The act of engaging in a sexual activity with another person (male or female) in exchange for compensation such as money or other valuable goods, commonly referred to as prostitution, has been practiced since time immemorial. As such, it is famed as the oldest profession in the world.
laughing it off with Blaah Dhee
The prevalent economic climate in the country has seen an upsurge in “thigh vending” against a shrinking client base. The outbreak of the Aids pandemic in the late 1980s coupled with the erosion of disposable income by the economic problems has seen numbers of “clients” dwindling drastically.
In this challenging economic atmosphere, men and women alike have resorted to various means of survival as the law of the jungle takes precedence. Survival of the fittest mode has resulted in some who are more daring breaking the law, thereby attracting the long arm of the law. It is no wonder our prisons now hold three times more than their designed capacity.
Years back, when Zimbabwe as a nation looked at prostitution with more disdain, those in the trade practiced under a veil of secrecy, amid fear of persecution. Prior to the Constitutional Court ruling of 2015 that outlawed the arrest of women found loitering in the streets for the purpose of prostitution, it was difficult for the practitioners to openly market themselves.
In its judgement the court argued that until such time that men confirmed that they had been approached by the women for sex, arresting these women was a violation of their constitutional right.
While the landmark ruling brought a new dawn in the trade, it also opened flood gates as the market became over supplied. In line with the dictates of market forces, a flooded market attracts cut-throat competition and subsequently very low prices.
The freedom borne of the Constitutional Court ruling is killing the once lucrative business for the very persons whom it intended to benefit. In any trade, the buyer welcomes low prices with open arms as long as the goods meet his requirements. Given that scenario, the seller has to rely on volumes to make up for the low prices if she has to survive.
Prices have reached rock bottom levels to as low as a dollar for two sessions.
We discussed prostitution after one of our folks, Sister Bee came to us asking to be bailed out financially. She had lost all her week’s takings to a client. Sister Bee is a veteran in the profession. Her catch stole her money, pots and food from her refrigerator.
What transpired was that while hanging out at one of the night clubs last Friday, she got connected to some man whom she thought all the writings of a good catch stamped on him. Owing to the depressed economy and other factors alluded to above, good clients are hard to come by these days.
So there she was having completed the preliminaries — eye catching glances coupled with disarming smiles in trapping her quarry. The smartly-dressed man finally came to where she sat. He told her that he was in transit to Bulawayo and was looking for somewhere to put up for the night.
Sister Bee rates herself highly. You know, the types of thigh vendors that appear like they are in the bar for the beer only and carry an aura of class. The type that will go out of their way just to show that they are women of substance.
They discussed the price and a deal was sealed. To demonstrate his sincerity and class, he paid right away.
Thereafter, all drinks were on him. Sister Bee inwardly thanked her ancestors and congratulated herself for possessing the knack for spotting a good catch where none seems available. By the time they left for her lodgings she was dead drunk.
On the morrow, she woke up with a startle as she felt the empty space next to her. She was alone in bed. Last night’s events filled her sleepy mind as her eyes surveyed the room. Not even a sign of the presence of his so generous man. His bag and shoes were missing. Maybe he was in the toilet, she comforted herself. Time lapsed.
It dawned on her. Maybe, being the gentleman he was, he had decided to leave before anyone was up for the day. Very thoughtful and considerate of him, she smiled again contentedly.
She remained calm. No hard feelings, after all she was paid for her services. She lifted the cloth on the bedside stool which doubles as a dressing table she usually keeps her money under that cloth.
To her horror and surprise, there was nothing. Even the violent tag to the cloth that nearly upset the small table yielded nothing. The $20 she got from her catch was gone. Not only that. As if salt was being rubbed into a fresh wound, she realised that even the $80 she had raked in throughout the week had vanished. She angrily pulled the cloth off the stool dropping everything. There was nothing.
She felt hot and needed water. On opening the refrigerator she blinked several times as her already confused mind could not come to grips with what she was seeing. All her eggs, milk and beef were gone. As she slumped onto the bed helplessly she noticed that her two pots were missing from the top shelf of her kitchen dresser.
Talk of a thieving catch.