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AnuOluwapo Adelakun: Justice for the Prostitute



Call her “Ashawo!!!” [ɑ:ʃɑ:wəʊ], “Ashee” for short.
Call her Ashawo as she slaves through her nightshift trying to make ends meet.
Call her Ashawo still when she suddenly realizes her ‘client’ is a wild beast who ties her up and rapes her into unconsciousness, she deserves it.
Call her Ashawo when some more strangers take turns on her while making her the latest video vixen.
Call her Ashawo when she gets beat up and dumped on the streets with no money or food; where she is rounded up by the police who take up the baton of humiliating her.
Call her Ashawo when you see her body floating under the Third Mainland bridge, both breasts gone. That’s all she ever was – Ashawo, the nuisance.

My friend Vweta asked “How do we get justice for prostitutes who face violence?” and someone replied sarcastically: “How do we get justice for armed robbers who are mobbed? It got me thinking. While mobbing or jungle justice (as we’ve named it) is such a horror I am at this time, concerned about the violence prostitutes (a.k.a Commercial sex workers) in Nigeria face.

For starters, PROSTITUTION IS NOT A CRIME IN NIGERIA – not unless you are in a jurisdiction which operates under the penal code where it is a punishable offence. Asides that, Nigeria is a society that is simply socially intolerant of prostitutes.

I am aware that we are a deeply moral and religious people. Christianity frowns upon prostitution as being immoral although not beyond forgiveness. Islamic States and communities see prostitution as a crime against the community punishable by some jail term or death. This, however, doesn’t make a prostitute any less a member of the egalitarian society Nigeria claims to have.

This is the reason I think deeply each time I go past a long parade of those beautiful young ladies, dressed to tempt, and poised like beautiful jewelry behind a display glass standing on the streets. I delve mentally into a world of limited or no choices where societies have commercialized the bodies of women. I’m sometimes privileged to see some of their admirers or patrons. Like hungry lions, some approach, drooling over their prey. Some, non-chalant about the piece of rag they have to make do with for the night. Others stop by for the usual, and a few newcomers with hopes and aspirations of tasting “the forbidden fruit”.

One thing, however, one never sees in some of these people is the callous intention to strip these ladies of their right to consensual sex or self-determination or even integrity. My friend Vweta witnessed first-hand, a ‘client’ beating up and striping a certain prostitute because she asked for remuneration for work done through the night. There was a situation at a motel near my house, where a notorious prostitute was brutally raped and deserted by a man she spent the night with and had to get stitches in her perineum afterwards. People who heard her story condemned her for being a prostitute…rather than speaking up against the ordeal she had suffered (very typical of our victim-blaming society. As if these women intentionally sign up to be used as specimen to demonstrate violence against women) We see, read or hear about these things every day.

When asked what she would do if she were to be raped for instance, a certain prostitute I had the rare privilege of chatting with said (in Yoruba) : “Rape is bad for business but if it happens I would clean up myself and move on because nobody will believe me. Besides, who will I tell that a man I initially agreed to have sex with me raped me? The police? That is if they don’t ask me for their own share of sexual pleasure

A good number of prostitutes are arrested by the police, locked up and forced to have sex (most times unprotected). Some are even beaten up, while some are murdered by other miscreants for various reasons… and disposed like toilet paper.

Violence against a prostitute is violence against a woman and it is a crime. A prostitute is a HUMAN BEING with basic human rights. Whether it be the right to consensual sex, I mean, the right to say NO even when ‘you’ are pants down, ready for action! Or the right to protection of her life and property.

The fact that an alarming number of prostitutes are abused and can’t cry for help, because the society readily condemns them, makes them an easy prey. Prostitutes are less likely to be searched for by the police if they go missing and this makes them the preferred meal on the menu of kidnappers.
Why then do we scream about the rising numbers of rapists, pimps, ritualists, pedophiles and other evil doers when we indirectly promote their evil doings? Why is Nigeria divided in reasoning with regards to prostitution? Could it be that our patrilineal society still suffers from the need to dominate and use women? Aren’t we hypocrites by patronizing these women at night and condemning them as soon as the sun lights up the world for all to see?

