Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Madereva wa Bajaji Hatarini Kupata UKIMWI

Kwa kweli ilibidi nicheke nilivyosoma kichwa cha habari kwenye ippmedia.com. Nilidhani kuwa huenda virusi vya HIV/UKIMWI vimepakwa kwenye viti. Kumbe hao madereva wanakubali kufanya ngono na abiria, badala ya kupewa malipo. Hatari yao ya kuambukizwa ni sawa tu na hao wanaofanya ngono bila kujikinga, ie kutumia kondomu.


Kutoka ippmedia.com

Bajaj drivers at high risk of contracting HIV

By Gerald Kitabu

The Bajaj is a new form of transport in Dar es Salaam which many people, especially those who can not afford hiring a taxi prefer.

As much as it is helping low-income earners to enjoy a comfortable, quick and cheaper ride and at the same time providing employment to people who would otherwise be on the streets, the Bajaj is posing a danger whose effects will be felt in a few years to come.

The Bajaj might turn out to be the worst form of employment some young people have chosen. The business is putting Bajaj drivers at high risk of contracting HIV.

At present, the Bajaj drivers, most who do not undergo formal training and most who have little knowledge of HIV/Aids, are former taxi drivers, who switched to Bajaj business which offers more income. Some are former houseboys and gardeners and are in the high-risk group of the population that is the youths.

In search for quick money, most Bajaj drivers ferry low-income people including drunkards, pickpockets, and commercial sex workers. During the night however, they change positions and routes, with most of them shifting from their official parking places to bars and pubs to hunt for passengers who include commercial sex workers and their customers.

A survey in different suburbs of Dar es Salaam shows that from 9.00 pm until dawn, the Bajaj drivers usually queue around bars and pubs in search for customers who prefer cheaper transport which is always negotiable with the Bajaj drivers. And in so doing, some of these drivers fall prey to the unsuspecting prostitutes who lure them into sex in exchange for a free ride.

Said Mohamed (21) is a Bajaj driver at Kijitonyama near Science area in Kijitonyama and he says some of their passengers are commercial sex workers and prostitutes. He says ferrying them does not matter, but what maters is the way they behave when negotiating the price.

According to him, these are very good customers although very tricky and seductive.

For example he says, a commercial sex worker may hire a Bajaj to take her from Kijitonyama to Sinza or Mwenge but before you drop her, she may refuse to pay you claiming to have lost her purse. She may then offer you sex instead.

Some times commercial sex workers who usually carry hand bags with them may stop a Bajaj driver and while the Bajaj is in motion, they would undress pretending to change into transparent mini-skirts and tops to attract men. But their aim normally is to attract the Bajaj drivers who end up having short-time unprotected sex with them in dark corners. After the service, the women leave without paying fare.

“You know we want money and so we can’t refuse to offer a customer transport simply because she is a prostitute. But I must confess that some commercial sex workers may undress while the Bajaj is in motion. The moment you ask her why she is doing that, she says it is none of your business. I think that is one way of seducing the young drivers to,” says Pius Anthony, another Bajaj driver.

Steven John (19) says some Bajaji drivers ferry half naked prostitutes from bars and pubs to guest houses, but when the prostitutes don’t find their men, they sleep with them.

“In Kijitonyama near the science and technology building, there is a special house rented by commercial sex workers. That place has always been a destination for Bajaj drivers who sneak in and sleep with them,” he says.

Shafiru Salum (20), who lives near the house alleged to be harbouring commercial sex workers, concedes saying that it is true that there are such women in that house, selling their bodies and that he has seen several Bajaj drivers, famous football players and businessmen among others entering the house.

“There are several beautiful ladies in there and they keep on changing men every day. They have rented part of the house with a corridor used as the reception for guests who come to buy sex. Sometimes, you will see them seated on the veranda during evening time,” he says.

Salum says he is not sure if the Bajaj drivers afford them because they are very expensive. One has to part with at least 50,000/- for a quickie and that sometimes they travel to China and come back with different goods and products which they sell.

New HIV infections in the rapidly expanding city of Dar es Salaam take different forms depending on the environment and socio-economic changes. For example, Philomena Michael (20), who works with one of the mushrooming men’s salons along Shekilango road, in Sinza has a different story to tell with regard to new HIV infections. She says, unlike men workers in the men’s salons who cut customers hair, most of the girls who work in these salons are used to entertain customers.

Nowadays there are many modern salons that offer decent and modern services and their prices are a higher compared to old fashioned-salons with only male workers.

These salons offer, among other services, massages, facial treatment, scrubbing and the list is long. The young ladies most of them beautiful, and sometimes without gloves, massage your face and neck in a ticklish manner that only the bold ones can withstand. They expertly place their soft fingers in and around the customer’s ears, neck and face in a provocative manner so as to ‘appease’ them, so they say. And the men are said to enjoy this, that’s why they keep going to salons with female attendants. They say men’s hands are hard and irritating.

“In these salons, beautiful ladies are used to attract men. Men say they like being attended by girls because they are the opposite sex and that they have soft hands. When men come for the service, they direct us which parts of their body to clean, touch and place fingers in, if you do that, they offer you extra money and if you refuse, they threaten to report you to the owner of the salon who may fire you,” says Philomena.

She says worse still, the policy in many salons is for ladies not to refuse being touched in any parts of their body by the customers because doing that may discourage customers. if it happens that a lady refuses, and the reports reach her boss, she is likely to receive summary dismissal. So, in order to protect their employment, poverty forces them to agree although against their will.

Dr. Yemela Ndibalema of the Ocean Road Cancer Institute says HIV/Aids will only be defeated if each one of us play their part.

“It is the responsibility of every individual to protect other people. The moment we shall be able to value other people’s life the same way we value ours, that will help very much to scale down the infections,” he says.


Doctor said...

UKIMWI tu! Wako hatarini kupata kaswende, kisonono, Herpes, fungus, na madudu mengine mengi! Achana na ma CD! Halafu wanapeleka zawadi kwa wapenzi wao.

John Mwaipopo said...

"several Bajaj drivers, famous football players and businessmen among others entering the house"

this story is as good as a cooked one. the above quotation is an example. i don't think merely being a bajaj driver endangers one to get HIV. sexual attractions are everywhere; at school, in the bus, in church, at funerals. in fact everywhere where more than one person can meet.

the title of the story does not fully reflect what has been written. the closing of the article talks of male saloons. saloons and bajajis wapi na wapi.

the only section of this story that has some sense is where the writer talks about bajaj drivers not being well educated on the HIV scourge. bajaj drivers fall prey to machangudoa just like anybody anywhere. may be we need a rewrite of the story, and a new title.

chemi you were right to have thought that may be the virus had been put on the bajaj drivers seats.