During the day, Koinange Street is a one-stop-shop for honorable ’business’.
At dusk, the twilight girls from all walks of life, keep streaming in, coming back where danger, violence and substance abuse rage. Studies on the Sociology of aging show that pressure and sexual abuse cause psychological aging, especially if such abuse is repetitive (wear and tear theory, Havinghurst, 1974).
Nelly Njoroge, a Counseling Psychologist working with victims of Sexual and Gender-based Violence says that judging those in the trade is inappropriate.
“The fact that they bend over backwards to their clients could be a sign of rejection, class-level tensions or low self-esteem. “Suppression of values is another cause of prostitution.
Further, prostitution shortens one’s reproductive lifespan, causing psychological and physical depreciation (Ouko and Odhiambo, 1999).
Frequenting the streets gradually causes her conscience to die. She separates her body from the sexual act,” she adds. Since behavior is learned, victims of rape for example, either chose to refrain from sexual intercourse altogether, or suffer low self-esteem.
She remains unmotivated, having dropped out of University, despite being from an able family background.
Her hopeless state contrasts with that of her younger sister who holds a Master’s degree and is happily married with two children. Working in the day is difficult for the street girls. In such seclusion, most cannot negotiate for safe sex and are prone to violation.
In this twilight, skimpily dressed girls in shinny heels wait in baited breath, hoping for a posh bait today. Commercial sex trade takes a community’s action or inaction, to thrive.
Some are her former classmates from the University of Nairobi, which is a stone throw away. Others, almost retiring from the trade, are clocking 40. Neighbors watch in silence, parents front their young; peer-pressure and willing clients keeps the girls in the streets.