‘The day a client took me to Lang’ata Cemetery in dead of night, ordered me to strip naked and sped off’: Reformed sex worker recounts

By Brian Okoth On Thu, 9 Jul, 2020 15:24 | 2 mins read
Purity Wanjiru, 25, is a mother of two daughters. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
Purity Wanjiru, 25, is a mother of two daughters. [PHOTO | COURTESY]
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    Today, the 25-year-old, who was born and raised in Uthiru, Kiambu County, engages in garbage collection for a living.

Purity Wanjiru, a reformed commercial sex worker in Nairobi, recounts one incident during her days in the trade, which prompted her to ditch prostitution for good.

Wanjiru, 25, spoke to BBC Swahili revealing that one of her clients hired her for Ksh15, 000 for the night, promising to give her the money once they arrived at his home.

However, instead of the client driving home, he took the route leading to Lang’ata Cemetery in Nairobi. That incident happened in the dead of night in 2016, Wanjiru said.

“He had told me that we couldn’t get intimate in a lodging facility because he wasn’t comfortable spending time in guest rooms. He, instead, asked me to accompany him to his house, and promised to give me Ksh15, 000 for my services.

“While on our way to his house, he diverted and started driving into Lang’ata Cemetery. When I sked him what we were going to do in the cemetery, he ordered me to shut up. The more I expressed my anxiety, the more he accelerated while hurling unprintable insults at me.

“He was also threatening that he would kill me that night. When we stopped in the middle of the cemetery, he began beating me up mercilessly. While still in the car, he ordered me to strip naked, which I did. He, thereafter, ordered me out of his car and sped off with my clothes in his vehicle.

“Shocked, confused and in fear, I started running towards the cemetery exit. The watchmen, who manning the cemetery, including a male Maasai person, took to their heels on seeing me. A Maasai shuka of one of the security guards fell while he was fleeing. I thanked God for the shuka because that was what I used to cover myself as I tried to find my way out of the cemetery,” said Wanjiru.

She managed to reach the exit and ordered a taxi which took her home.

After that incident, which happened in early 2016, Wanjiru, a mother of two daughters, vowed never to return to prostitution.

Today, the 25-year-old, who was born and raised in Uthiru, Kiambu County, engages in garbage collection for a living.

“In a day, I make between Ksh300 and Ksh400, which is just enough for me and my children. I would rather eat a low-budget meal bought with that money, than enjoy expensive foods acquired through proceeds of prostitution,” she said.

The reformed sex worker — in the same BBC interview — revealed that in her earlier days in prostitution, she entertained men sexually with her ex-husband’s full knowledge. She said there was even a time when she was heavily pregnant, and she would still go about her trade with her former lover’s blessings.

Click here to read that full story.

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