It has been revealed that some sex workers in Zimbabwe’s Dema Growth Point now accept buckets of corn and cups of beans in exchange for their services.
One of them, only named as Alice, divulged this.
According to her, the country’s struggle has had such a negative impact on their business that they no longer insist on asking a premium price for their services so that they may at least go home with anything.
She also expressed her dissatisfaction with the fact that she has three children, one of whom is in Form 4 and requires ZIMSEC (Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council) registration fees, while the other two are in Grades 7 and 1, requiring her 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 are said to have echoed Alice’s complaints, claiming that life has become miserable for them and their families.
They asked the government and other organizations for low-interest loans to start income-generating ventures, according to iHarare.
Meanwhile, due to the escalating expense of condoms and other basic supplies, some sex workers in the landlocked southern African country are now utilizing bread packets as contraception.
When condoms were scarce, a 21-year-old woman from Mutare reportedly told Manica Post that she began sex work at the age of 16 and that bread packaging was used in place of condoms.
The news has concerned health officials across the country.
Using bread packets as condom substitutes, according to Mutare medical practitioner Dr Tendai Zuze, is unsafe because they are unfit for the purpose.
If the practice isn’t stopped, Zuze warns, it could lead to the spread of sexually transmitted illnesses.