In search for answers I have thrown these questions out at various groups of people – some of whom argue that if prostitution is legalized (as proposed by Senator Ike Ekweremadu in 2011), tested and licensed, their activities will be regulated. There would be a structure to address cases of rape and other violence perpetuated against them without prejudice. Another school of thought fears for the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, as well as increased trafficking of women and children for prostitution and paedophilia.
Moreover, what legacy will we be laying down for the next generation? That it is okay to give up decent dreams and become a licensed prostitute? Methinks not!

Analysing prostitution in Nigeria is like opening Pandora’s box.  Dealing with the innumerable root causes like poverty, unemployment, bad or ignorant parenting, lazy youths, and the likes will go a long way in making prostitution a less viable means of livelihood.

Until then, I ask you, how do we get justice for these women who suffer in silence, while their abusers who might very well be our husbands, fathers, brothers, political leaders, false prophets walk freely?

Do you think prostitutes deserve to enjoy the “privilege” of getting justice for crimes perpetuated against them?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Maxfx

AnuOluwapo Adelakun is a Women & Girls rights advocate, Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker working on issues affecting marginalized girls and women in Nigeria. She's a UNICEF Voices of Youth alumni, Carrington Youth Fellow of the US Consulate in Nigeria, US Consul General Award Recipient, UN WOMEN/Empower Women Global Champion for Change and UK Chevening Alumna. She's also an ardent reader of African literature and an unrepentant fan of the BBC series 'Call the Midwife'.


  1. me

    June 3, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    call me sentimental if you like. PROSTITUTION is WRONG and should NEVER BE legalized. anyone who go against the law should be punished whether rapist or the pope.

    • Titi

      June 4, 2015 at 6:50 am

      I always like to say everyone is entitled to their opinion but yours is simply disgusting. If prostitution is so wrong, why not leave punishment to God or the Law? Have you committed no sins – fornication, immorality, lies and stealing no matter how small? Why don’t you get raped till kingdom come for it? I’m tempted to wonder how many prostitutes you’ve raped. Hypocrisy!!!

    • ........

      June 4, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Dear writer, it’s called occupational hazard. If lying on their backs is how they want to pay their bills, they should be ready for the cons. NO! It shouldn’t be legal, it just encourages pple to patronise them, which encourages the spread of diseases. If you aren’t smart enough to get of the streets, then deal with it. Noone forced you to become one, if you were forced ,run away,there is always a way. There are better ways to earn a living,start small and work your way up. DON’T SLEEP ON FIRE AND COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING BURNT.

  2. bruno FIERCE

    June 3, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    ” Aren’t we hypocrites
    by patronizing these women at night and
    condemning them as soon as the sun lights up
    the world for all to see?”

    biko speak for yourself.i do not patronise prostitutes. thank you very much.

    • eyong

      June 3, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      Bruno, trust me, nobody had you in mind when they were reading that sentence. We all know your preference. Lol

    • Africhic

      June 4, 2015 at 9:54 am

      But there are male prostitutes aren’t there?

  3. wagamama

    June 3, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    I’ve had so many arguments with people over this same topic! From the dehumanisation, to the vilification, to the unjust ways sex workers are treated in this society (AND OTHERS cos this stupidity is not specific to some Nigerian idiots).


    Lost quite a couple of friends, been called names

    • wagamama

      June 3, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      o yeah, forgot to add……. Couldn’t care less about the people who think I’m bonkers! (I have this arguments regarding homosexuality too, darn bigots!) Some called me a “feminist”, like is that even an insult? Mchewwwww!


      LESS TOXICITY IN MY LIFE! Two wrongs don’t make a friggin’ right!!!

      Its not even that i don’t get their points of view, i do! The banter starts off nicely………


      Then they get mad at me!


      Here’s my take,

      1. Theres always a story behind that face, why don’t you try and get to know it? AND Understand it! Be human! Not everyone is as enlightened/lucky/smart/observant or however ,misguided way you describe yourself!

