Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Episode 34: Relics Of A Prostitute

Anyone visiting my house would find no explicit clue to hint at the kind of work I do. A pack of condoms, a bottle of spirit and half life cigarettes are items to be found on the coffee table of many present day women of my age. Personally though when I look around I see items not obvious to others but which remind me of my past and present life. Like most people I have over the years unconsciously kept mementos of low intrinsic but high sentimental value. Only recently did I consciously look at the items and saw in them signposts of a journey I have taken in slightly over two and half years.

If I were to assume a curator’s role and exhibit the items I would call the show Relics Of A Prostitute. In the explanatory note I would say the exhibition partially depicts the good and the bad of prostitutes and johns alike. Here are some of my souvenirs:

Blue Pant With Laces (Faded)
- I wore this pant many times when practicing at the Sabina Joy. However I can’t recall if it is the same pant I wore on the day I broke my second virginity to become an outright prostitute. It has a gray smell which makes me light in the head and reminds me of the dirty, tattered mattresses of the short-time rooms at the Sabina Joy. Though I have disposed many pants over the years, I somehow can't let this go.

Talking of pants I have two sets. One composed of brightly colored pieces which I wear to work, and the other of cool colors which I wear when off duty.  I keep the blue pant among the work related set. If pants talk I feel my pioneer blue pant has a lot to teach my present collection which is used to cozy beds.

A White Note - I spent two days with a man holed in a hotel. When I woke up on the third day I found a note on the bed written “You are nice". He owned me some little cash.

1000 Shillings Note (Fake)
- This was a case of deal which was too bad to be a lie. A man had picked me from the Street and drove aimlessly around town insisting on paying me 500 shillings which I considered to be too low. I got irritated and asked him to let me go. That is when he abruptly said he would double the money for a very quick session in a downtown hotel. When we were finished I literally snatched the money from his hand and walked away. I only realized the note was fake when my local shopkeeper pointed out.

Like they do in bars I have written Fake and stuck it on a wall in my house next to the window. Nowadays I smile when I remember the man, but as ironical as it may seem, it took me a week after being conned that way to overcome the nasty feeling of being 'used'.

Court Fine Receipt - A pair of police arrested me on a Friday night as I was coming from a session in a hotel opposite Jeevanjee gardens. They seemed under pressure to have the numbers and would not take a bribe. I spent two days in the cells and Monday morning I was charged with being drunk and disorderly which was a better accusation as compared to prostitution. The fine was 300 shillings. A colleague bailed me out, and the yellow receipt ended between the pages of my King James Bible. The bible was a gift from a British client. “You need this more than I do" he said, using the classical movie star line. Yeah, I being more of a sinner.

Sedative (Fake) - I was sold the powder substance by Cheupe after a smart sales pitch during my first week on the Street. She talked of being ready to seize opportunities. But it turned out to be some silly powder which turned the color of wine blue rather than knock a man off. It was more dangerous than an actual sedative because it was an instant give way. Luckily I had an understanding go happy diplomat as my would be victim, and not a big headed today-you-will-learn-a-lesson frustrated mid thirties man.

Wallet and Passport Photo Of A Woman and A Girl
- See Episode 33: Mea Culpa. This is still haunting me.

Millie Jackson Tape - I pinched this from a flamboyant client and love it so. He played it on the stereo of his car as we drove to a hotel.  He carried it to the room, and seeing an opportunity I could not resist taking it. The tape has such relevant hits as All The Way Lover & Cheating. I miss the man.

A Green Plastic Key - A client gave the key to me. He claimed to have bought it from his pastor for 1000 shillings. The key is supposed to open the doors of life. “I have opened my doors" he said. “You should open yours too”. It’s my good luck charm, and I carry it with me always. Forget the doors of life.

Hotel Receipt - I asked a client to let me keep the receipt of the most expensive hotel I have been to. I use it to fantasize of the day I will go there alone.

The list is endless and I continue finding myself with odd items I gather during my work.


Meanwhile what has been keeping me busy among other things is an e-book I am working on. It will have photos of some of the above items, illustrations of some of the present (and future episodes), photos of some places I have been to, new writing, more personal insights and lots of other stuff. This also might be the point where I might (or might not) reveal myself. My wish is to have the book out in less than ten days, but then it depends on my fortunes since I have discovered good graphic designers are very expensive. Perhaps I should sell the book in advance at a low price to facilitate the process, or give my all on the Street, fund it from my own pocket then dish it out free of charge as the last chapter of my peculiar brand building exercise.

