by Charity Ngwenya | NUST-ZW
When times are tough and friends are few; is sex work really an option?
Sometimes a ‘thigh for a mark’ situation knocks at a student’s door.
The million dollar question is; “Should university students succumb to such?
I don’t have the answer to that but l know you have answered and you’re right.
Should you open your legs or your mind when confronted by the effects of Zimbabwe’s economic melt down?
With the current trend of landlords charging rentals in foreign currency. Many of our fellow students have fallen prey to ‘transactional sex’. All of this in an effort to pay their tuition fees, rentals and even for day to day survival.
As I walked to Bulawayo CBD the other day, I was touched by what I saw. Extremely beautiful ladies of my age were soliciting in-front of a certain hotel/bar.
A few ‘sugar daddies’ flocked around them, deciding on who to take home for the night.
My heart bled, not that l blame them but because l have learned to never judge a person until you hear their side of the story.
I just saw a bright future slip through their finger tips as the world watched in awe.
I thought to myself that maybe as a nation, there is something we’re not doing right. More-so, that maybe, there’s an alternative means of survival that these girls can resort to.
An Alternative To Sex Work ?
In an interview with Abigirl from NUST a final year student, I asked her how she started baking.
She said to me, “If some of us didn’t hustle, we would be prostitutes by now”.
She said that, she thought of something she loved to do and baking was on top of the list. From there, she started to bake for business and now she is making a living out of it.
I also interviewed Gladys from NUST, a second year student who started selling at the university’s small gate stalls during the first semester of 2018.
Gladys said that at first she saw an advert of a guy who wanted someone to sell his stuff for him by the shades. They met and then she started selling for him but later realized that she can do more than that. She then started selling her own stuff.
Gladys said that when it comes to hustling she doesn’t give a damn what people will say. To some it may be degrading to be found under those shades but look at her, she is paying her rentals; taking good care of herself and buying her food from that money.
She surely doesn’t need a man to ‘bless’ her because she ‘blesses’ herself; therefore there is no need for a ‘blesser’ or sugar daddy on her side.
To take this a little further, l was so impressed to see some students advertising laundry services on a Facebook group . The NUST Students Notice Board is teeming with innovative ways that young people are using to generate a little income.
“You don’t have to wait for opportunities but you create them”.Sol- MTV Shuga
I then realized that Ayanda, (the actor Sol, the guy from MTV Shuga Down South) was right when he said, “you don’t have to wait for opportunities but you create them”. Imagine where these guys will be with their business in the next three years.
SEX WORK IS NOT AN OPTION
So my ladies and gents, the truth is ‘sex work is not an option’ because it can expose you to a lot of Sexual and Reproductive health risks such as STI’s.
Students at the University of Zimbabwe started the company – Applied Language Solutions (ALASO). Now they’re making a living out of it. Some students at NUST also founded Creative Photography, a budding media outlet.
We can all think of something, can’t we?
There are entities like the Innovation Hub at NUST, that are waiting for students to bring forth their ideas so that they bankroll them.
In a conversation I had with Aleck Ncube the director of the Innovation Hub, he said that their office is always open for university students and the Bulawayo community.
To see what other opportunities wait for you click here. Remember opportunities don’t call for you but you create or look for them.
However, there are others who say they do enjoy sex work. But, this does NOT mean it is good work, or empowering work, or harmless work.
When it comes to ‘a thigh for mark’. Our dear ladies who are victims of lecturers who ask them for sex in return for high marks should simply report these cases.
It is sexual harassment and universities should also come up with confidential yet simple procedures for the ladies to report such abuses.
Therefore, according to me, sex work is not an option because we all can come up with an alternative means to make a living!
Why should you do work that makes you vulnerable to disease, abuse and stigma when God created you equally with world’s most richest young lady.
This life is not easy, you probably won’t become rich over a night but do what it takes to recognize the opportunities you were not seeing all along and resort to safer ways of making a living.