      2. You might feel theres always another way, always a way out. Not true! For some theres no other way! Some have exhausted all the options available to them! And this was their only way out!

      3. Keep your darn criticisms to yourself……..KEEP YOUR INSULTS AND DEGRADING COMMENTS PLEASE! It is not needed!

      4. Advice, Advice and keep Advising on contraception, safety, personal hygiene, medical issues……..!

      5. “Go religious” if you have to, but don’t be intimidating!

      6. Proffer solutions that can actually help on the long run (That is, If you want to help them stop prostituting)

      7. If they still go back or do not harken to your advice, Don’t cut them off! Model “spirituality” and good personalism always wins them over. Pray for them and yourself, for we have all sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. None is holier, none is better before the almighty.

      ******Drops mic*****

    • tunmi

      June 4, 2015 at 4:36 am

      Thank you. I have nothing else to add. Prostitutes deserve equal treatment under the law. And for those who may think Naija has too much to focus on for now, it is never too late to include the voiceless and nameless in society.

    • Nigerians are the biggest hypocrites

      June 4, 2015 at 7:21 am

      Spot on. A lot of Nigerians are hypocrites. I will never stop saying this. The same people who go to Church every day of the week are the same ones you’ll see patronising prostitutes. Let’s not forget some of our Muslim brothers who are openly engaging in paedophilic acts with girls as young as 9!! None of these pretentious bigots fool me… You’re talking about how there’s always a way out yet in the same breath complain about how terrible living in Nigeria is because of the selfish leaders ruling the country. Please keep your condemnations to yourselves.
      I bet some of these commenters left such vile comments from the beds of their partners who they are not married to smh. Sin is sin, so spare me the bullsh!t. A prostitute is still a human being who should be treated with respect. Period.

    • Justme

      June 4, 2015 at 8:57 am

      You’re a genius! I couldn’t have said it better. God Bless you for not judging.

    • Chibugo

      June 4, 2015 at 1:03 pm

      Thank you. No one could have written my mind better.

    • Ada Nnewi

      June 4, 2015 at 12:47 am

      Thank you wagamama! You echoed my exact sentiments…Nigerians are one of the most hypocritical people on the planet. Churches and mosques on every street corner yet so vile. A prostitute has a right to security and protection. She has a right to con sexual sex, she has a right to be protected by the law if she’s taken advantage of. People find it so easy to condemn other people’s choices but until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, you have no right to judge them cause they sin different from you…Prostitution is legal in most parts of Nigeria so the law is supposed to protect them in such areas…People are so quick to shame them but are slow to lend a helping hand so no one has to resort to such measures to keep body and soul together…

  4. June

    June 3, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Interesting piece… Very thought provoking

  5. Sugabelly

    June 3, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Yup. Prostitution is a legitimate occupation like any other, and everybody deserves all their human rights.

    It doesn’t matter if your religion frowns upon it. That’s why Nigeria is not administrated by your religion.

    Something needs to be done about the violence and dangerous work conditions prostitutes face in Nigeria, and the laissez faire attitude by the police and the public towards assisting them and ensuring they can live and work safely.

    I don’t know what it’s going to take to achieve that. Maybe prostitution should be unionized? That might be one solution but I’m not sure how tenable.

    At any rate, if anything should be criminalized, it should be the men who CREATE the demand for prostitution in the first place who need to be arrested and put in prison not the prostitute who is just making an honest living.

    I know next thing all the religious over righteous sycophants will pack full. All the religion in the history of humanity has unable to drive prostitution into extinction, and no religion will ever succeed.

    Nobody should ever have to fear for their life or their right to have a good quality of life because of their occupation.

    The fact that people hand over their hard earned money to prostitutes demonstrates that there is a very real demand which they fulfill with their sex work.

    • Say no to prostitution!

