BODY FOR SALE: Naledi

Local NGO aims to help workers

A local NGO counted 2013 prostitutes in Selebi-Phikwe between October 2010 and September 2011, working the 64 locations identified as ‘hot spots’ in the mining town.  23-year-old Naledi is one of them.

Her story is a typical tale of economic necessity where the combination of no academic qualification, no money and no job, combined with the sole responsibility of feeding her two-year-old son, has tempted her into joining the oldest profession.

Dropping out from school in 2009, her only employment to date has been work allocated as part of the government funded Ipelegeng scheme. But that has never been enough to sustain her needs, and after what she terms some ‘deep thinking,’ she was persuaded with a little help from former school mates in the same position, to take to the streets.

By her own admission she has no regrets. “Business is not that bad, especially at month end, and most of my clients have not been violent, although they often insist on not using condoms. We call that ‘free flow’ and it is when I can charge P60, which is double the normal rate.”

She reckons that she needs around P400 a month to survive, a target she has little trouble reaching with her regular customers of mine workers and truck drivers.

Asked if she was not afraid of HIV/AIDS, Naledi reveals that she is already infected. “I think the father of my child must have given me the virus. Right now I take ARV’s and never miss them. When I try to inform my clients of my status, they don’t believe me and say that I look too fit to have the virus,’’ Naledi says with a faint smile.

She maintains that if she could find a proper job she would leave the trade because it is risky, especially at the clubs where some men can get aggressive and refuse to pay. She can expect no protection from the police, but neither do they harass the girls as they go about their business.

What help Naledi gets comes from a local NGO, Silence Kills. Registered in 2006 and funded by USAID, their objective is to provide integrated HIV/AIDS services at community level, and to cultivate a strong partnership with key partners.

According to Senior Programme Officer Boitumelo Kopano their goal is to improve the quality of life of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS through prevention and care support in an area that has one of the highest infection rates in the country.

HELPING HAND: Programme Officer Boitumelo Kopano

The project offers counselling and assists sex-workers in the practice of safe sex, and ultimately hopes to help them find ways to leave the profession and find sustainable employment.

“We treat them as the most at risk population and we have an outreach programme where we sensitize them about HIV/AIDS issues and distribute free condoms,” Kopano explains.

The organisation does not support the legalization of prostitution. “The girls are doing this because of poverty, and prostitution degrades the dignity of women,’’ she argues.

It is an argument that Naledi acknowledges with a shrug of her shoulders as she prepares for the business for the night.

15
Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
15 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
13 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
mis o

at this time an error,go santse go na le mongwe o sa itseng gore u cnt tel th status of a person by merely lookin at hm/her. . .dz is surprising i guess,HELLOW!!!

izzy

re tlaa tshaba go jola,kana ba robala le bo naledi ba bo ba tla ba re batla ah! lefatshe le le a lwala…..demet

Splaka

obviously the guys who refuse to use protection know they are positive too…. only a fool would take such a risk.

ogee

Batho ba ba tlhoka thuso ya potlako. the best way ke go ba ruta lehoko la Modimo le gone go ba thusa go tswa mo lehumeng. all in all,prostitution is a sin. as Christians lets stand up. satan is deceiving God’s people and we are here watching and saying nothing. that is impossible to us humans is possible to God, what God wants from us is obedience. obey God’s commandments, walk by His holy will, you will receive endless blessings.

ub student

di a diragala mo botswana n we cnt pretend gore ga re bone it is high time we legalise prostitution coz t happens evryday they shud b protected ebile their businees wil b part of our GDP this is legal ko south africa y not here.go tla nna go tswelela we cnt turn a blind eye o n this every o ne knws this is real

cfm

Selibe Phikwe has always been like that. Spent my early years there and learned a lot of bad habits in the mid eighties. But stayed away from prostitutes. In Botshabelo it was fabulous during weekend. Ate things like boboko, drank kgadi and chibuku . So this report is a bit damaging for the mine town. Prostitutes are all over the world and its even worse here in UK.

science

sex!! sex!! sex!! the gov shuld stop providing free Arv’s to those who are new infected/

ogee

Supporters of prostitution, ako lo mphetise ha! God says “Your body is My temple(temple of the Holy Spirit)”. prostitution is a sin, immoral, indecent.a lo nyatsa Modimo?

chizgal

it is no good at all, its a sin…

dusty binny

only if e govrnmnt wud stop throwin mony around n use it 4 a gud cos we wudnt be facd with this….mr tautona do somethin

Moratwa

Kante why batho fela fa go buiwa ka prostitution le abortion gore di golela pele be ba re “legalise it” on wat grounds? Please stop encouraging evil. stop dining with the devil….I just hope our government should be careful dealing with this. U cant stop evil by encouraging it.

Sodoma le Gomora ba sentswe fela jaana ele kwa ga mmapereko. Banna ba ratana le banna, basadi ba ratana le basadi…any sort of evil u can think of ene ele sejo sa tsatsi le letsatsi. Mme Modimo a nyeletsa metse eo.

I TOTALLY DISAGREE WITH THIS

Tgirl

Matlhabisa ditlhong e le ruri!

Thsi means gore fa Zebras e fenya metshameko e megolo re tlaa bona se se dirafetseng ko Zambia go twe go ne go na le “Free Hour” and a long queue ya borre. Lefatshe la rona le senyegile e le ruri!

Tgirl

I agree with you Science. Why should govt provide free ARVs fa batho ba dira ka bomo? Go na le makoa a mantsi a a diphatsa, and yet govy ga a kgone go thusa ka madi for kidney transplant, etc, and yet malwetse a a ipiletswang ke batho ka bomo a a duelelwa. Very unfair.

masterblue

His Execellency ke monna wa di-principle, mme ka prostitution gone, le ene ga ana kgang. Ke gore so se keng, ba tshola bana go tsweng hoo ba re itsholelo e ko tlase..they went to bed knowing the exact consequences…banna weee! jaanong ba butse dimausunyana ga gare ga maoto.nooooo, this is evil. borrabone bana ba, ba kae? Take them to court girls..fast.

pasta

ke tshaba le go bala..scary