Nafula was depressed and decided to visit a friend in Mombasa. She ended up as a sex worker, until one day she met a client that changed her life…
“It started when my parents could not afford paying for university even though I had qualified. Frustrated, I cried for days and refused to eat.”
“Then Agnes, a former schoolmate. who was living in Mombasa came to visit her parents and heard the local gossip about my predicament. She was sympathetic and proposed that I go with her to Mombasa. ‘I can try to get you a simple job; you can even enrol for evening classes,’ she had said.
“So we left for Mombasa, almost 600 kilometers from my village at Amalemba in Western Kenya. Agnes lived in a well-furnished apartment but I quickly noticed that she was not going to work. She told me she sold cosmetics, and also worked nights at a restaurant’s reception.”
“For the first few weeks Agnes would buy food and give me money for hair-dos and make-up. She occasionally invited me out for dinner with a ‘business partner’. During one of these dinners, a drunkard approached and asked me to dance. I declined and Agnes and her ‘business partner’ giggled. Another man came and Agnes signalled me to consent. Again I declined because I was fresh from school and had never been intimate with any man.
“That night Agnes accused me of playing holy while still expecting that she meet all my house expenses. ‘You must learn how to look for your own money, that’s how I survive!’ she said. It then dawned on me that she was a sex worker. In the morning she took me to a cheap hotel and told me she had booked me for only one week. ‘After that, you are alone unless you choose to make new friends!’ she said. After two days of hunger pangs, I heeded her advice and went to a local bar. That was the genesis of my life in sex-work. Though I felt used and dirty after every client, the money was easy to get.”
“It was during these nights I met Wephukhulu. He struck me as a responsible family man and when he winked at me, I wasn’t sure he was serious. In the room, he asked why I chose prostitution, and when I told him my story the tears began welling in his eyes. He also had his share. His wife and three children had died in a car-crash five months earlier and he had tried suicide several times. He had come to the bar to distract his mind.
“A love affair ensued and six months later we got married and I relocated with him to Nairobi where he enrolled me at the university to study law.”