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Mombasa sex workers facing compe from mama nguo


With the entry of mama nguo and college girls into the twilight industry, prostitutes in the Coastal region of Mombasa Kilifi and Kwale Counties have been forced to cut down on the prices they charge their clients.Previously, for a single sex session, one would part with Sh1000 for a good service with twilights from Casablanca in Mombasa. But with the increase of women ready to sell sex, the price has dropped from Sh500 to Sh250 for one shot depending on the spot one sources the service.According to the prostitutes along Moi Avenue Mombasa, the market price has been compromised due to saturation of women willing to offer sex for a few coins to put food on the table.Amina, not her real name, has been operating at the streets of Casablanca for over 10 years. Business was booming and men were offering good cash for a single shot before Covid-19 struck. She would make Sh10,000 on a single night on a bad day.However, Amina says she can barely make enough in a week to feed her two children let alone pay rent.“These days men can get sex anywhere and cheaply. Is not like in the past when men used to come to the club,  pick us up and pay handsomely for our services. These days sex is cheap. I used to make close to Sh10,000 a night but now even Sh2,000 is a struggle,” said Amina.Dan, a frequent reveller at Bamburi, says he does not have to waste his cash on expensive sex workers when he can easily quench his loins with Sh250 on college girls who always flock Bamburi for drinks and partying.Elvis, a college student at a local institution in Mombasa, agrees, saying college girls love parties and they are easy prey for men with money.“These college girls love partying, and since they must rave every weekend, they are an easy target and open to mubabas with loaded pockets. But with a few coins for lunch and drinks, you can also get some cheap and easy sex,” says Elvis.Dan reveals that when worst come to worst, there are women who are ready to offer services at as low as Sh300 after doing house chores for men.“I know some of my friends who use mama nguo. They pay between Sh300 and Sh500 to get their house and clothes cleaned and at the same time enjoy ‘extra’ services,” says Dan.He says with the high inflation rate and expensive prices of commodities, the prostitutes are desperate to lay their hands on every coin to survive.Lucia, a former prostitute turned businesswoman, says she decided to quit the sex trade because the money she received in a day defeated the whole purpose of spending a night in the cold.“I would stay up all night walking down the streets and scrambling for clients who would offer me peanuts. “How can you sleep with someone for Sh200 and they want to enjoy your services? I decided to start a vegetable selling business and now am surviving through it,” said Lucia.But Akinyi who has just joined the trade charges Sh1,000 per session. She has rented a room in town and her clients are car dealers and the working class who don’t haggle.“If a client wants good time, he must pay the set price. Everything is expensive now, and like any commodity or service, the price of sex also has to increase to balance our expenses,” says Akinyi.Not every man is a cheapskate though. Bernard, a local businessman, says everyone has their taste and he prefers a classy woman who can give him respectable company. He is willing to spend up to Sh10,000 a night with a well endowed woman.Bernard says the situation is so bad that most sex workers now prefer to have men they consider ‘boyfriends’ to help them out when they are broke and there is no client in sight.

—  Joackim Bwana

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