      June 4, 2015 at 5:33 am

      When you have your daughter, tell her that prostitution is a way to make an honest living! Anuofia! Just read your comment and listen to it, then you know it reeks of senselessness! Forget religion, infact going by the bible, prostition isn’t so bad. After all Rahab the harlot was one of those spared from God’s wrath in Jericho. So time and time again, the bible has shown that it’s the heart that matters! So leave religious people out of this! It simply social morality, which should be inherent in everybody! Do you think we can’t all sleep with men for money? Seriously?!!!! I read your tweet and I see you talk of equality and other subjects relating. You think women would get that when their livelihood is dependent on lying on their backs and allowing a man to act out his sickest fantasies? If you are healthy and fit enough to become a prostitue, that means you’re healthy and fit enough to do menial jobs. It might be very little but you’ll get by. You opened your mouth to blame men, because they make the demand.Your idea of feminism is warped and misconstrued my friend. I hope women who patronize gigolos should be behind bars, making it an equal playing field. Please prostitution is absolute BS. Yes! There’s a way out! A human being always has a choice. Having men c** on you for money is not ideal. How many of them admit to being prostitutes? If it is such an honest way to make a living, if you know any prostitute and she’s asked for her job, tell her to own it and shout it out loud! Let’s see how far she’ll go.
      I agree that they shouldn’t be treated unfairly by the patronizers but then again when a man pays you for intimate sessions, know that there are different ways of being intimate and you might just not like his way. If you’re considering that line of “honest living” be prepared for anything you get! I’m a woman by the way, a feminist too!

    • cindy

      June 4, 2015 at 9:26 am

      Did you just write that trash?! I was agreeing with you until “be prepared for anything you get”. Pls pls pls biko, you are not a feminist. Rape is rape no matter how you try to justify it. What kind of warped up idea are you spewing? Even married women get raped by their husbands so what exactly are you on about? No is no under every circumstance! Pls gerrarahear!

    • Saynotoprostitution!

      June 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm

      My dear Ms Cindy(I’m guessing you are female), at what point is a prostitue raped? How can you verify exactly that a prostitue was raped? When does it become rape? Is it when the patronizers stay over time, or don’t pay before or after service? You see that’s the thing hear, it’s all going to be hear say! Any job that does not have a defined portfolio and signatories to it, can’t have the backing of the law! You think the “johns” that patronize them have not had their own fair share of the ugly sides of being with a prostitute? Are they protected by the law? For both parties it is a loose, loose! Please prostitutes should be helped get off the streets, not assisted and enabled to stay on! Forget rape, what of ritualists, unwanted pregnancies, STDs, would the government protect them from these too? Your offence at that statement you quoted is not unfounded, but look at the bigger picture! In an actual court of law in pursuit of justice, it would be difficult for a prostitue to define rape, like it is for a wife in regards to her husband. BTW, you people should also allow the law protect runs girls too, after all they are all prostitutes, only difference is that the “runsgirls” make more money! As for the JOHNS, those ones to have issues, deep rooted ones, but that’s epistle for another day.

    • Magz

      June 4, 2015 at 6:19 am

      “At any rate, if anything should be criminalized, it should be the men who CREATE the demand for prostitution in the first place who need to be arrested and put in prison not the prostitute who is just making an honest living.”

      Thanks for this!

      I was still saying something like this to a friend few days ago, “I do not think prostitutes are pathetic. I think men who pay to have sex with a complete stranger are the ones who are pathetic and nasty!”

    • EllesarisEllendil

      June 4, 2015 at 10:26 am

      As opposed to women who collect money from complete strangers?? or have one night stands for free??

      Women adopt a steady message on equality abeg.

    • ........

      June 4, 2015 at 7:05 am

      Yes there is a real demand, men will always be men but it doesn’t make prostitution right. The fact that prostitution will never be extinct, doesnt mean its a good thing. When your husband comes home to inflict you with ghonorea and aids, then you will understand the gravity of what you’re saying. I used to ready your blog, I hope you’ve dealt with all that anger and misplaced priorities.

