Sex workers in Bulawayo have devised new ways of survival by taking call-in clients during the lockdown period. Since the country was locked down to contain the coronavirus, most sex workers have moved from the streets and are operating from their homes. In separate interviews sex workers said although they were not making much their new method of survival was paying dividends as they were able to pay rent and buy food. Nothando Moyo, a mother of two children aged five and seven, who has been in the sex trade for six years said they had since adopted other means to lure their clients to make ends meet under the difficult times.
“A client phones to alert me that he is coming to my place then I offer him sexual service. At times my client would come to my lodgings and pick me up to his private rented place in town where we would have sex and after that he would take me back to my place,” she said.
Another sex worker who only identified herself as Nomsa (25) said she had also been operating from home.
“Life has never been the same for me since the lockdown started because from the streets I used to make more than R2 000 because I charge most of my clients in forex but now I make a little bit. I make in the region of R500 to R800. I thank my God because I can manage to settle my bills, do my hair and buy food,” said Moyo.
Asked on how they protect themselves against the Coronavirus which as of Thursday the country had recorded 34 positive cases, five recoveries and four deaths, they said they had to face it head-on so as to survive.Nomsa said: “There is no way we can protect ourselves because a guy would touch me and would demand a kiss before we engage in sex. When we indulge there is body contact. Although we are afraid of death we don’t want to face grinding poverty because this is our only way to survive.