The story posted on UAH about the Campus Journal reporter who posed as a prostitute to unearth university students who moonlight in the vice, is not new. Prostitution is as old as Makerere University. What has changed these days is that the traders are now bolder since hardships can no longer be hidden. So, let the writer know that there is really nothing surprising about the business in question except for the recklessness involved i.e. the brothel atmosphere she graphically describes.
The amateurish report on Prostitution at Makerere is really not an issue of morals as many of us want to regard it. There are many reasons why people do what they do. Sometimes you will be surprised to find out that everybody around them i.e. family members are even aware of it. In all institutions of learning the world over, those activities take place and depending on the level, sometimes, the authorities reign in to promote “morals”.
I was in an elementary school which was partly day and partly boarding. Those early days in the 1960s, one would have classmates who are 5 or more years their seniors. With that type of mix, I witnessed a lot in as far as boy/girl relationships were concerned. Every one weekend in a month, the school authorities would surprise us when they invite the girls from the school opposite our fence and start reading “love letters” that some of us had written to our dear ones. Perchance if your letter was that confiscated, they had their known standard way of disciplining the culprits. They would call the boy and girl in question in front of the whole gang and make them thrash each other by way of the cane and swearing never to”love”each other again.
So, if at elementary school level such was happening what about at the Ivory tower (such as Makerere University)? Never mind that some of the rules for Makerere that was written in 1922 did spell out having no female visitors in the halls of residence after 6:00 pm. Moreover the said female guest was supposed to be entertained in the Student common room and the hall warden would have been informed.
15 years ago, when I arrived at my present domicle, a colleague I was with in Makerere took me to a strip joint, what surprised me was not the stripping but the reasons for it. One white lady came to our table and was asking whether we wanted her to go and strip herself for us. The reason for her doing that was that she is raising funds for a child she was sponsoring in Kenya. I really lost interest in ever encouraging people I know asking for sponsorship from some of these countries but you know, money is money, one never knows how it was obtained. That is why one time I asked one of my cousins a catholic priest whether they accept money from thieves or sex workers and he was at a loss to answer. So, let humans do what they want. I am only pleased if at all the brothel story is true, that the people involved try to engage in protected sex by way of using a condom.
Is a quid pro quo arrangement regarded as exploitation? When two individuals engage in an activity where one peddles software for the gratification of another who in return pays for the “fun” should we really categorize that as exploitation?
One arrangement which I will shout on the mountain tops about and call it exploitation is what my German friends used to especially for African women mainly from Kenya.
These fellows would go to Kenya, identify a woman they then claim to be in “love” with them and arrange some marriage of sorts. They take them back to Germany and after they feel the sexual excitement is over, they rent them an apartment across the street and advertise the services of a sex worker (their former so called wife).All they do is tell the lady in question what the price rate is and the man watches for the human traffic to the apartment.
At the end of the day,they go and get the cash accrued and the cycle continues. There was a story of one woman who could not stand the exploitation so she reported the man to the police. Eventually she was given due compensation but she chose to get the hell out of Germany.
I think she penned her story in the one of the nations ‘publications some years back.
That to me is what I would call exploitation because it is not a willing seller-willing buyer scenario and besides manipulation is not involved.
On other scenarios, it is usually a choice we make. Remember there was a story of one white family in the US where the lady of the house chose to go for commercial sex work because their combined income would not enable them live comfortably. So, every morning she would leave the hubby home and hit the road for her workplace. She claimed the sex was purely “physical” and she used protection all the time.
For customers wanting non protected sex and willing to pay a premium, she would accept but douch herself immediately. The family was able to make $10,000 monthly and afford the luxuries they wanted.
Dr. Owor Kipenji
Attached below is the story from Campus Journal:
The Campus Journal reporter poses as a prostitute to unearth university students who moonlight in the vice.
This is probably the hardest thing I ever had to do — acting as a prostitute. The memories of these two adventurous nights on Wandegeya’s Junju lane are still so vivid in my mind. My motive was to confirm rumours that campus girls prostitute to make money.
As the women went on with their very bold stands of pulling male passers-by and luring them into being their customers for the night, I nervously stood across them in the freezing cold night dressed in my long silver leggings and a dress top (guess I was not appropriately dressed since most prostitutes were in skimpy attires).
