A widow and mother of four identified as ‘Omaricha Baby,’ says COVID-19 pandemic forced her into prostitution to save the lives of her four children.
She said narrated how she joined the dirty business out of hardship. “I did not know that one day I will be a prostitute because
before the COVID-19 pandemic I was hawking fruits which was sustaining the family.
“I started hawking after the death of my husband to fend for my four kids and pay for the house rent of our two bedroom apartment in Okpoko despite the demise of my husband.
“I never experienced financial hardship since I got married because I am not a lazy woman until the arrival of the COVID-19 that resulted in shutdown.
“If not for prostitution my kids and I would have died of hunger. We had nothing in the house to sustain us. To worsen the situation during this lockdown my kids fell sick and I was stranded.
“The three people I ran for money to buy drug were also broke and my child, Ekene, was dying”.
“I took him to a Chemist who charged N1,500 but what I had in the whole world was N700. He refused to take N500 I offered but demanded for sex with me to forego the entire money and I said no that I have not done that since I got married.
“The man said ok that I should choose either to pay for the bill or sex and I told him that I will respond to the option when I come again with the kid for second round of treatment and he agreed.
“When I got home I was pondering over it and concluded that if he is
serious that I would succumb to save life of my child.
“On arrival at the medicine store he administered drugs on my child and I asked him to go that I will be coming later.
“The N200 that I was having earlier has since been used on domestic
affair and I was without a dime and he asked me which of the options
have I chosen but I did not talk and he signaled me to come to the
inner room and I reluctantly went in and we had sex.
“I told him I was hungry and he bought a plate of rice for me and
provided a bottle of beer for himself and soft drink for me.
“We chatted for hours and I told him what I was going through and he
said that I was not serious that I should use what I have to get what
I don’t have or I will die of hunger.
“As I was about to leave he gave me N1000 and it was to me like N10,000. I thanked him and left and we continued in that relationship for about a week. The lockdown was biting harder that one day as I was returning from his house, a man who was drinking in a beer
parlour called me by my child’s name and asked me to come.
“I did not hesitate and on arrival he asked them to bring meat and
bottle of beer for me but I pleaded that I did not want to drink beer
but soft drink and he refused and pleaded that I take the beer and I
“When I wanted to leave he gave me N5000 and asked me to call him on phone later in the day that I should escort him to somewhere.”
“With the money he gave me we cooked food and bought some cups of beans for moi moi the next day.
“I later called him and we left for a nearby community, Awada, where we had sex and came back, though he gave me #2000 again and from there I started prostitution unknowingly as I succumbed to anyone that called me because I knew I would get money from the person and before you know it I had turned into a full fledged prostitute that today I have a lot of colleague prostitutes here in Okpoko and on daily basis we hang out for market especially in the evenings.
“My kids now feed well and my first child, a girl, takes charge of my
home whenever am away for the night I don’t nurse any fear of my home being in disarray because she is coming of age. Sometimes I will tell her to cook what they want to eat because the money is there, there is no day that passes that I will not make at least N3000 if there is bad market.”
Asked if she will discontinue in post covid-19 she said, “I don’t even remember Covid-19 again and I think people are also tired of it, the increase in death toll on daily basis is political. Government is part of our problem and that is why I was worried that hunger will kill us as I don’t have hope.”