Nairobi slum students turn to sex trade for survival

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A number of students in Nairobi’s Dandora area have turned to commercial sex work following the closure of schools due to Covid-19.

One of the students whose names we have changed to Jane says that she joined the trade after her mother lost her job to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jane who is the first born in a family of six says that she felt she had to do something after they went for several nights without food.

“I am 17 years old. I was in form three. The situation at home is what drove me to become a sex worker…. my mother is a single parent, before coronavirus, my mother used to wash clothes for people. But after coronavirus struck, people locked their homes and started doing their own laundry, this made my mum jobles,” narrates Jane.

“At some point we slept hungry, we were almost kicked out of our rented house, so I had to chip by becoming a commercial sex worker,” she says.

She says that she was introduced into sex work by her friend who had also dropped out of form four in January.

“My friend who dropped out of form four introduced me into the hustle. She showed me what to do and how to attract clients,” she narrates.

According to Jane, the journey has not been easy, some clients have sexually harassed her by forcefully sleeping with her without protection and failing to pay her.

“My first client did not even pay me, he slept with me without protection and took off without paying me. I felt helpless because i could not go after him because of shame,” says Jane.

Jane however says that she has learnt to protect herself from HIV and pregnancy buy taking PREPs and also using family planning injections.

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