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by Peter Matsapola

Prostitution for Life

Prostitution has somewhat become a problem to the police of Sunnyside. Statistics have shown that prostitution in Sunnyside is on the rise as more and more young girls are forced into it; they are taken advantage of and their “bosses” make money at their expense. Who are these “bosses”? They are the ones responsible for the increase in the number of girls who choose to desert their childhood goals and dreams to pursue a “career” in prostitution.  How they lure these young and innocent girls into this life of shame is not something of a mystery: drugs are used to bind these girls to a life of slavery! The police are working around the clock to rid Sunnyside of this problem and free these girls from the life of slavery.

According to the constitution of our country, “everyone has the right to freedom” and “no one may be subjected to slavery, servitude or forced labour”; these “bosses” are, in actual fact, VIOLATING THE RIGHTS of these young girls. The girls are easily manipulated because most of them come from poor families. Girls from rural areas are the ones who are targeted because they come to the city in sought of jobs, while others come to further their studies. Life in the city can be overwhelming for some; they get introduced to all sorts of things, like clubbing, drinking [alcohol], drugs (e.g. marijuana), eating out at restaurants, fashion, etc., and they adopt the city lifestyle. It becomes a problem when they have to maintain their new lifestyles. The only “viable” solution to their problem is to get involved with “men with money”.

These are the men they meet at clubs who offer to buy them any drink of their choice, no matter how expensive (“Hey there! Can I buy you a drink? Just say what you want to drink and I will buy it”). The girls are not prepared to turn down a free drink and will thus accept the gentlemen’s offer to buy them a drink (“Ok! I’ll have a Savanna”). It all starts with a free drink at the club…

The men act like real gentlemen [opening doors, pulling chairs, all of that]BUT all they really want is to exploit the girls. The girls are naïve and will therefore believe that the men love them (“He treats me like a queen; I’m the luckiest girl in the world”). The friends of these girls are not helping either as they keep complimenting the car that the guy drives (“That’s a nice car your man’s got. I’d kill two birds and a frog to take a ride in that; you sure are a lucky girl”). The girls smile as they sit in the passenger seat, looking out the window to find people starring at them. But they do not know that they are actually being taken for a ride. At that point, life is good! The girls are introduced to a life of parties, sex, heavy drinking and drugs (marijuana at first). Every Friday the impeccable cars, that some people would kill two birds and a frog to take a ride in, park in front of the girls’ flats ready to pick them up. The girls come out of the lifts with bags, all dressed up, ready to go away for the weekend. The smell of their perfumes is all they leave behind. What about the girls’ textbooks? Well, maybe that is what they have in their bags (because they look heavy). They climb into the cars and off they go…VROOM!

They get to that club that they have always heard their friends talk about. They are inside. The music is loud; the girls can barely hear their hearts beating [with excitement]. In the club the guys would scream in the girls’ ears and say, “I’ll go get us some drinks”. “Ok! I’ll have a Savanna”, the girls would respond. It’s the guys and their friends as well as the girls.  After the club they head to the guys’ place where they drink some more and smoke joints. The girls will say no to smoking the joints at first (“No I do not really smoke”). The guys never take no for an answer, they are persistent with it (“Just take one puff, just one puff sweetheart”). The girls are “in love” at this point and are thus willing to do everything that the guys ask (“Ok! I’ll take a puff then”). It all starts with one puff…

After the smoking of the joints comes sex. The girls agree to engage in intercourse with these guys because they “love” them and they “know” that they [the guys]love them back. How do they know for sure that these guys love them? Well, there is the R350 airtime that they get from the guys, the McDonald’s meals that get delivered during the week, groceries worth R1500, trips to the hair-salon, manicures and pedicures, getting a lift in the car that people would kill two birds and a frog to take a ride in.

In the morning, just after they wake up (1pm is morning to some people), the girls take a shower to rid themselves of any feelings of guilt they might have following the previous night’s events. The smell of marijuana and alcohol is replaced by that of the GUCCI perfume they got on Valentine’s Day. “What is next on the progamme, Mr. programme director”? A braai at a friend’s place….VROOM!

They arrive at their point of destination, with bottles of Jameson, Jack Daniels (or “JD”), Hennessy, and Johnnie Walker Black Label ready to welcome them. More drinking and joint smoking takes place. The girls take the first puff to prove that they are cool (“inhale the smoke sweetheart”). Everybody is having fun smoking zol and drinking. Somebody then pulls out a packet of the “white stuff”. “What is that you got there?” asks the girl. The guy laughs and says, “Don’t you know what this is, it’s white powder” “I only know black powder. Snuff. It will make you sneeze! My grandmother likes it”. “Well, this is no sneezing powder. Come do a line with me if you really want to have fun” and it all starts with that first line!

Girls should be careful. It starts with them having REAL fun, next thing they know they are addicted to drugs, and the only way they can access them is through that man they are “in love” with. They will be so desperate to get a fix that they will be willing to do things they never thought they would ever do, i.e. prostitute themselves.

Cocaine (or the “white powder”) is the drug that is used to enslave the girls. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, and it is very addictive. The girls become addicted and psychologically dependent on cocaine; their freedom is restricted as a result. The men force them to become prostitutes. The girls then become labourers when their labour (i.e. sexual labour) is demanded as a means of repayment for the drugs that have been given to them. Also some of the girls become victims of human trafficking.

Not all guys who offer to buy girls a drink at a club are bad; there are those who are genuinely good guys and then there are those who hide behind their gentleman mannerisms and then later reveal their true selves when it is time to “cash in” on the girls. Girls should learn to discern between the two, otherwise they will find themselves, with tears rolling down their cheeks, thinking about that good guy that treated them good but was not good enough for them or their childhood dreams of becoming a nurse or a lawyer, while lying on a bed somewhere with a strange man on top of them, all for a sniff of the “white powder”!

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