28 November 2007

Cameroon: Sex Workers Strike!

Scores of sex maniacs in Bamenda are still grappling with the pangs of acute deprivation initiated last Friday November 23 by members of the Nkwen Association of Sex Workers (NASEW) to protest against the arrest of six colleagues and a bouncer by the law enforcement officials. The arrest, made by the police mobile intervention unit, was purportedly provoked when the whores mercilessly pounced on two young women who lustily lurked around the Nkwen main sex shop, in defiance of NASEW's laid down rules.

"Three main rules govern sex workers within the Nkwen neigbourhood" said the spokes lady of NASEW, Mother Suzy. "First, any woman who gets interested in the profession must table a handwritten application to NASEW, including a packet of condoms and six bottles of beer. Second, the person must abide by NASEW's rules, which uphold absolute trust in condom use, strict respect for clientele limits, the unconditional defense of members in distress and membership to thrift and loan groups. Lastly, the new member pays CFA 3.500 as new-man-tax. Deviants obviously face the bouncer," she noted.

Mother Suzy explained that two young women, who sneaked into NASEW's licensed sex premises and took conspicuous postures at the counter, baiting faithful customers with ferocious heat, were the pivot of last Friday's incident. "Our attempt to walk them out resulted in a scuffle wherefore bouncer Magnus intervened, and was later arrested alongside six others.

During that incident, in which many prostitutes were seriously beaten and wounded, everyone, including regular customers abandonned them. We have therefore decided to remain indoors until the population, especially the men in uniform who frequent us most, see the need to respect and protect prostitutes", Mother Suzy said, adding that prostitution is an ordinary profession, like others, with the quest for money at the core.

"Degree holders and many others weaned from prestigious offices are NASEW's members. Others are divorcees, jilted by their husbands due to financial hardship. "Sex workers have no alternative; we must cling on something to nourish our families and contribute to community development. We need jobs, we need money; we must live," Mother Suzy stressed, quivering.

At press time, however, the Mobil Nkwen neighbourhood was slowly regaining its midnight fanfare. The sparkling eyed mermaids, most of them dressed in bare backs and naked chests over Shakespearean cross-gathers and strings, were already taking conspicuous positions in dark corners, encompassed by balls of white cigarette smoke.

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