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Prostitutes feeling pinch of travel advisories

It was only to be expected. The recent travel advisories issued by Western countries in the wake of the terrorism threat posed by the Al Shabaab in the country have had adverse effects not just for tourism and the economy but also for hundreds of commercial sex workers dotted across the Kenyan coast.

A spot-check over the weekend revealed that commercial sex workers who mostly rely on the thousands of tourists for their business boom are feeling the pinch with reduced visitors.

Mercy Njeri, a call girl, speaking to this writer who pretended to be a client lamented:

“Business is very low because there are no tourists. They are the ones who have money and they don’t fear to spend. Right now, we are forced to look for locals who don’t give as much money as the foreigners do. And even those locals who always throng Mombasa during Easter have not been as many this time round,” she said.

Some of the famous night clubs in Mombasa’s CBD have only been receiving a few foreigners whose attention the call girls fight for.

SCARCITY OF TOURISTS

The sex workers’ desperation is understandable considering how much the tourists spend for just one night of pleasure.

“On average you can get between Sh10,000 and Sh15,000 a night from a mzungu but there are others who are more generous pay as much as Sh30,000. On top of that, they buy you drinks all night and you don’t spend even a coin of your own. On a good night you can make up to Sh40,000,” Njeri said.

“But because of the scarcity of tourists, we can’t charge much. If you are lucky you only get to earn between Sh5,000 and Sh8,000 from the foreigners while the locals are only willing to part with nothing more than Sh2,000. That for us is not attractive enough,” she added.

Another commercial sex workers lamented:

Hamna biashara. Wazungu wamepungua inatubidi sasa tutafute vipesa vidogo vidogo kwa hawa wa kwetu ambao wanabana kweli (business is bad because the tourist numbers have reduced. We are now forced to look for business from locals who are, however, not too generous),” she said.