Category : Naya Blog
By Michael Oliech Okunson (@MikeOkunson)
It’s a normal Friday afternoon in the boda boda city of Kisumu. The ubiquitous hot and wet Kisumu weather is unignorable, so is the smell of fish and dust from the road construction.
I meet my usually jovial friend Otieno who wasn’t his cheery self today.
I can tell something is wrong by the look of his face.
He is usually free with me so he decides to be talk.
“Mike there is a big problem in kondele. Young girls are being used in the sex industry at kondele. I feel so bad that girls below the age of 15 are in this business of prostitution. It’s a pity that such girls do sleep with very old men in fact older than their parents for only fifty shillings. These girls operate from eleven until morning hours.”
Otieno, noticing the disbelief in my face, drags me to see for myself.
As soon as the dark of the night creeped in, young girls barely into their teenage years started trooping into the parlour.
I asked Anyango* later why she feels she has to do that.
“I need money. I am an orphan with nobody to take care of me, nobody to buy me pads or other things I need.”
She tells me that business is not bad.
“On a good night I sleep with over five men. They pay me fifty shillings if we use condoms and eight hundred shillings if we don’t use.”
It’s clear what her choice is.
Otieno asks me what NAYA KENYA will do about this.
“Law enforcers know about this and are doing nothing about it. Most of them actually receive bribes not to do anything. NGOS aren’t any different as most just come here, conduct research in the area and leave with data.”
He feels that civil society organizations have an important role to play in such dialogues.
Teenage prostitution is real in kondele area and I just wish this issues is dealt with once for all.
Otieno feels that most of the coverage on Kondele on traditional and new media platforms are all about vices, yet the youth of the area are much more than social misfits.
Sex Exploitation of children in all its forms is a crime according to the constitution and other local and international instruments.
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