How I became a successful prostitute but lived miserably today is mostly because of my parents’ deeds and misdeeds. My story is the story of most African girls raped and sexually assaulted at the age of 13 or below. Life they say is what you make it. But often society doesn’t care if one is too minor to make a positive life out of his existence. I thus stand to be condemned for not choosing a path despite parental influence.
I was born into a polygamous family. My papa was a palm wine tapper, his 3 wives depend on the few plots of lands and stands of palm fruit he had. My mama’s share of my papa’s lands was practically impossible to feed all of us. Very often we (three wives and sixteen children) have to work in the neighbourS’ farm for sustenance.
At the age of 6, I was conscious enough to admit that what so many under my age called parental love and care, I never had. On several occasions we leave to school without food neither do we often come back home with any hope of food. The neighbors we worked for never paid cash but plate of meals, often cooked in a way and manner suitable for people like us. We lacked money and food on daily basis.
As I grow older, neighbors’ houses remained our main sources of feeding while the home was the alternative. And very often their children offered us financial assistance in several ways but trust me, nobody gives you unconditional support for a long time. Conditions for their support became weightier as I grow older.
At the age of 10 we were left by our parents not only to source for our food wherever possible but also clothing. Our friends from wealthy home often adorned themselves in beautiful cloth daily. They occasionally don’t fail to tell us of the new panties, braziers and all underwear their parents bought for them. But my story was different and different for too long!
My problem increased as I grow taller, developed robust breast and needed sanitary pads. My mama’s attention on me changed, revealing I was of age. This implies I should start taking care of myself and accordingly, she denied me of some basic needs. She wouldn’t even let me use her soap again. It became obvious on several occasions that everything she offered me was grudgingly. Sadness reigned in my life.
Our neighbors gradually stopped offering me free gifts as I no longer meet their unending conditions. Every time I discussed my problem with my mama, she will be directing the conversation to the new cloth worn by this and that person’s daughter. Not forgetting to mention how it would have looked better on me.
I approached my Papa one day to tell him about my plight. He seemed to have given me the necessary attention as I share my with him story of my hunger, clothing and sexual advances from neighbors and school mates. When I finished, he asked if that was all and I nodded in affirmation. He gave a sigh, ‘you have no problem then’. He went on, ‘don’t wait to be told everything my daughter, use your head, that is why you have it. At your age your mama was already taking care of herself, I personally built my first hut at your age.’ He concluded by saying, ‘learn from the big girls, that’s why we sent you to school.’ Very sad, I left my papa.
It was no planting season, there was very little I could do to raise money for my immediate needs. Sadly too, my mama wouldn’t even let me touch her palm kernel anymore as she said I was of age. I took a stroll one day, clad in my half material wrapper and apparently with no panties. Do you know where I was going to? I went direct to Okon’s house, he was our senior student and has been making several love advances to me.
At okon’s house I didn’t know how to initiate the conversation. The same conversation have always told him am not interested. After exchange of pleasantries and some irrelevant questions and silent moments, I asked, ‘what did you say you want from me?’ He looked at me with rapt attention and drawn closer, I heard him swallowing his saliva as he draws closer to me. He held me on the shoulder, and whispered ‘Eka, let’s go inside and talk please’.