The Life Of An Ex-prostitute In Russia
Russia is a country that people are already looking forward to being in coming weeks, but not everyone is having the World Cup fever with a wish to be there.
She is 25, but she will not want to travel to Russia, even if it was for free.
Miss Blessing Atale hates even the mention of the name Russia.
What has happened to her that she now hates this country she had lived in for six years so much?
Her ordeal in the nation, in one of the coldest regions of this world, is what she wants girls who prefer to be called 'runs girls' to read and learn from.
She use to sell sex.
Narrating her ordeal on Thursday in Benin, Atale said things were not as rosy over there as she was made to believe.
She had left the shores of Nigeria at the age of 19, for Moscow, where she stayed and earned a living as a commercial sex worker, until her return to Nigeria on April 21, 2018.
As a commercial sex worker in Moscow, she slept with no fewer than 30 men daily, to enable her offset the $64,000 (about 23.04 million Naira) payment to the ‘madam’ who sponsored her trip.
“It is not a life I had wished for, or one that I will wish anyone; I opted for this journey owing to the hardship in my family.
“My pensioner father was bedridden following an accident in 2011, while my mother was doing nothing.
“I am the fourth child in the family of five and was in Senior Secondary School (SSS) 2 when I left Nigeria.
“It was not as if I was not told of what I will be doing while there, but I opted for it with the consent of my parents, who though, were scared about it.
“Upon arrival in Russia in 2012, I worked hard and finished paying ‘madam’ $60,000 and additional $2,000 each to her agent and the native doctor who administered the oath before I left Nigeria.
“However, things took a downward trend after I had finished the payment in 2015; I could hardly make money to even pay for my rent and to take care of myself.
“It was so bad that I started relying on money from the people; the most painful aspect of it is that I lost my dad in the midst of all this.
“Prostitution is no longer profitable there and we constantly live in danger of being killed all the time, by our clients.
“I was kidnapped on three occasions while working as a prostitute in Russia, and raped for several days by my abductors, before releasing me.
“This is just what they do when they do not want to pay for the service you rendered.
“There are times when your client will either force you to sleep with him without condom, or beat the hell out of you, to sleep with you through the anus,” she narrated.
When asked how they found their way to the country without legal documents, she said that they usually took risks and when they were arrested by the Russian Police, they always found a way to secure their freedom.
“When they arrest us, the police usually asked for money or on the alternative, demand to sleep with you to secure your freedom,” she told the News Agency of Nigeria.
She said her return home was made possible by a Nigerian-based Non-Governmental Organization that had helped a lot of Nigerians find their ways back to the country in the past.
According to her, there are over 1,000 Nigerian girls stranded in different cities of Russia, engaging in the dangerous trade, but who are begging to be returned home because of the inhuman treatment being meted out on them.
She attributed the challenge of fund for air ticket as the only hindrance to their return to the country.
Atale, who described the period of her sojourn as ‘wasted years’, said she was ready to enrol to become a trained Make-up artist, from which she hoped to earn a living and a decent life, and to assist her family.