  6. Junebug

    June 3, 2015 at 11:38 pm

    Naija people are hypocritical with their over rated ‘moral’ standard! Lyk serzly?Nigerians are wicked and can kill somebody who they think aint got good morals. I mean, if shes a prostitute what gave u the right to judge her life style? I am sick,sick of a sick nation who have been blinded by religion and tribalism. Why can’t Nigerians be liberal? Shez a prostitute,she sleeps with men for money but you sleep with your fiance cause ur wedding is coming up in 3 months. What’s the difference? Abeg make i hear word! No one deserves to be humiliated cos of his way of life as far as its not endangering the life of another citizen.

  7. eyong

    June 3, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    I hail this article! It is too true. Sex-workers endure some of the most deplorable working conditions all in the bid to stay out of jail cells. I the government could legalize their job, they could implement rules and regulations to gaurantee not only the safety of the workers, but that of the clients as well. But, no, Africans are too busy PLAYING Holy, and cannot differentiate between church and state. They’ll rather legalize minors being sold off to grandpas to be raped than adults who have made conscious decisions on their life path. No one is saying it’s for everybody, but for those that have chosen it, they have the right to pursue it.

  8. naijaboy

    June 4, 2015 at 12:06 am

    No comment

  9. chi-e-z

    June 4, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Nigeria has 2 much security issues really just too much issues all together… Why is there not a morals and rational class taught in every elementary school or reinforced somehow we need it. Not like U.S. is the most safest or moral place but in elementary school teachers place a lot of emphasis on speaking directly, telling the truth [by making consequences reasonable to offence] , and looking someone in the eye when speaking[which an African parent will hit u hard 4 btw] but all my teachers really enforced this being honest thing that you just become very honest cause you see the usseless in lying even white lies. If they don’t train them at home to be honest least take some intiatives and train at school too much insecurity too much…

    • chi-e-z

      June 4, 2015 at 12:17 am

      yep I said most safest 😀 lmbo

    • EllesarisEllendil

      June 4, 2015 at 10:28 am

      “which an African parent ”

      Do we need to have the “don’t generalize” talk??

  10. Diddy

    June 4, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Ashawo maybe wrong but is not a crime,atleast they render services to guys by curing dem of their physical conji,Nigeria is a country that has a lot on her plate,so creating a law to protect pple in such occupation is mission impossible,we have not been able to make laws to protect women against rape,abusive marriage,physical assault and other form of abuse,but if men were really involve in this ashawo biz as in male prostitute roaming the street,i feel they {women} wont face such ordeal in the hands of these so called clients,they r human beings and so they deserve to be treated like one,we might not like what they do but we cant crucify them when they r in danger,getting or seeking for justice on their behalf is like embarking on a journey to the ISIS controlled territory

  11. EllesarisEllendil

    June 4, 2015 at 1:06 am

    If anybody here listened to the news today, you’ll have heard a Prostitute toke a Man who stole her handset to court. So yes, if a Prostitute reports a crime against her she’ll receive justice. The Law is a blind woman afterall.

    Google Arinze Nnachi, Borno Way Ebute Metta, if you doubt me. Prostitutes suing “Johns” is rather common on the Metro section too.

    Funny the things you learn from the News.

  12. Opinion not judgement

    June 4, 2015 at 3:57 am

    I agree that every human should be treated with empathy and fairness but then again every human has to take responsibility for the choices they make. Every job comes with a hazard…like being yelled at if you are in customer service….it’s not right, but it’s a fact. If you go near fire don’t complain of it burns you.

    I know of women whose lives have fallen apart and didn’t go into prostitution. Case in point a young lady who lost all her siblings in a car crash and had previously lost her parents…left alone in this world with no money and no one but chose to do menial jobs.

    Heard about her through a relative who was telling me he goes out of his way to assist her because as he said ” she’s a beautiful girl and could’ve chosen prostitution for fast cash but didn’t do so”

    Anyone over 18 should prioritize their health and safety over cash….now yes they do have rights but they are not entirely free of blame….except child prostitutes ofcourse who are complete victims.

  13. Abujas Most Handsome.

    June 4, 2015 at 6:20 am

    Prostitutes are your mothers, aunties, sisters, they are human and deserve to be treated right. You condemn them, but your father’s, husbands patronise them. 98% OF NIGERIAN MEN HAVE PAID FOR SEX. Why live in denial.

