Prostitution: The Sad Kenyan Story

with changing lifesytles so has the trade become sophiticated

As I walk along Nairobi streets on my way to take a bus home, sometimes I wonder how these beautiful girls can ever fall out of this trap that entangles them so tightly. Sometimes I wonder if their customers really care about what these girls have to face and go through everyday-the shame, the hopelessness, the stress and the heavy load of life’s share of problems. Sometimes I wonder what role I can play to rescue them out of their miserable situations but always remember I being a man, am venerable- subject to the temptation of lust that will quickly overwhelm me and lead me to take advantage of them in exchange of modest sum money for that all enjoyable experience. I hear that some are university students trying to raise their fees. I also hear that a majority of them are from very poor backgrounds, part of the huge number of migrants who go into towns in search of jobs. Whatever the girls’ backgrounds, they, together, stand in line, in wait of that prospective customer that includes the rich and the famous.

Prostitution is as old as man. In Kenya, it plays an integral part in the cycle of poverty. Very few girls are able to break out of it yet some others use it as a tool to greater prosperity. The normal traditional life pattern of a prostitute is that they are born into a family which in most cases is poor. They grow up watching their parents get into any form of business in order to sustain her siblings and soon learn from them that at times the ends justify the means. Sadly, due to the lack of a proper parental guidance and an abundant idle time out of the unavailability of meaningful social activities, they get into sexual relationships as part of the self discovery process and to kill ‘boredom’ only to find themselves with child. Their parents very annoyed and stunned that their children did not learn from their own mistakes, chase away the girl from the family stating that they already have enough problems of their own including their large family size and do not need any additions only reductions. The lonely girl, normally in their teens, with a child is then forced to live on her own and look for a means of survival.

Being a school drop out and under age, prostitution becomes the easiest and most enjoyable way to earn an income for the young girl and to feed her little baby especially having learnt from her parents that at times the ends justifies the means. She discovers that she now has the freedom to continue herself discovery process without the watchful eye of her parents. In fact, this now becomes a very potent tool for rebellion against her parents but that slowly turns into expression of rebellion against society - a society that now frowns upon her new found status and imprisons her to a life of shame. After some time the initial enjoyment and pleasure derived from the sexual act slowly turns to a mandatory survival routine exercise clouded with guilt and shame that now overwhelm the girl. She constantly wishes that she could stop selling her body to men who don’t care or value her most important asset- her body that she loves to adorn with jewelry and ointments and her precious womanhood. Years later, she resigns into a life of hopelessness and totally feels valueless. Her only hope lies in her child, in whom she hopes will break out of the circle of a miserable and at times poor life, chose to go to school and become a respectable and successful member of society. Unfortunately the child knowing no other better life and example to follow, finds herself leading the same life as her mother continuing the cycle to the next and next generation.

Today there is a new breed of prostitutes. Those who engage in the practice not out of necessity but in the hope of a better life. This group has heard stories of their close friends who let down their deeply held Christian values and stumbled on success itself- a man who provided for them and treated them like the queen they always loved to be. This type is quite sophisticated and chic. They are not the type that will stand in line or in the cold taking every ‘bus’ that comes their way. No! This type is very choosy and patiently waits for their desired target mainly comprising of rich men and tourists especially Italian and German. They are also not after an instant monetary gain, shopping will do and a few gifts here and there. They pose like lonely ladies that are looking for a lifelong partner. In fact, they are so hard to identify since some of them even have day time jobs and are well educated. They include university students in seeking to raise pocket money, young unemployed girls seeking a job and employed girls seeking an extra income, a higher paying job or a life of financial bliss. They will never admit that they are prostitutes though in some circles they are identified as professional prostitutes firstly because they are professionals in terms of job status and secondly they do their act in a professional way. I don’t know if they are the product of the African woman and her modern dilemma (See article by similar title) but if the definition of a prostitute is one who gives their body to another sexually for a monetary gain then they fit the bill. They normally love to go to bars and similar classy joints unaccompanied by men. Some love to travel to the coastal area of Kenya mainly visiting areas like Mombasa, Diani and Malindi in such of that tourist who will build them a big home. The promise of a better life is their main motivator. They later become successful in their hunt and get the status that they desire in society earning huge salaries or living a lavish life. I actually know of one who dislodged the first wife of a wealthy man and at the age of 23 she had her own apartment and drove a land rover house. I hear another got her license to transact her business through a ‘strategic’ encounter with a powerful and rich man. I guess this are just rumors since they say they ‘truly’ love their man.

I wonder if in this case it would be more acceptable for me to refer to them as concubines for fear of social retribution against me for this article or more appropriately for me to seek to understand way prostitution in whatever form takes place and thus try justify the existence of the practice and therefore try find a solution to the problem. What ever the case the stories are sad from a religious point of view and seriously need to be addressed maybe by engaging the church, the moral custodians in society or advocating for new social norms that will still uphold the moral fabric of society.

