11 September 2012

Chad: Good Business for Cameroonian Prostitutes in Chad

Recent oil exploitation in Chad has seen a considerable rise in the number of prostitutes on the streets of its capital city. But these women are not locals. They come from the north of Cameroon, only a 15-minute drive from border town Kousséri.

"Walk regularly at night, and you will almost never come across a woman from Cameroon who is not a prostitute. They have their own little activities during the day, but when night falls, they turn into tigresses," jokes Yves, a Chadian living in the capital.

More experienced

"Most of these Cameroonians come here to make the maximum of money [they can]," says Abdelkader, another resident of N'Djamena. Considering themselves more experienced than their Chadian colleagues, they often dare to ask more than 10 times the local going price.

"To spend the night with a Chadian prostitute, all you need to take her home is a drink," says a local guy while sipping on a beer in a bar downtown. "The following morning, you pay her what you had in mind, which can even be 2,000 CFA [3 euros]. But a Cameroonian girl would first settle on a price with you. And they are not cheap. When they feel your desperation, they can ask up to 30,000 CFA [18 euros]."

"Money's worth"

But what is it about Cameroonian prostitutes? How are they different from Chadian ones? Another guy in the bar says that it is not only because they are foreigners, therefore breeding curiosity. It is simply because they are good at what they do.

"When you pay a Cameroonian prostitute well, she will give you your money's worth. Contrary to Chadians, they will take initiatives and make the whole experience last. They always try different things," he says.

The word on the street is that Cameroonian women are generally easy to sleep with. "Many men want to have a go," says Abdelkader - especially the ones who have never set foot outside of Chad.

Long and hot nights

That image is not contradicted by the Cameroonian prostitutes living in Kabalaye, an area in the capital with a strong Cameroonian community. The nights are long and hot there. The many bars are full of Cameroonian prostitutes. Wearing suggestive clothes, letting their breasts do the job, they are not scared of "attacking" their potential clients - an obvious contrast to reserved Chadian prostitutes who sometimes even wear veils in brothels.

And with money flowing, especially since the recent oil exploitation in the country, Chadian men are having no problem reaching for their wallet to pay extra for the services of a Cameroonian prostitute instead of a Chadian.

Yet, as though in some sort of defence of Cameroonian women, Abdelkader admits their notorious reputation may not be fully deserved. "When I was going for the first time to Cameroon, I was under the impression the women there were all easy targets and dishonest," he says. "But I was a bit disappointed when I actually arrived."

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