Wadau, Daily News imetoa story kuhusu biashara ya umalaya mjini Dar es Salaam. Lakini umalaya ni tatizo nchi nzima. Mchana na mnajua lunch ndefu (saa 6-saa 8) gesti zote zimejaa! Bukoba gesti zote wanaweka maplastiki kwenye godoro shauri ya katerero. UKIMWI/AIDS na magonjwa mengine yanazidi kuwa tatizo sugu kwa nchi yetu. Lakini hii tatizo la umalaya haikuanza leo, upo miaka mingi sana. Sijui joto ndo inafanya watu wawe na nyege sana. Doh!
- Published on Sunday, 07 April 2013 04:00
- Written by BILHAM KIMATI
AT LEAST 15,000 male clients meet female sex workers every night in Dar es Salaam. Findings have revealed that there are 7,500 female sex workers, a research by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare on HIV Behavioural and Biological Surveillance (2010) has revealed.
The study conducted through National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) aimed at providing information on the prevalence of HIV infection, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs) and associated risk factors among commercial sex workers. A total of 537 samples of sex workers aged between 15 and older were collected and the respondents also provided blood specimens for HIV, Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C and Syphilis among other infections.
Dr Hezekiah Owenya, a seasoned psychologist, says as long as frustrations in life are there, and love relationships are constantly in dilemma, extra marital affairs are inevitable. “Marriage, for example, continues to face challenges, misunderstanding and bitterness. Under such circumstances male clients will not stop meeting female sex workers,” Dr Owenya says. He adds; “It is, therefore, very unfair to accuse female sex workers alone and leave the male clients who go out to look for girls in the streets and pay as much as they could. Some of the frustrated which they eventually get addicted to and make it a way of life.
Sex workers are there to stay despite the fact that they earn a living in a very dangerous manner,” Dr Owenya warns But the ‘Daily News on Saturday’ wanted to assess the situation further. A world of its own guiding regulations was uncovered. Different groups of sex workers, for example, operate under different ‘philosophy.’ Daring girls are permanently stationed near Kinondoni Makaburini area.
They would stop every passing vehicle. Skilful swaying of the body appears to be part of the training before joining the business to attract customers. Asked if not afraid of being assaulted by thugs while waiting for customers late at night, another lady CDE (real name withheld) says she had nothing to worry about because the ‘loot’ was also shared with the potential aggressors.
The road section between Sinza kwa Remy, Mori to Africa Sana in Kinondoni district is another hotspot ‘conquered’ by a ‘generation’ of teens. Anyone above 23 is not welcome there. Starting as early as 9:00pm the girls descend at the scene dressed in miniskirts with pleasant perfumes. “Potential customers will always slow down their vehicles ready to talk to us.
We stand a distance apart to avoid clashes. Lucky ones for the day reap handsomely,” explains OPQ (identity withheld). More than 30 girls line up both streets of the road. Some of them appear weak but not unwell, slender but not malnourished but majority obviously not above 18 years old. Judging from the youthfulness of the girls, one might think that customers expected should be of particular age, predominantly young men but this is not the case. “Come on, you are not serious. Age of a client does not matter.
Although some prove to be stubborn or too strong in action and too demanding, we accommodate them pleasingly. They need us and we need them. The payments must be agreed upon in advance,” she explains. The peculiarity of Sinza site is that older females already with children are not welcome. “Number one disqualification from the ‘membership’ here (Sinza) is child bearing. Customers flock to this place to pick us every night. They say they like girls more than older women. This is good because it helps set a good price ranging between 20,000/- and 50,000/- per night.
On lucky days one gets up to 100,000/- or more,” OPQ explains. Asked if not afraid of the police surveillance, she smiles, looks at the roof of the colourful sparkling ceiling of Corner Bar decorated with flash lights. She picks up a glass of beer offered for the talk and takes deep sip and says; “Night patrol policemen are our friends. Those in white Land-Rovers, popularly known as defenders and those in blue Land-Cruisers are our companions as we appease them with whatever we gathered the previous night.
“They (police) stop for a friendly chat,” she takes a deep breath and poses. We usually make contributions to calm them down. They leave us uninterrupted because they too benefit from our presence,” briefly explains the girl and runs away back to the street. The investigation team also visited another location known as Rozana in Buguruni, Ilala district.
The locality is another world of its kind. This is the place where ‘service providers’ of different ages meet. Again, the location offers perhaps the cheapest deal as low as 2,000/- per round. Asked about awareness in Aids preventive measures, a woman there says; “Aids is not the only killer disease on earth. There are so many causes of death. Besides, better die of Aids than hunger.” Another setting is Manzese kwa Mfuga Mbwa where local brews are sold nearly in every household. Rooms furnished with dim kerosene lamps for the business are rented at a cost of 1,000/- and chances for HIV/ Aids infection are equally high.
Other social groups known to be pushed to the business without their consent include students especially from higher learning institutions. Some of commercial sex workers are employed but admitted to have grown interest in the business to supplement their income. For example, there are ‘secret’ houses in Dar es Salaam specifically known as ‘Dada Poa Danguro’ meaning that ladies especially from upcountry regions are accommodated and ‘sold’ but the income goes to the business owner. This paper revealed the trick employed by sex workers at a place known as ‘Kwa Babu’.