-You can get my ebook which includes an introduction cum update of my brand building, Episode 1-30 and selected comments. Just click on Ebooks above

-Follow: Twitter: @suenairobi
           Facebook: Sue Maisha


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Episode 33: Mea Culpa

The morals of a prostitute, as I have noted before, have been compared to those of an alley cat; meaning there are non existent. There is no indulgence that is unexpected from a prostitute. After all, by some self righteous meter, selling one's body for cash is the lowest a human being can get. Of course girls have proved themselves capable of many things, but then the prostitute stereotype is often very misplaced. Every girl is her own person. A girl relies on how conscience, and in many circumstances there is enough leeway for choice.

That said I cannot rule out the role of peer pressure; the need to belong and very often escape the girlish sanctions that come with not conforming. To the larger society that’s not justification enough for some of the things we do.  I would be the last person to claim I am innocent in the trademark vices of prostitutes. How can I be when I have already admitted to carrying a sedative in my bag?  Yet I won’t steal, or to use a more politically correct word, shortchange a man unless I feel he deserves it. Yes, that has not always been my position, but is presently is. I define “deserve” using parameters of the Jesus Philosophy.

The second day after my recent break a man came to the Street driving some saloon car, whose make I couldn’t figure out. The first day had been unproductive, so I was among the first to rush when the car stopped.  But I was not the first choice; he picked Pendo, hesitated then called me too. It’s normal for men to pick two or three girls, and most of us are okay with it, at the least for the simple reason that such a combination commands better prices. Personally I am uneasy about such arrangements, somehow I like having my clients by the balls (even literally), and that is not possible when we are two since we jostle to control the man and win his favor. Circumstances though demand I participate in the threesomes once in a while.

Some men think that all prostitutes connect, like in this case believing picking any two random girls will result in a super session. That is far from the truth. Girls have their favorite partners, the ones they can work with flawlessly and with some rhythm. My partner of choice is a marvelous little girl called Soni.

Pendo, just like her friend Cheupe, is one of those intimidating Street loud mouths. She says anything. She does anything. She has been involved into many fights than anyone cares to count. She is one of the Street alphas. At this point I have to confess though I write so boldly (or so I think) on the Street I am almost a nobody, one of the many colorless girls lacking any chutzpah. I am still not sure why I agreed to join Pendo. I might have been blackmailed by her domineering nature or simply needed the money and a lay to feel back on the Street.

Inside the car the good looking man asked which lodging we should go to. That is a no no question for anyone who is Street smart. Many girls will mention a lodging they feel comfortable in. Comfortable meaning they can walk out at anytime of the night without any ado from the watchman or management. Pendo who was seated at the front mentioned the name of a hotel off Accra road, and the man obliged without any question. A hint that he knew not of the crooked ways of the city.

Within minutes we were at the hotel, he paid and we climbed the stairs to the room. But before we could start the ‘show’, Pendo said some drinks would help us give the best performance possible. She was right. I could not imagine myself having any girl on girl action, as is the norm in such scenarios, with her while sober. The man agreed and went for drinks downstairs. And those ten minutes between him going and coming back was all Pendo needed to tell me how we were to steal from him. I was not enthusiastic and she noted it. Pendo is not one to use diplomacy. “If you are not for it then get out, after all he called me first." Before I could even reply the man was back, and we were all smiles.

From then Pendo took over. She poured the Richot the man had brought into three glasses, and added soda. We started drinking. She saying the man looked good, at the same time caressing my thighs with one of her tough hands. Within minutes she was all over him, kissing, touching and undressing. Pendo embraced him in such a way she was able to look at me, while the man couldn’t. She winked. I didn't hesitate. From my small purse I removed one of the Michael Jackson tablets in powder form and emptied the contents in the man's glass as he and Pendo went all the way.

As expected the man blackened out. We frisked his pockets, removing everything that was in it. He had about 7,000 shillings in cash, and some cheap phone. We shared the spoils there and then. Since it was her 'idea' Pendo kept 4,000, the phone and ATM. I took the rest and the wallet.