    • Speaking truth is not judgement

      June 5, 2015 at 12:41 am

      Abujas most handsome ( even if u say so yourself)………you cannot try to justify an action because some other people enable it. There has to be some integrity in argument.

      Both the givers and takers should be told the truth. There is risk and harm in practicing or patronizing prostitution. Speak the truth and leave out sentiments.

      Even a doctor will tell a patient that smoking causes lung cancer. That doctor himself might be a smoker but it’s the truth that smoking is harmful!

      And please stop this habit of accusing or demonizing people who choose to express a high moral ground of judging.

      . We all know no one is perfect but we have to tell ourselves the truth. It doesn’t mean we disagree with the crux of the argument that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.

      They should start with self. Treat their bodies with dignity.

    • Ada Nnewi

      June 5, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      *a high moral ground of judging?*…please stop spreading ignorance…being judgemental is not a measure of morality…

    • Simple fact

      June 6, 2015 at 5:27 am

      Ada Nnewi, you lack understanding of simple written English. Seems you just feel like attacking. Bottom line is no one is perfect but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have good values….that does not equate to judging anyone. Why so much on the defensive?

  14. xty

    June 4, 2015 at 6:41 am

    This reminds of an argument wit a male colleague of mine….if der wer no guys patronising dem,d occupation wuld ve fizzled out….We all commit sins,so y judge some1else!!!!

  15. le coco

    June 4, 2015 at 7:59 am

    nigerians sha, is it not the same police men that condemn and arrest them, that will still sleep with them…. when will our society stop dealing with the supply of prostitutes and focus on the demand, fact remains there wouldnt be prostitutes in our country if there wernt soo many randy men.. why preach to a prostitute when you wont equally preach to tht randy patron. prostitution is legal in amsterdam nd i dont know that they have any alarming rates of std’s.. prostitutes are humans and thus deserve to be protected by the law..

  16. Reina de las fabricas

    June 4, 2015 at 8:57 am

    I am not a supporter of this means of livelihood, but a blind eye cannot be turn to the ragidish way the women are even more exploited. The psychological trauma of been raped is one that can tea up a man from the inside out when he does not have anyone to share it with. The you say the because she is a prostitute she can be ravished and molested as her reward for her wayward life. blot out the prostitution, what would you do when a woman is taken against her will and forced to engage in an act that distance her soul more from her present reality. Even God loves the sinner but hates the sin.

  17. lantern

    June 4, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Prostitution is one of the oldest profession of mankind so why hasn’t it gained prominence? Why do they work under the cloak of darkness or in secret? Why can’t they fill any form and In box required for job or profession they write PROSTiTUTE? Its not about people judging them, they have judged themselves. Its only on their own gathering that they can openly admit what they do and their escapades, u can’t meet someone in a neutral place for the first time and they declare they are prostitutes with a smile on their face. This is not about religion because prostitution was frowned upon before religion .” team Nigerians are hypocrites ” when your child tells you they want to become prostitutes in future pat them on the back and tell them well done, even a white man wouldn’t do that. lets help them rather than judge them.

  18. bitter truth

    June 4, 2015 at 9:24 am

    before i read, the picture of this lady resembles that of a prostitute

    I mean there is something about this lady screaming she is one

    Now lemme go back to read

  19. chukwukadibia

    June 4, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Prostitution is wrong but I think it shouldn’t be a criminal offense because they are adults and they have reasons for doing what they are doing.

