From a sex worker to Church Pastor: Reformed prostitute tells it all
Jane Muhia is a former sex worker who’s not ashamed of her past and uses it to caution and reform youths over bad decisions. She shares her journey to becoming a pastor.
How did prostitution become your official job?
Back in the 90s, I was a young and naive girl who yearned for a life of luxury. I can’t entirely blame my parents because they did what they could, but growing up in the slums shaped me into a tough and sassy person.
I fell in with a bad crowd that led me away from school, and I only made it as far as lower primary education. From there, I got involved in petty robbery, which eventually led me to mix with alcohol.
I started frequenting clubs even though I was underage. I recall a time when I was arrested in a club in Eastleigh and ended up spending a month in Langata Women’s Prison. After my release, I pretended to have reformed for about three weeks, but I quickly fell back into drinking.
It was during this period that I met a guy who would later become my husband when I was just 19 years old.
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What led you to discover his affair?
Everything was okay until I gave birth. My husband was a matatu driver and little did I know, his boss who was an older woman with whom he had an affair.
He started coming home late and it gradually moved spending out and finally, he could even take weeks without coming or supporting us. There came a time when he left and didn’t return. His friends had dropped hints about his secret affair, and when I went looking for him, I was confronted with the harsh reality.
He essentially told me to move on. I became a bitter and confused teenager, consumed by a desire for revenge against men. With no job and no support, I felt lost. At that point, how could an illiterate woman like me become self-reliant other than by selling her body?
In my pain and desperation to stand on my own two feet, I reluctantly ventured into prostitution, with a friend offering to shelter me as I learned the ropes.
What were your first days in this profession like?
They were terrible. I went for three days without any clients. On the fourth day, I encountered an older man to whom I opened up about my misfortunes. In the end, he gave me Sh5,000 and left. From that point on, I decided to become skilled at seducing men, and on good days, I could even earn up to Sh100,000.
Despite earning this money, did you ever consider pursuing another job?
Once you become accustomed to quick money, it’s difficult to let it go. I had two main goals during my time in this profession: money and revenge. I was a bitter woman seeking vengeance against men.
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Did it not bother you to engage in such dangerous situations?
Surprisingly, it didn’t. Whenever I found myself in risky situations, I saw them as just bad days. I could even be severely beaten and still return to work.
What led to your turning point?
Men of God began approaching me for a change, but I resisted initially. I remember one time, before I gave my life to Christ, a man approached me in a club claiming he was sent by God and that God wanted me to work for Him.
I was rude and demanded that he buy me drinks, which he did. I told him to tell his God that I needed Sh100,000 before I would consider his offer. Just before I could finish my drink, a white man entered the club. He approached my table. It was his first time in Kenya, and he needed someone to show him around.
I convinced him to be my friend, and in a short time, he took me to the hotel he had booked, leaving me with over Sh160,000.
You are now a pastor with a church that supports former prostitutes. Can you tell us about your journey from there?
It has been a journey filled with challenges. I went to school to study theology, and now I have a church that primarily helps former sex workers. Our aim is to help them change their lives for the better.
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