How I became a veteran prostitute at the age of 17 after my husband dumped me

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AN ex-sex worker has spoken out about the pain and hatred that drove her to prostitution.

According to Daily Nation, Jane Watiri (38) made Nairobi’s red light district her home in 1997 when she was just 17 – and been ditched by her husband.

“One day, he left me for an older woman and there I was, 17 years old, with a baby boy, no education and no job. I was very angry.

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“I wanted to hurt men the way the father of my child did to me. Bitterness and unforgiveness can really destroy your life,” she told Daily Nation.

Jane ruled Koinange Street, Nairobi’s prostitute road, for the next seven years, earning as much as Sh20 000 (about R2 500) a night.

But her motivation was not just to make a living. It was also to take revenge on all men for the betrayals she had suffered.

Jane said: “I was not the average prostitute. I was quite dangerous. I used to steal from my clients. I would carry everything; clothes, shoes, phones, keys and even wedding rings which I sold. I used to really mess up those men.”

She would carry two dagga joints, one soaked in petrol to knock out the client, and the other one for her, to put her in the mood for work.

Life as a sex worker, said Jane, was full of dangers, drugs, arrests, disease and death.

“I read many eulogies of my friends and attended so many burials,” she said.

In 2004, a meeting with a God-fearing man changed everything.

“In my whole life, I never experienced love and care. The idea of love was very strange. He bought me many bottles of beer and left. Afterwards, I started thinking of changing,” she says.

Soon afterwards, Jane exchanged the streets for a church. Today Jane makes a living selling second-hand clothes and offers counselling to sex workers, encouraging them to change their ways.


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