Back on the street, Pendo narrated the exploit to anyone who cared to listen, twisting the story so that it looked like I was the one who had initiated the theft. The sisterhood was full of praises. But deep inside I felt guilty, and still do. I spent almost all of the money on booze. I didn’t dispose the wallet as is the smart thing to do. When the guilt weighs me down I look at the passport photo of a woman and a girl that were inside the wallet. I tell myself a man who cheats on his wife and lovely daughter needs to be punished. Yet I know this a mere consolation, and that’s why occasionally I invoke my Catholic roots and say :

    I confess to almighty God
    and to you, my brothers and sisters,
    that I have greatly sinned,
    in my thoughts and in my words,
    in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
    through my fault, through my fault,
    through my most grievous fault;
    therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
    all the Angels and Saints,
    and you, my brothers and sisters,
    to pray for me to the Lord our God.


-I will spend sometime this weekend doing some typing so as to try post three or more times a week, starting this coming Monday.

-You can get my ebook which includes an introduction cum update of my brand building, Episode 1-30 and selected comments. Just click on Ebooks above

-I receive a lot of questions on many issues either through the comments here, Facebook, Twitter or Email. So as to be able to answer as many of them possible I have added an Ask page. You can ask the questions anonymously or otherwise. Just click on the Ask Sue page above. My answers, clarifications, comments will appear on the same page possibly daily. For private questions or enquiries just drop me a message via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Follow: Twitter: @suenairobi
           Facebook: Sue Maisha

Monday, June 20, 2011

Episode 32: The Female Client

Shortly after shifting to the Street I heard about Nyambura Mwanaume. (Loosely translated to Nyambura the man). This, according to the story, was a woman who dressed like a man, picked girls and took them to her house in South B. There, as per the legend, Nyambura would treat a girl the same way a man does, even in bed. It was said at times Nyambura could get violent and cause pain to a girl, but shower her with cash the following morning. Her generosity, just like her weird ways, was on everyone's lips.

Occasionally I heard so and so went with Nyambura Mwanaume, or a girl would say she had been with her the previous night. I wanted to be part of the legend and prayed everyday that she picks me, but it never happened. I started believing Nyambura Mwanaume was a myth created by a girl who fantasized about such stuff, and tried to merge it with reality. Actually I doubted there were any women who came to the Street to pick girls.

As I mentioned earlier the mechanisms and dynamics of female to female sex make the choice of a prostitute not the most appropriate. From my experience in college and after, girl on girl relationships are very sensual and intimate. One needs a partner  they can trust in terms of emotions, thought process and even such things as health and hygiene. A prostitute can favorably display such qualities, but these are attributes which can't  be skimmed from a late night, semi nude street pose.

It turned out that I was wrong, at least about women picking girls from the street. There are such women. The most common being  those who come accompanied by a man and are in need of a girl to join them for an orgy or party. But there are few others who come on their own seeking girls to service them. There are far and part, and the repeat ones very well known. At the peak of the Nyambura Mwanaume legend, girls were usually divided as to whether it was preferable to have a man over a woman as a client. This made me long to be picked by a woman, at least so that I could gauge 'attractiveness' of clients based on gender. Also I was tired of being silenced during the man woman arguments with such statements as " What are you talking about? You have never 'gone' with a woman, so shut up!"

I had to live with the reprimand until slightly after a year on the Street, when I met Agnes, my first and only female client. This is a story I have been reluctant to write about perhaps because I wanted to believe it was something special, the thing that remains covered as I undress and show my nakedness through my writing. But it was non other than Agnes who told me there was nothing special about it.

Towards the end of April I received an email. Nothing exceptional because I receive tens of emails every day. However this particular one had as its subject a unique nickname I rarely use. Well, it turned out to be Agnes. She is the only one of my present and former clients to know I am the author of this blog. I didn't deny it. Two or three emails later, some mind jogging and nostalgia, she encouraged me to write about whatever our affair was.

On the day I met Agnes a Honda passed along the Street, slowed down and then zoomed off . A few minutes later the same car came, slowed down and zoomed off . This usually happens when a potential customer is not sure who to pick or is a first timer and jittery.  But by the time the car passes a second time we are alert and if it slows down we rush to it. The Honda came a third a time and stopped. Three of us surrounded it calling out "honey" like we usually do. Then we realized it was a woman at the wheel and we fell silent...

