I now accept dried maize or beans as payment – Sex worker reveals

It has emerged that some sex workers at a place called Dema Growth Point in Zimbabwe now accept buckets of maize and cups of beans as payment for their services.

File photo: Sex workers

This was revealed by one of them, identified only as Alice.

According to her, the hardship in the country has affected their business so badly that they no longer insist on charging high for their service, so that they can have something to go home with, at least.

She also lamented that she has three children, one of whom is in Form 4 and needs ZIMSEC (Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council) registration fees, while the other kids are in Grade 7 and Grade One, so she has to go the extra mile.

"Gone are the days when we used to charge US$5 for the whole night. These days even one dollar is accepted, so that you are able to buy vegetables and tomatoes and cook something for your starving children.

"I now even accept a bucket of maize or cups of dried beans as payment for sex services. At least I am assured that my kids will have porridge," is reported to have told a local publication.

Other sex workers at the Dema Growth Point reportedly corroborated Alice’s lamentation, saying life has become unbearable for them and their families.

According to iHarare, they appealed to the government and other organisations to help them with low-interest loans to start income-generating ventures.

Meanwhile, it is also reported that some sex workers in the landlocked southern African country have now been using bread packets as contraception due to the rising cost of condoms and other basic necessities.

A 21-year-old woman from Mutare reportedly told Manica Post that she started sex work at 16, and bread packaging was being used in place of condoms when they faced shortages.

The revelation has got health authorities in the country alarmed.

Mutare medical practitioner Dr Tendai Zuze said that using bread packets as substitutes for condoms is risky because it is not fit for the purpose it is being used for.

Zuze warned that if the practice is not checked, it could lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

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