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Comments 21 comments

Katie 7 years ago

This is so sad when i go to Kenya (in about 5 weeks) i will give those poor girls some money for free. I hope that they can lead and have a better life. My condolences with them.


magu  7 years ago

hope we good meet while you are in nairobi i will explain to you much more about the whole issue and then see i what other ways we can help. when you reach Kenya you can call me on +254 722 684 768

silvester 6 years ago

the girls need to be helped and equiped with life sustaining skils like modeling,salon etc.i have an NGO which works with poor children in slums and with support from donors we can create a project for can log in to you can contact me on cell +254725 749760

Jane 6 years ago

Thank you for highlighting the plight of girls and women. I would disagree with the following statement:

prostitution becomes the easiest and most enjoyable way to earn an income for the young girl

It's not an enjoyable past time for anyone, the damage it causes to these girls is so immense that it take a lifetime to fix, if at all. Please let us get away from this notion that women and girls join prostitution for enjoyment, rather its the men that buy these poor souls who do it for pleasure.

vishwanath shetty 6 years ago

Really sad , those who are interested in study. I wanted to girl for for her further study.

JacksBlogs 5 years ago

There was no evidence here you truly know any of these girls in Kenya or used their services. Several comments included interest in giving these poor girls money. Wrong move. Just ignore it. These girls often make more than most other women who work long hours. When you buy a coke at your local convenient store, give $10 to your clerk. She probably needs it a lot more. When you do that you will understand the foolishness of giving money to either girl. Read my blogs. Prostitution needs more attention from normal police attention, especially in the USA, and not more crazy sensationalism.

- - from JACK

mnguru profile image

mnguru 5 years ago from nairobi, Kenya Author

hi jack and all else

sorry for being quiet to the last 2 years. a lot happened since our country got into violence in 2008 after an election crisis. firstly i got completely broke since i was starting new businesses at the time and hence had to be offline. 2 years later am back and well and ready to contribute to the society.

well concerning kate, silvester and shetty am setting up a program in which you can contribute and help out. didn't set it up earlier since i was broke and i want to contribute as well.

for jack

the stories are true, while in malindi i interviewed around 10 ladies in 2007. as for the upmarket prostitue who got a job and dislodged a married woman, her name is essie she was in my sunday school class and that's how i lnow her story well

gajendran1975 profile image

gajendran1975 5 years ago


carol 4 years ago

i have worked with NGOs for the last seven years most especially with women and young girls.prostitution is a complicated issue and needs alto of caution in handling the matter.prostitution has left the red light districts and is in our leaving room.the objectification of women has become a normal trend in society with scantily dressed women in music videos and in some extent this women in the streets,some in the escort service and in strip clubs have been conditioned by society and norms of the western world that promiscuity is part of expressing a liberal female sexuality.

Raymond Conder 4 years ago

who needs to get saved today in kenya?

Michael kinyua Henchman 4 years ago

Prostitution is real. what are the Kenyan citizens and the government doing! Are we shying away from talking about it on Radio and other media? Why did we have to halt the breakfast show on Classic105 F.m? Remember,Ignorance is blindness

jaymo 4 years ago

this is sad and personal i have formed an ngo by the name life nourisher is to be registerd by march 2012.if you have ideas on how to eradicate prostitution you can share with me.+254 18 310 986.

peris 4 years ago

how about legalizing it in kenya may be in nairobi wher eits rampant and have it regulated???????????????

charles 4 years ago

it lowers her dignity as a woman. it destroys her after generation too after knowing she was one of them

Rev. RAPHAEL KORIR 4 years ago

What can save our children from this obnoxios behavior is having arehabilation christian oriented centre

peter 4 years ago

this is worse in kenya but the government is relaxed in dealing with such issues though they the full command to curb prostitution.

Steve 4 years ago

@ Peris legalization means that education will not be of value to the young girls since there is an "easy option" PROSTITUTION.........Remember prostitution is not only all about money it is also about objectification of women for sex!!!!!!

vee 4 years ago

we can never stop prostitution, not in Kenya or anywhere else in the world.. i am from zimbabwe and it is also rampant. young gals as little as 13 are having sex just to get a dollar for lunch or an evening meal and its so sad. i work for an NGO and we hev a programme with the Commercial sex Workers. insteading of shunning them we are heving campaigns where we sensitise them on the issue of protecting one's self and that is by using condoms and never letting these men abuse them i think that can also be done by NGOs in Kenya.

gkerosi profile image

gkerosi 3 years ago from Nairobi

This is a great hub...

mr.nobody 3 years ago

@mnguru Need to talk. contact me

lampado 7 months ago

plz people ın usa come nd help

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