(Continued from Monday…)

She raised her hands slightly from the steering wheel as if in amazement. We looked at her, and then Gracie, one of the newer girls, burst out laughing walking away. We girls know each others strengths. Thus if a man comes and says he wants a girl who will agree to anal sex we know who to call. Same for a man who may want a girl with whom to participate in group sex, or something out of the ordinary. However there are no girls I know of who specialize in women. The woman waved her hand at me. I got inside the car and we drove off. For a few minutes we said nothing to each other and I stole glances at her.  She looked in her late twenties and was prettier than me.

“Why were you surprised?" she asked at last. She spoke Swahili. I said I wasn’t. “Have you ever had a woman client?" "No". What do you expect?" I said nothing.

We drove to a house in secluded compound along Juja Road. She held my hand and led me inside. “Why did that girl laugh?" she asked. “I don't know"

“What if I told you I am a researcher only interested in asking you some few questions, and paying for it, how would you feel? ..."

:Okay”. She was getting to my nerves

“Do you speak English?"

“When I want to"

She removed a bottle of a spirit without a lable from a fridge, and poured some in glass, which she placed in front of me. Then her questions started; “How long have you been a prostitute? Why did you become a prostitute? What are the risks you face? Has a man ever refused to pay you? Has a client ever beaten you? What do you think the government should do about the likes of you? Do you plan to quit?”

Such questions are rhetorical and depending on who is asking, easy to answer with the obvious replies. That's what I did. But that is as far as the questions got, the next thing I knew she was next to me, within minutes we were naked, doing awkward things with her giving instructions. That became the trend. We would meet once or twice a week. She insisted on picking me from the street rather I going directly to her house.

The girls on the Street too need someone they can confide or candidly talk to. Talking helps ease the tensions that build up from varied experiences, pressure from family and society at large. It’s through talking that girls look for support in justifying any wrong decisions they may have made. Generally there is never an appropriate person to talk to. Colleagues are full of their own issues to listen with more than passing interest, while clients have a low opinion of us, and few want to be involved beyond sex. But I started talking and confiding to Agnes, something I had never done with anyone else. Many times I asked for her opinion and ‘guidance’.

The talking erased the prostitute - client relationship. She made it look like we were friends. Sometimes she refused to pay me the full amount agreed; sometimes she delayed the money for a week. But I still sucked to her, and she knew it. I was be available anytime she called me. At times when drunk she called me names, and reminded me I was a prostitute, only for her to apologize when sober. Despite all this I somehow liked her, maybe because she was the only person I could freely talk to about my work, and the many complexities that came with it.

Slowly I realized she now ‘owned’ me. She would call so many times during the day just to ask where I was. She wanted me to reserve all the weekends for her. This affected my income, but I still did it. Occasionally while in her house she told to me to 'assist' with house  work as she handled some other 'business'. I washed the clothes and cleaned the house. I never came to know exactly what she did for a living.

To cut a long story short, one late evening she took me out to a club in Parklands. As usual while drinking I did most of the talking. All she did was listen in a bossy way that implied her opinion was ultimate. As I got tipsy my predatory and street instincts sharpened. Across the table from was a man who kept stealing glances at me. He winked and I excused myself and walked towards him without hesitation. As I sat down I realized Agnes had followed me. She was blazing. She looked at the man and shouted something about messing with her daughter or sister. She pulled me out of the club. We didn’t talk until we were in house. “Aren’t you ashamed of talking to a man when with me?” she asked. I could not take it anymore. We ended up in a physical fight, which I dominated.

I walked out of the house, and that was the last time I heard of her until that week in April when she sent me an email. Of course she called and tried to apologize but I never went back. Immediately after I went into one of my trademark lows (Someone suggests its depression). I still don't know what to make of her or women clients in general.


-You can get my ebook which includes an introduction cum update of my brand building, Episode 1-30 and selected comments. Just click on E-books above

-I receive a lot of questions on many issues either through the comments here, Facebook, Twitter or email. So as to be able to answer as many of them as possible I have added an Ask page. You can ask the questions anonymously or otherwise. Just click on the Ask Sue page above. My answers, clarifications and comments will appear on the same page possibly daily. For private questions or enquiries just drop me a message via email, Facebook or Twitter.

-Follow: Twitter: @suenairobi
            Facebook: Sue Maisha