Nigeria: After my prostitution, regret is the next thing

Off-Day Dating
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Life has ever been sour and bitter to me. I wish I yielded to so many words of advice I was privileged to get from loved ones. They would have saved me from the danger I now face. When religious preachers came to me then, I despised them; I thought they were living the wrong side of life.

Even though I was born into a Christian home, I still believed those carrying Bible around are unserious and lost in life. I did not know I was the one lost and needed to be found in the programme of God.

According to the story my daddy told me before his eventual demise, he said my mother died immediately I was born in the local clinic. The poor woman lost her precious life just because there was no good health care available.

Daddy said he brought me back home weeping profusely because he knew he had lost his backbone in the real sense of it. He said my mother was a strong woman. She was the one that took every good initiative in the house before daddy would buy into it later. Daddy confessed his success so far before the death of my mummy was a clear result of mummy’s idea in reality. I was just seven yeats old when daddy too left me to join his good wife. He would not stop talking about her till death. When I grew up later, I began to ask myself:” Does it mean daddy preferred being with mummy to taking care of me, a little helpless girl?” That is why when I think about life: how I was able to survive till date, I would not blame myself much for anything.

Uncle Charles during the family meeting after the demise of my daddy told the family he would take me along with him to Lagos. The family agreed and thanked him for his readiness to take up my responsibilities. But one of the elders asked that day if his wife had agreed to have me with them in Lagos. Another elder in the family was infuriated by the former’s comment: “Are you saying Chally (the name they call Uncle Charles in the village)should take permission from his wife before he takes the daughter of his brother to his house? No wonder, they have told me several times that Nne Chukwuka is the one controlling your home, now I believe,” the man said angrily and then turned to uncle Charles:

“Chally, you don’t have to take permission from a woman before taking care of your family members. Do you hear me? All of us support you and our forefathers will back you.”

Uncle Charles was just nodding to all they said. And later he told them it was an agreement between him and his wife to take me to Lagos. Aunty Nneka seemed to be happy to see me the day I got to their house. I also was happy. I have come to live like a princess in the beautiful house but I later knew it was just a dream that cannot come real. Few days later I began to see a different person in my uncle’s wife; she treated me like she would treat a slave. Many atimes, my uncle would be at home to see the way his wife treated me but sometimes he would not be around.

The way my uncle would react to his wife’s unfair attitude to me showed that he didn’t like it and sometimes he would give me pocket money without letting his wife know of it. I would have enjoyed uncle Charles’ house but his wife did not allow that. Therefore, I later planned to leave the house for another place. I was already 14 before I left the house with the help of a lady who trained me in the trade of promiscuity that ruined my life. We were living on the same street and most often she would be the one to call and greet me. Sometimes she would call me ‘beauty’ and sometimes she would call ‘Fulani girl’. She told me on a certain day that she liked me, ” you are beautiful, you look like a Fulani girl”. She said she wanted me to be visiting her.

Whenever Aunty Nneka was not at home and the children were out with her or their father, I would go to her for visit. Most times she would give me food and money. Honestly I liked her lifestyle; I loved her calmness, her kindness and everything about her environment. I kept wondering why she was not married then but I never asked her and I scarcely found any man with her at home not knowing she had many at her call. When I was planning to leave my uncle’s house but did not know where to go, I told her and she promised to help me out.

Meanwhile, before then whenever I told her I liked her dressing style and her beautiful environment, she would tell me: These are nothing compared to what you can have if you face your studies”. I could never have thought she could be engaging in any ungodly trade like prostitution. On the day I would leave my uncle’s house, he and his wife had gone to shop leaving the children and I at home. I packed the few clothes I had and wrote a letter for the children to deliver to my uncle.

Aunty Becky described where to meet her and we left from there to where she proudly called her office. I was suprised to see only girls in the place, some were not even up to my age and some were my age while some were elderly like my role model, aunty Becky. She introduced me to a fat woman on a sofa in a room out of the many they had in the building. In a nutshell, Aunty Becky introduced me to prostitution. I had no choice, but because I didn’t want to go back to uncle Charles’ house again, I had to take it as the last resort.