  20. bunmi

    June 4, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Abeg anybodi wen treat dem wrongly make dem arrest dat person bcos na human being ashawo be nd ashawo na work

  21. Tomi

    June 4, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Prostitution is a result of so many underlying factors, some of which the writer mentioned. You cannot tackle the result without dealing with the root of the problem. That said, most Nigerians are so quick to judge and label a pain or view that we have never felt or don’t understand. Nigeria is not the way a country should be, and it doesn’t help that a greater percentage of it’s people are quick to condemn rather than see a human being first. This “ideal” box of what a human being that deserves basic human rights should be or do just keeps getting smaller and smaller. What worries me more is what we’ve let fester and breed(only time will tell), when these “occupaional hazards” or payers of “intimate sessions” become bored with their/your “ideal” victims ( because psychos tend to expand that way), what would shape their next boundary?…. what they classify as indecent dressing?… what time of the night or day they find you? Where you live or how good your security is? Your age? Your beliefs? Looks ( maybe you remind them of someone)? Your Moral views? Or simply being female?? …All big things (crime included) have small beginnings.We need to stop condemning the victims and see first that a crime (with a certain pattern) was comitted.

  22. Whocares

    June 4, 2015 at 10:21 am

    I like you Anuoluwapo. I like you a lot. Prostituting itself is not the problem. Let me finish. Legalising it or regulating it is not the problem either. The prostitutes are not raping themselves, or abusing themselves. It is the society and their demented mindset. That is what needs to be regulated. We need to update our rape law to focus more on consent. How can we still live in an age where marital rape has not been addressed? (unless I missed something and it has indeed been? ) If focus is on consent then the prostitutes will have some form of protection.
    Julian Assange is being sued by Swedish prostitutes because he did not use a condom and they specifically required that he use one and not ejaculate in them (if he does go back then he might be extradited etc but that’s a story for another day). That, is a good legal system. I do not condemn prostitutes, I know enough about Nigeria to know how hard it is, it is not all black and white; and yes the moral bit is wonky but that does not mean these women or men are not people and should not be protected by law. Morality has no place in Law making and that is what people need to realise. If the government of the day went about promulgating law based on the morality of the majority what type of country would we have? Oh, I know, Nigeria etc.
    Now as for crimes perpetuated against prostitutes. I believe they are covered by basic criminal law. A person hits you (battery), he scares you with violence (assault), he panel beats you (assault occasioning actual bodily harm) you require hospitalisation/ he gives you HIV (Grievous bodily harm).. All these laws are in place; the problem as explained earlier is society’s mindset and the fact that they think as prostitutes they are the architects of their own misfortune; therefore no one really listens to them.

  23. Adaeze Writes

    June 4, 2015 at 10:50 am

    I love this article! I have once sat in the same vehicle with prostitute (I had no idea she was one till she alighted at her spot) and while she walked away, I asked myself the same questions raised in the article.
    In as much as I feel that prostitutes shouldn’t be raped, killed or treated inhumanly, I strongly feel that a lot of young girls are taking the lazy escape route by becoming prostitutes. You need to go to a place as simple as the ‘*****(name withheld) market’ on a regular afternoon and see ladies ranging from sixteen to thirty years of age, sitting around, idly waiting for nightfall. Prostitution is a dangerous trade. Any girl that opens herself to it should expect the consequences. A prostitute sells sex and whoever patronizes her feels he has the ultimate power to do anything to her, because he feels he paid for it!
    Nevertheless, raping or forcing a prostitute to have sex is so wrong.

  24. susie

    June 4, 2015 at 10:53 am

    prostitution has been existing even before christ was born,check ur old testament bibles and u will see,most of the great women in the bible were prostitutes .so pple should stop acting as if these women are outkast,every one has the right to their style of living.judge none, those of u condemming these women ,we don’t know what u do behind close doors n in e dark.

    • JustBecause

      June 5, 2015 at 7:41 am

      “check ur old testament bibles and u will see,most of the great women in the bible were prostitutes”………..REALLY???? Pls be mindful of what you say/write.

    • missnk

      June 5, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      susie is correct. Rahab and Tamar were prostitutes (who were in Jesus’ lineage), Hosea’s wife was a prostitute and God told him to marry her and these are just a few so yes, there were great women in the bible who were prostitutes.

