Senior Hooker bares soul,reveals stories from her 18 years in se_x industry

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They call her Saddam or Dispol, she calls herself Gogodera Rechihure.

These are some of the names that Sylvia Kandeya, 55, has earned over the more than 18-years that she has been into se_x work in Madondo, Mount Darwin.

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She is actually the ‘Dispol’ of commercial se_x work in Mt Darwin. She has been into se_x work for close to two decades now and she could have bedded more than 4 000 men in her lifetime.

“Ndini gogodera rechihure, ndaneta nacho. Hapana hure rinopinda muDarwin muno rika sanyoresa pano,” she says.

“I have no idea how many men I have slept with ever since I got into pr_ostitution. During my days, I could bed at least seven men in a day and I used to make good money then,” she reminisces about the good old days.

“What I know is I have reached the retirement age and I will hang my boots now.

“I’m almost getting there (retirement) because now I can just sleep with one or two men in a month,” adds Saddam.

Saddam says she has had her fare share of pr_ostitution and has no regret as she managed to take her children to school as well as build a house in Mt Darwin.

She owns the apartment where she lives with more than 20 se_x workers, who pay rentals to her.

“This is my place and these other se_x workers pay rent to me. I have more than 200 se_x workers registered as I’m the one in charge of se_x workers in this area.

“I have a register of all the se_x workers who operate in this area. This is so that I know every se_x worker in this area and in case anything happens to them, it will be easy to find out.

“You know this job has so many risks and the life of a se_x worker is always in danger because you go to bed with people that you don’t even know hence the reason I need to know how many we are,” she says.

Asked whether she charges commission every time these registered se_x workers sleep with a men, Saddam said they only pay rent although some often give her ‘a token’ of appreciation if they have a good day at work.

“Of course whoever wants to stay here has to pay rent. I worked for this place so there is no way I can have them staying here for free.

“Here and there some of them thank me if they are paid well by their clients,” she says.

Having known her HIV status in 2005, she says she also educates other junior se_x workers on condom use as they go about their daily duties.

My main gospel is that they should all use condoms whether you have HIV or not. This I have been informed will also help me avoid re-infection even if I’m already infected.”

She says her regular clients were civil servants as they have a stable income:

“Like I told you, I’m no longer thatse_xually active but I have one or two who I service even if they don’t have money and they can always pay later.

“I have a flat fee for these two and they each give me US$50 at the end of the month. Sometimes they can just come once or twice a month.

“I’m about to retire so se_x work is no longer my main source of income,” she said.

Saddam concedes that se_x workers were also facing hard times due to economic hardships as clients continue to negotiate for lower fees.

“Times are really hard so these young ladies are not making a lot of money nowadays. They used to charge US$5 for a short time but now you can even be paid US$1 for the short time or go home empty handed.

“You can even work the whole night for US$5 or less, a shift that used to earn one US$20.”

Another se_x worker who stays at Saddam’s apartment interjected, saying that they were now using juju to entice clients.

“Tinoshandisa mishonga yelucky kuti tiwane macustomer. Umwe mishonga tinoita yekuisa muporridge kuti kuzasi uku kugare kuchidziya,” adds the lady known as Bhaureni.

Saddam says while she and the other se_x workers have succeeded in ‘preaching’ the condom gospel, they still have challenges with church leaders who don’t want to use condoms.

“Muchurch umu iny.. dzega dzega, dai tabvumidzwa tapindamo takwanisa kuvaparidzira vhangeri recondom.

“Girls, tell them some of those pastors who don’t want to use condoms (mentioning their names and churches).These are really a problem; they don’t want condoms at all. Some of the girls who are also HIV positive have had to show them their anti-retroviral drugs to convince them to use condoms,” she said.

The se_x workers say they were also praying for the rains because most of their clients were tobacco farmers.

“Dai Musiki vangotibatsira mvura yangonayawo nekuti kumwe kune mari kuvarimi vefodya,” interjects another se_x worker who is under Saddam’s leadership.

Saddam, who is heavily built, says she is physically fit and flexible enough to satisfy her few remaining clients.

“Ini ndinowuya, ndinowuya, usandityira.”

While, Saddam boasts of having more se_x workers registering saying that they used condoms with all the clients, new data has revealed that HIV prevalence remained high in se_x workers and is even higher than the national prevalence.

National AIDS Council monitoring and evaluation director Amon Mpofu said it was the new crop of se_x workers that was more vulnerable than the older generation as they were not able to negotiate for safe se_x.

Mpofu says generally the prevalence is going down in Zimbabwe but they are worried by the prevalence rate in se_x workers.

Source-H Metro

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