Though I knew that would pose a serious threat to my education yet I still yielded. “If Aunty Becky does it to prosper, why not me?” I said to myself. I started the trade like those I met there but unlike many of them who told me they were shy when they started, I was not ashamed of anything. I had taken it as a job that would make me prosperous like Aunty Becky.

The first night was not easy for me. I was so unfortunate to meet a man that was stronger than I could imagine. I had several bruises that night but my mentor and others were there to encourage me. Honestly, the type of cooperation I saw there encouraged me so much. When anyone joined the trade everybody rallied round her to encourage her and everybody teaches the person with experience in the ugly trade. There are lots of experiences I had which will be too much to publish and probably too dirty to put on the pages of the paper. But for God I would have been killed for rituals.

n several occassions, some strange men would come to pick us up with the promise of having some big ‘fishes’ awaiting us somewhere but we would get there to see they were either drug pushers that wanted us to help in carrying drugs abroad or they are utterly out to harm us. There was a time they killed one of us successfully in the hotel before the rest of us escaped. I also found out that some of those colleagues that were of my age bracket had travelled abroad with drugs and came back to retire from prostitution. Some even left the shores of Nigeria without coming back.

What happened that made me retire from prostitution was a serious illness that still trails my life till date. Though I have made fortunes from the trade because ours was so executive that sometimes we earned in dollars or other hard currencies, I bought a parcel of land and was building before I fell ill and as a matter of fact I was almost completing the building before I encountered the serious incurable ailment. It happened that evening like some days as explained earlier; Two guys on that fateful evening like every other business day came to call us for a bussiness.

Despite those ugly experiences we had from the past, we would never turn down any invitation except for some reasons I will not mention herein. That is why one would find prostitutes in the houses of voodoo priests seeking spiritual protection. Prostitutes still believe God will protect them when we attend religious gatherings. Many of us attend churches and pay tithes. The belief is that God will forgive our sins when we attend churches and even give offering and tithe. So on the fateful day, three of us left with two guys.

They paid half of our agreed fees and the rest to be paid after the deal. It was around ten in the night when we prepared and joined them in the big Jeep they brought to pick us.

Our colleagues were hailing us as we moved to the car and jumped in. At least that has ever been the style; we hailed each other when we catch ‘big fish. We were driven to a big house which seemed too complicated to know from where one gets into the building yet we followed. We were called one after the other to a room from the big living room we were entertained for about one hour. I felt a kind of serious cold as I entered the room when I saw a display of Pounds Sterling in their piles on a big table with a main man seated behind a roller-chair. I met Sandra and Amina seated together on the three-seater sofa at a bit far corner of the room.

The man called me to the seat in his front with those hard currency gazing at me eyeball to eyeball. The man simply brought out his left arm. At the bicep was a sore that still looked fresh. ” A simple kiss of this earns you a thousand dollar and if you go further to clean it with your tongue, three thousand dollars will be yours. But a refusal may cost you your life.”

I looked at my friends where they were seated and both managed to smile at me. I knew they might have cooperated with the man. It was a serious danger and we needed to choose the lesser evil that we did not know the repercussion though. Immediately, many thoughts came to my mind. I wondered why a man would not demand sex from a prostitute but to lick a sore even though it looked fresh. In one word I licked the sore and we all went back home.

Sandra did not wake up the following morning, she was dead. Two weeks later Amina died of a serious ailment. I was the only survivor of the incident but I am battling with life today. I have lost all I acquired in my sixteen years to seeking spiritual helps all to no avail. Today I call death every minute but it refuses to come. And ironically, I know my colleagues are suffering today wherever they are in the unseen world and that makes me have a rethink about death. Many Christians have taken me to their churches but till now it is not better, I only hope if I die at last I will not still go yonder to suffer.
Becky who introduced me to prostitution is still doing fine till date. She had left the trade before me in the name of being born-again but I am still in my problem. That bright face of mine that attracted her then is now a shadow of itself.

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