What do you do?
I am a sex worker and I pimp girls. A guy comes to me, he wants a girl, I have approximately 22 girls, I call one of them and I negotiate the payment. Out of the negotiations I get a commission but it will only depend on how much the girl is getting.
How did you start sex work?
Back in 2010 I was fired from my job. I really tarmacked looking for a job in Nairobi and I didn’t get one. I decided to go to Simmers Pub and started sex work. I have been in the industry for six years. It’s not necessarily that you work in an office, we can’t all fit there. We have to disperse one way or the other.
What exactly does pimping entail?
You can go to a club and find a man who is not interested in you but he wouldn’t mind another person. So immediately you consider who can do this and you call a girl and link her up with the client. But I cannot just call a girl who is not a sex worker; I only call people who I know are sex workers. In other circumstances, girls call and ask me to get them clients, they then state their conditions that I must fulfill for example how much they want to be paid, how far they can go with the client and what they can do together. In such an instance I negotiate a higher fee and pay the girl our agreed price then keep the rest.
What’s the age group of the girls that you call?
Between 18 and 25 years. But I also have girls who are aged 27 to 30. It depends mainly on what the client wants.
Who gets paid, is it you or the girl?
Well it depends on the client. It only depends with the trust that the client has in me, he may pay the girl or me. But since the price has been negotiated in advance, I tell the girl what to take and how much to give me from the pay. I usually take about 20%, if a girl is paid ksh. 5000, then I take ksh. 1000.
What are the factors you consider while negotiating the price of a girl?
I consider who the client is. Looking at a client you can know how much he can afford to give. It also depends on the girl I have in mind. I know my girls and I know what they can take, sometimes girls call and tell me they are very desperate, maybe their children have no food or their house has been locked by the landlord. I have to get them a client, we are willing to take less and in such cases I do not take any commission, I am only helping her.
Do you have instances where you negotiate the price then afterwards the client refuses to pay?
When we negotiate with a client and he refuses to pay I have to use my money to pay the girl. You know men can promise you the whole world but after your services they either refuse to pay you the exact amount or even pay more considering the services you have given him.
Are there other pimps in the city or you work alone?
I don’t know if there are others but for me, I know it’s me alone. For example today morning I had three clients who had just landed. So I have to look for 2 girls tomorrow to go with them. I will be the third one.
Are you aware if there are any laws in Kenya against pimping?
No! I am not aware. These girls sometimes go on their own, get arrested and harassed. So when such cases come to me, I have policemen who are my friends almost in all police stations who are aware of what I do. So when a girl gets arrested, I call the policemen and they really assist me. But sometimes a girl can be arrested and taken to court because of resisting arrest. I always advise my girls to remain calm and call me when they are arrested. When they are taken to court, I use my money to bail them out since I have no option.
Advice to Government as far as sex work is concerned?
I would advise the government to consider us and license us to do this work because it doesn’t mean if we are sex workers we are sick or we are going to die. It’s just a job like any other. I wouldn’t mind if they give us the license to work, after all we are using our effort and energy.
Have things changed for better from 2010 or are worsening for sex workers?
They have changed for the worst. The other day I saw on TV sex workers demonstrating for their rights and nobody came out to save us. As much as we demonstrate nobody steps in but when teachers go on strike the Government intervenes. Why not us, we are human.
Future of sex work in Kenya?
It’s better if we are licensed to do sex work in Kenya. We only need one prominent person to come out and support us towards ensuring sex work is legalized. That’s what we want.