When cars passed by, I couldn’t help burring my face in my hands, full of shame because the lights could easily show my face to whoever cared to know. Aggressively, the women rushed to the windows of these cars and did their business purchases.
The incident that finally made me leave the street that night was a saloon car that stopped just right in front of me and the three men in it asked me, “Nyabo gwe ogabila ku meka (at how much do you sell yours)?” The question sent chills down my spine! I felt disgraced and I rudely answered, “Ate ku byaaki (About what business)?” I had forgotten I was practically a prostitute that night!
Then I apologetically answered back, “Munsonyiwe bambi, mujjakola emitwalo ebiri buli ommu (sorry about that, you will give me 20,000 each).” Happily, the driver asked, “Is it for the whole night, nga oli expensive nnyo?” I had no idea about how much was charged per service and I decided to go back home because I was feeling bad already.
When I came back the second night, I was more confident. This night a male friend was going to be my ‘customer’ in order to take me where the real business takes place. When my customer for the night finally arrived, we stood and ‘bargained’ for several minutes. (Dear reader, don’t ask me how much I was bought because I also don’t know.)
The lady next to me got suspicious because my negotiation took longer than usual that she loudly asked her colleagues, “Ono naye malaya (Is she also a prostitute)?” But before she could get an answer from them, she walked right up to us and said, “Mumale male mugende eri emabega muloogi mweekole, mutuyisako ba customer (Be quick with your negotiations and go in the lounge behind to do your thing, you are blocking customers from noticing us)!”
After settling our ‘deal’, I pretended to be a good service provider by holding ‘my customer’ in the waist and we set off for the lounge.
The brothel is a house-like structure that is located behind some saloons on the lane and if not carefully noted, one can easily mistake it for another saloon. At the entrance, I paid shillings 1,000 as entrance fee and I was given a pair of condoms. We entered the lounge.
The ‘service room’ had no lights so it was a bit dark and you could not make out the faces of the various couples in it. As we entered, my ‘customer’ guides in since he is familiar with the place.
He walks straight to the corner that has the only bed in the room and he uses his hand to make out whether there is a couple on the bed. “Ffe tuliwanno (we are occupying this bed),” a lady whispers. So we settle for the edge of the bed as we wait for them to finish. It’s a pretty busy environment.
Although there are no lights, there is some little light from the adjoining room that allows one to make out a few things; there are five couples in different corners having sex .There are four couples on mattresses on the floor and one couple occupies the bed on which we are seated, pretending to be the next ones to occupy it for business.
The sight to me was at first embarrassing and later on traumatising. Three basins were in the middle of the room, used condoms are discarded in them. When I looked at these women being used, I couldn’t help associating them to dogs! Is this real or am I dreaming? God what’s happening to society? I wondered.
Different couples have different arguments and conversations while having sex. Couple X is not agreeing on the time and payments. “Naye sebbo oludewo…Ka short ka dakiiika ntono nnyo naye gwe ogaanye okumala, nyongeramu enkumi biri (you have delayed sir, a short round takes very few minutes but you are not finishing. You will add me shillings 2000),” the woman on the bed tells her customer.
After another couple finishing their business, the customer starts complaining about his missing mobile phone. “Mpa essimu yange oba tojjafuluma muno ng’oli mulamu (Give me my phone or else you will not get out of here alive)!” he shouts.
As they go on with their quarrel about the missing phone, a campus girl I know from the Faculty of Social Sciences walks in with a man. Thanks to my customer who strategically led me to the corner so she cannot make out my face but I can recognise hers. She is a good example of what I am looking for – campus prostitutes. She occupies the mattress adjacent to our bed and they begin their business, just after a couple that has just finished.
As ‘my customer’ excuses himself and gets out(it was according to our plan), I use this chance to interact with one of these girls as we ‘freshened up’ in the room connected to this sex gallery. I pretended to express my disappointment of my customer ‘who had refused to pay me’ just to get a few facts about the business and that is when I got to know of kashort, ’loongo’ and CNN live as terms used in the business. Campus prostitutes call the kashort a quickie, she told me.
As I listened to nonstop vulgar exchange of words between different couples, I finally decided to leave this disgusting hell of a world. After all, my story was done.
The Campus Journal (Sept—Oct 2011)