, bad breath, body odor and stale food. It is disgusting to say the least.
But the women here are quite at home. The scent of their cheap perfumes compete with the stench emanating from the loos. This is their base, from where they operate until around 5pm when they for home to join their families.