“We are saving other women from rape” – Prostitutes In Kano State
FORTUNATELY Nigeria is not the United States where male ‘buyers of sex’ currently fight the battle of their lives. If you live in Kano city, you will easily understand that even in the face of Sharia, the love (and lure) of the flesh is strong still. Welcome to Kano red streets where ‘sellers of sex’ humour themselves with the name ‘student’. Go to Enugu road, or move to Abedie, Sanigiwa, Warri, Club, Onitsha, Yoruba roads in the metropolis and locate the key hotels in the areas. That was exactly what this writer did some days ago.
My brother, how are you? Are you for me this night? My name is Dorcas.
Well, I would not say that I am not for you but let us see how we can assist each other. What are you taking?
Please don’t disturb my business this night because market today is too bad. I have not been patronised today, but you can give me small stout and chicken to wipe away my sorrow until I find a good customer, since you are only interested in ordinary friendship and not for ‘the real thing’.
(I called for small stout and maltina and two plates of chicken)
So, what is the reason for bad business?
Na this security threat wey don force our customers not to feel safe patronising us again. When town was good, I de go home with at least N8,000 before waiting in my room for my ‘boyfriend, or whoever is ready for TDB.
What is TDB?
TDB means Till Day Break — whoever will sleep with me from night till tomorrow. On a good market day, depending on the quality of the person concerned, an average TDB may fetch me at least between N5,000 and N10,000. Besides the TDB, I usually had up to four customers everyday who would pay at least N3,000 each per hour at the end of the show, but things have changed completely. Now, I hardly see two customers per day and the worst part of it is that most of these customers are now afraid to sleep outside because they don’t trust anybody again.
If you are asked to follow me home, would you do it and how much will you charge?
In the past we normally did that but now we don’t do that again especially because of ritualists.
Ritualists? What is it about them?
My brother, let me go and make business because I have to settle rent tomorrow, I pay N3,000 everyday for the room I use and failure to pay means I will be ejected by the hotelier.
Before you go, why can’t you be sharing a room with another student so as to reduce cost?
No, apart from the risky side of it, it is not good economically. Most men don’t like sharing their privacy with unknown ‘students’.
Most of your customers are from which area?
You too dey ask too many questions, but let me tell you, it is because I knew from the onset that you are a journalist that I even agreed to answer you.
Secondly, to answer your question properly, there is no tribe that is not into prostitution and there is no tribe that does not patronise our services; as Yoruba come, Igbo do, while the Hausas also patronise us. One thing I want you to know is that, we ‘students’ also have our own advantage to the community. If not because of our services, most women and ladies could have ended up being raped, but the good side of it is that any man that needs ‘quick service’, will come to us and this will automatically discourage him from engaging in rape which could land them in jail. Oya, a dey go.
The reporter then spoke with Amina (not real name) who said she hailed from Ede in Osun State. She was into the trade out of frustration. “I have two children for my husband, but my husband left us and I have had to take care of my children. So, I decided to sell what I have to make ends meet.”
Hajiya Halima at her Ijebu road hotel was also engaged. ‘I don’t derive joy from this business, but since there is no other available option for me to take at this crucial time, and as you know ‘man must wack’, I found myself doing this. But I have promised myself that as soon as I make some tidy amount of money, I would quit the job.”
Hajiya Halima, however, admitted that many of her mates had relocated out of Kano to the southern part of the country because of security problems of Boko Haram.
Theresa, who hails from one of the southern states in the country was next. She told the Saturday Tribune that she was a student from one of the universities in Kano. She ‘sells sex’ in a hotel on Abeokuta road on Fridays. She said that before, she used to realise as much as N20,000 per day after deducting all transport expenses but business ‘is bad now’ no thanks to Boko Haram and its deadly activities.
“We also have a doctor who examines us in case of sexually transmitted diseases. However, most of our parents at home in the southern part of the country do not know that we engage in prostitution. All we tell them is that we are working in Kano,” Theresa said.
Her other colleagues who ply their trade along the ‘streets of sex’ also had tales of woe to tell. “The problem is not just low patronage, there is also “frequent arrest by security operatives,” they said.