The price my people are paying for the present government's failures.........
By Meekaeel M. Siphambili
Last updated: 04/14/2004 21:13:43
DESPITE resentment from their local counterparts, Zimbabwean commercial sex workers are a blessing to hot-blooded men in Botswana looking for some quick action for pay. In Palapye, the place to find these sisters is the junction next to the Supreme Furniture shop.
Late after sunset, the Zimbabwe women come out in hordes to wait for their clients next to the Gaborone/Francistown road.
This is a suitable spot where all people alighting from the buses pass through to get to the bars. Every male who passes is greeted and this can result in a conversation leading to paid sex.
A woman who gave her name as Anna, refused to give her age saying “what has age got to do with it, if you are interested in me, you simply pay, no strings attached, you are not going to marry me.”
Anna, a married woman says she has no choice because of the situation in Zimbabwe. “Things are tough back home, I have no choice at all, and I have three children and a husband who is working as a bank teller. My husband and children think I am here in Botswana to sell goods like crafts and clothes which I order in Zimbabwe but in small quantities just to mislead them and I bring money home to supplement my husband’s salary.
At times, I tell them that I am coming to collect debts from people who owe me money here in Botswana,” Anna says without showing any shame.
She says she comes to the country as a visitor and she goes back when her visiting days are over. “I target the month ends because these are the days when you can make a killing. You can make anything from P150 to P400 on a busy night.”
“A short time or ‘quickie’ will cost you P20 and the whole night is P50 and you will have to pay me the money before we go because I don’t want to do the job for nothing,” she says.
The tall middle-aged woman says she does not care who she sleeps with as long as they have the money to pay for the services. Her clients range from businesspeople on trips, truck drivers and most of the men leaving bars after a drink. “I rent a one-roomed house where we can go and you will have to pay for the taxi for us to get there”.
At times the ‘quickie’ is taken in any comfortable spot in the bushes or any other place where nobody will pass by.
Anna says she knows about HIV/AIDS but she needs the money for her children and her husband back home. “I make sure I use condoms all the time and I will not give in even for more offers of money. It is quite tempting but I have children at home to think of. they need me to be alive and healthy,” she says.
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