Underage Sex Workers In Bayelsa Say It Is All About Fun
What is fun to you?
It could be hanging out with friends, going to nice places or even dancing to good music.
But in Bayelsa, a group of young girls, whose daily life is about having sex with different men, the one you call 'ashawo' (prostitution) are only seeing fun in what they do.
They do not even believe it is ashawo work, even when they sell a round of sex for as low as 150 Naira on a very bad day.
They are not adults yet, as they are in their 'sweet-16s'.
Hospital Road, opposite Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre in Ovom yenagoa, Bayelsa State is usually lonely during the day, but as night draws nigh, the atmosphere around the environment begins to change.
One after another they come out of their small cubicles and the air around the area gradually becomes polluted.
The reek of Indian hemp mixed with alcohol welcomes passers-by and even those that visit with one thing in mind - get a teenage girl to have sex with.
In different sizes and packages they showcase their assets, as they enjoy the cool of the evening in skimpy clothes. Some sit in pairs of two and four while some danced erotically to the blasting of music from the heavy speakers placed at a corner in the open space.
Their home, 'Ashawo quarters', as it is popularly called, is the home of over 80 beautiful young commercial sex workers.
The houses are built in clusters and a space built with zinc serves as the bathroom with no roof.
Bounce News visited their home and in these houses the sex workers could offer all kinds of services to any man that is willing to path with money for it.
Decked in macro mini skirt and bra while armed with a wrap of Indian hemp, Ebike, wriggled her waist to the rhythm of the music to the admiration of the male customers.
She lowered her waist and twerked before an empty chair. The movement of her bum sent signals and threw her colleagues into a frenzied bout, as they joined her on the dance floor.
Soon, their major customers, who are mainly business men and politicians, arrived.
Walking with unique gait, the men manoeuvred the crowd and headed straight to their choice for the night.
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The girls, who are mostly underage, clad in transparent clothing with nipples visible and emitting signals, walked out of the compound into waiting cars and off they go.
During the rush hour, 16-year-old Ebike told Bounce News that most of them were Secondary School students just having fun.
She explained that her friends introduced her into sales of sex.
"I am in Senior Secondary School, but I have Niger Delta University identity card.
"I live with my mother but she doesn't know that I am a sex worker," she said.
She says having sex with different men is fun when her emotions are propelled by alcohol and smoke.
"I can take up to four men per night. If I twerk, they will spray me money. If I service my customers, l will be paid.
"I make not less than 3,800 Naira every night," she said.
A rough calculation that leaves out at least four days of menstrual period shows she makes at least 90,000 in a month.
Another, who identified herself as Monica, said she would be 18 by September.
"I am in SS ll. I like to sample men wey go pay."
Asked why they prefer to operate at night, she revealed that her future was one thing she had to protect, but not with so much concern about he health.
"I go marry one day so, make l protect my face," she added.
They charge 300 Naira per round, 1,500 Naira all night and 4,000 Naira for a whole week of sex.
On periods of low patronage, they charge as low as 150 Naira per round, 500 Naira all night and 2,500 Naira for a week.
Monica, however, described what they do was part time hustling.
"We cannot call what some of us are doing now 'Ashawo work' because, we do come out by 7:30 p. m. and go home by 11:00 p.m. and this is because of our parents.
"People that do Ashawo work do it from evening to the next day," she stressed.
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They said having identify cards of some Higher Institutions across Nigeria gives them a sense of belonging.
Pereowei, who runs a night club, says the rising involvement of underage girls in the sales of sex had something to do with family values.
He advised money chasing parents to monitor their teenage daughters during this holiday period.
From Ebike and Monica's stories, it could be figured that early exposure to sex, peer pressure and the love for material items fuel the involvement of teenagers in prostitution which is a very common way of having fun for some young girls Bayelsa State.
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