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Besides being a disgraceful, shameful and belittling trade, they only saw an option to survive in plying the so called oldest profession, mainly because most of them were uneducated.

The evil business owners

This is a tale of 95 former commercial sex workers who decided to quit the dishonourable trade of selling their bodies in exchange for petty cash.

They are now the pride of Gikondo suburb in Kicukiro District in a village commonly known as ‘Sodoma’. The group of women is now organized in a group called ‘Rwiyemezamirimo Dufatanye Cooperative’.

They have also set up their own market in the area where they sell charcoal, tomatoes, fruits and other groceries. They quit the trade and earn their living through their own sweat and hard work.

Jane Kamunaze 33, plied the ‘evil business’ as she calls it now, for over 13 years.

Kamunaze, who was a Gikondo-based sex worker, today can’t imagine how she managed to cope with such a kind of life for all those years.

Kamunaze’s story

Sex workers search money through a dirty game

“I thought sex trade was the only way I would make a living here in Kigali, being uneducated. I could not fathom any alternative trade other than selling my body.

It wasn’t a good life at all as we were always being chased by police, abused by people, cheated by patrons and I did not at any time enjoy the trade, I only did it for survival.

After all those years, I was really getting tired of having to go almost naked every evening and selling myself to anyone for as little as Rwf 1,000.

I always dreaded having children because of lack of a plausible story I would tell them if they asked what my occupation was, and one day I decided to look for options, if ever I was to have a family of my own.

I discussed with my colleagues, who were also in the same trade as me, and agreed that we could get a loan and open a decent business.

We then went to Gikondo Catholic parish where we they gave us a loan of Rwf100,000 that we were supposed to use as our startup capital.

The New Times

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