Ntombi Gaza (not her real name) believes s.e.x work is increasingly becoming an accepted job among unemployed graduates and the student community as the aftermath of Covid-19 continues to snatch away breadwinners, causing untold harm to family structures.
The 23-year-old pharmacy graduate from Kwamashu in Durban tells opens up and said that unbearable circumstances forced her into the s.e.x trade. Following the untimely death of her father due to Covid-19-related complications in July, Gaza felt obligated to step up and fill the financial void. He was the sole breadwinner in the family.
“I had to try all the tricks in the book to support my four siblings and my mother, who is wheelchair-bound. I completed a B Pharmacy degree in 2018 and I have been unemployed since.
“My father worked as a teacher and paid for my university studies. It broke my heart that he had to continue supporting me financially while I was job-hunting with no luck. He did so until his last breath,” she laments.
Gaza says she had met up with her campus friends who advised her that she should consider the s.e.x profession as a solution to her financial woes.
Another student, 19, who did not want to be named for fear of being judged, says there are many establishments around the Durban city centre masquerading as beauty and massage parlours but offered s.e.x services.
“In my case, I operate at a lodge and it is much safer. My services vary from pampering, massage, and s.e.x. I also charge a fee for attending special dinners and parties,” she says.
She adds that the job enables her to pay for her studies. She also sends some money home following the death of her mother to the virus in September.
The two say their families are not aware of their newly found occupations.
Non-profit organization S.e.x Workers Education & Advocacy Taskforce says amid the tough economic climate and joblessness, s.e.x work should be regarded as any other profession instead of being criminalized. “We wish to remind the president of his promise to look into the decriminalization of s.e.x work,” the organization said in a statement.
In other news – #RIPMapulaKhune: What you need to know about the death of Itumeleng Khune’s sister
A 17-year-old is expected to appear in the Ventersdorp Children’s Court on Monday in connection with the alleged murder of Mapula Khune.
Khune, 27, died in a house fire last week. Her body was discovered in a house in Tshing, outside Ventersdorp, in the North West. The deceased was the sister of Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune. Learn More