A former Kenyan prostitute who is now a pastor called Jane Watiri, has narrated a gripping tale of how she literally messed up her life and slept with several men she came in contact with. There are lot of reasons which force women into prostitution; for Watiri, it was an excruciating heartbreak she suffered that drove her into this.
“I was not the average prostitute,” she says, adding, “I was quite dangerous. I used to steal from my clients. I would carry everything; clothes, shoes, phones, keys and even wedding rings which I sold for Sh3,000 in Eastleigh. I used to really mess up those men,”she says.
“I had some friends who would take me out to clubs and reggae nights when I was 14,”she recalls. The teenager then sunk into a life of clubbing and alcoholism as her mother watched helplessly.
When she was 16, Ms Watiri was arrested, charged with loitering and jailed at Lang’ata Women’s Prison for a month. When she got out, she met a young man, fell in love, got pregnant and got married. “One day, he left me for an older woman and there I was, 17 years old, with a baby boy, no education and no job. I was very angry,” she says.
She was in Koinange street seven years: “I wanted to hurt men the way the father of my child did to me. Bitterness and unforgiveness can really destroy your life.” She says she would change her look weekly so as not to be recognized by clients she had stolen from.
The life of a sex worker, according to Ms Watiri, is punctuated by dangerous clients, drug and alcohol abuse, arrests, disease and death.
While majority of clients would pay for sex, others just wanted to be in the company of a woman and have someone to pour out their hearts to. Others demanded unusual activities and would threaten with guns and other weapons if the sex-workers did not comply.
Many of her colleagues died on the job. Some would be killed in hotel rooms and others would get into clients’ vehicles and vanish or be found dead in a ditch the next day.
According to Nation.co.ke, Watiri who has a baby said times she would also drug her baby to make him sleep throughout the night or just leave him to cry himself to sleep.
She would carry two rolls of marijuana, one soaked in petroleum which would knock out the client, and the other one for her, to put her in the mood for work.
“In our days we did not have what people today call mchele. That was the surest way of drugging your client,” she says.