  25. Mz. Brown

    June 4, 2015 at 11:10 am

    LONG EPISTLE: some people have sex for free,some people have sex to afford luxurious lifestyles,some people have sex with presidents and senators and oil workers, some tribes in nigeria are notorious for this, “you have sex with ur fiance cos he already put a ring on it” arent u all just harlots and wayward women who will burn in hell!! There’s no big sin or small sin. sin is sin. you lie to ur boss u were stuck in traffic, ashana sleeps with ur husband because hes an unfaithful bugger, 3 of you will go to hell. so take this bench here !_______! and sit ur behind down.

    the fact that ure even on this blog and u have a job ure being paid to do instead, uve committed d sin of cheating to ur boss. “i shall not use an insultive word but im really calling u something in my head”. Those of u who talk of teaching morals, may u not have prostitution as ur last option. May u not have to beg for food in markets. may u not lack help from people that can hook u up with small capital to start buying nd selling. may u not lack an uncle that can help u get a job as house maid. When would u realise most of these people dont even have a choice! How much does ur bf/hubby/future husband pay them? is it more than 1k sometimes, for some 500 and for some in V.I and lekki maybe 3000?! i guess! what can u do with 3k? and dont forget some dont find a client for d night so they go hungry! sorry 4 the long epistle but i just cant deal mehn!
    Ive worked in Customer service before, if someone insults me theres still a line mehn! No it is not legal or holy but its a means to an end and it should be respected as such. They are not enjoying this thing! they are not born nymphs! its like d job of packn feaces but it doesnt mean people poured shit on the “agbepo” of those days!

    Let me just stop biko. im weeping on the inside. May u and ur partner not die in d crash on ur way to dinner and leave ur 16 year old daughter abt to write ssce and with all ur debts and horrible family members who will turn her out into the streets. Judge so thou may not be Judged. Be a samaritan today.

  26. Babe

    June 4, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Sorry but i dont understand how rape and prostitution work in a sentence. It is at the point they dont get paid or what?
    many NGOs are working their tails to get prostitutes out of the streets, you are creating more problem. When you have a girl child, teach her prostitution is a real job. Nonsense

    • Simi

      June 4, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      This person just killed me (I can’t stop laughing) prostitution is a profession as old as time.. The fact that you don’t see what the author is trying to say makes me laugh. But prostitution will always exist and the you prostitutes out there need protection… If u hire her, pay her. And if she has agreed to have sex with u let it happen as it should there is no reason why you should forcefully take something that has been guaranteed… It doesn’t make sense…

  27. Olayemi

    June 4, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    STOP IT!
    Do you know how many young women reading this blog and the influence of this trash you’ve written on them? Next time, glorify your time with something of better morals instead of this vomit!

    If you are jobless, pack all the young women in your family to do prostitution and march them on the streets to start asking for justice. Nonsense!

    • whocares

      June 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      So exposing a social issue like rape and other vices to other women in the society is vomit? I’m sorry is safety a scarce commodity that is only available to the moral and just? I would like a detailed explanation of how this worked out in your head.
      If you are a woman then I am very very worried about you and everyone in your vicinity. If you are not (spreads hands unto the heavens) because that is the only entity that can save us. The influence of what? Did she advocate prostitution as the way of life? Does anyone here look like they might be interested in hiking up their skirt and walking to the next alley?
      I don’t even want to sane as I talk to you. So here goes: sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up. Whilst you are at it re evaluate your fucking life, read a fucking book, grow the fuck up, or wiser. I doubt that is possible but hey (gods and their miracles) . How is this vomit. Do you know what people suffer you sanctimonious apathetic prick? Ahh I cant. I just cant.

  28. Simi

    June 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I love that you took the time to write this… Rape can never be right…
    I always wondered how people prostitute in Nigeria. With ritualists, and all the other spiritual things that people do… The fear of that alone will keep me away…
    I pray for protection over these women out there, I pray that God keep them…
    It’s so easy to judge but these ladies have customers and these customer are as wrong as they are…

  29. natu

    June 4, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    My sentiments exactly. I really empathize with African women. We are not protected at all. You know what else I have realised from reading bellanaija, a lot of African are extremely chauvinistic. Culture and religion has really blinded our ideologies. We need to really re-evaluate our perceptions and mindset.

  30. Ba

    June 5, 2015 at 3:26 am

    The image is scary

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