A week ago, I stopped at an old lady who nightly sell fruits next to a corner bar, about 148 meters from my place.
She is very kind and always hopeful I’d buy from her. We became accounted during the last few months. She ends up expecting me to buy everyday from her. Her stall is on one of the three routes I use to take to home.
That evening, I ordered six sweet bush banana for 0.30$ and two organic oranges for 0.15$. While she was packaging my order a young, beautiful, absolutely alluring girl came out of a compound next to a bar on the opposite side. She was wearing a short skirt offering to sight long, hairless, milk chocolate shining legs, moving at the pace of a soothing wind.
She has a heart face, brightened by a large white smile and big nut colored eyes, with peacock tail eye lashes.
I can’t help but to lose focus for few seconds. I asked the old lady “Who is this lady? Is she living around?” I asked with a low voice.
“Yes. She lives just there” the old lady replied pointing her finger to a door 7 meters away. “She is new in the area. She is a student. She is renting a room there. Why do you ask?” She continued
“Well… She is beautiful”, and said with a smile.
“Yes she is, but she is not stable” the old lady said.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well… Do you see the motorcycle parked there. It’s for her regular guy.
The guy is at her place now. But you see, she is running out to see the man in the car there after the bar. And there is a third guy too” she said.
“Huh… She has three boyfriends!?” I wondered.
“You know, life is hard, and she is a student. She has to pay rent, transportation, eat and care about herself. That’s a lot of money, and you know one man won’t be able to cover all those costs. I think, that’s understandable.” The old lady commented.
“You seem to agree with that lifestyle…” I said almost in shock.
“What do you want her to do. She is not from here. She needs to live.” The old lady said.
“Would you do that if you were in her circumstances?” I asked
“No. No. No. I’m old generation. At our time, we didn’t have to go trough so much hardship, and girls behaved much much better. Times are different now” the old lady responded.
“Hummm… And one day, someone would marry her, without knowing all this” I commented.
The old lady responded to my comment with a local saying “Amede be nuyeye enye amede be nuxoxo” meaning “what is new to someone is someone’s else old stuff”.
We both laughed synchronously. She handed me my bag of fruits and I departed for home.
On the way, I recalled a similar story a student told me few months ago about how she and her friends find money to pay for their school fees.
Both girls casually prostitute to pay for school fee. They both specialized in Togolese men from the diaspora and high level executives.
Both are in their third year at a private school which has very high fees while both girls come from humble families. They have to make lot of sacrifice to afford the school and the challenging lifestyle which goes with their prostitution activity.
The time one of the student hooked me, she was looking for 240$ to pay the second tier of her school fee. I bluntly told her I don’t pay for sex, and I don’t date girl who wear fake hair and bleach skin. (My wording was in fact much more subtle and very polite).
I asked her, how does she know I was from the diaspora. “We can smell that!”.
Our conversation went on as follow.
“Life is very difficult”, she said “I need 240$ before two weeks, and I have nothing”, she said.
“That’s lot of money. How did pay for your studies until now?” I asked
“I started the school because I was dating a big boss. He paid for the school fees and gave me pocket money. During my second year, we broke up. He was overly jealous. In fact I was dating another guy I like and he discovered that. Since then, it has been more difficult, you know… Men don’t have money anymore… They can only give part of the money…”
“So, how do you manage?” I asked.
She started laughing “my friend called some time ago. She said she got the money for the fees. I asked where did she found the golden man. She said there is no such man anymore in town for that amount. She said her pussy is hot and burning now, because she has to do few men to round the amount.”
We both laughed synchronously, and she said she liked me. I paid for her drink and gave her bit of money for her transportation.
In Lome, casual prostitution has become so common place. It seems socially ok. Almost everyone is doing it, and one-hour-hotels are currently the most lucrative real estate business in town. Such hotels are sprouting all around the city.
The poverty of our men might be the source of all this. But, the time you’d decide to get married in Lome, you’d likely marry an ex-prostitute.