After my secondary school education, I wrote the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Examination (JAMB) three successive times without success. So, I decided to go and learn tailoring so that I could start making a living.
Six months into the learning process, my best friend, Cynthia, came from Lagos and advised that I came to Lagos and make quick money. “Onome, instead of suffering yourself in the name of learning how to sew for a living why don’t you follow me to Lagos and make quick money? How many people even sew these days?” she asked. “Cynthia, which one be quick money again?” I asked.
She explained that I will only buy and sell women clothing and fashion accessories to bank workers that would enable me earn make money because that is what she does too. She promised to introduce me to some of her customers. “Thank you Cynthia, you see why I call you my best friend? I will really appreciate it if you will do this for me,” I said.
Well, I felt that it was a very good idea and so decided to abandon my sewing classes to make ‘quick money’. When I told my parents I was leaving for Lagos, my mother was excited but my father had his reservations. However, he told me to be very careful. When we got to Lagos, we headed straight to a brothel. “Cynthia, wetin we dey do for hotel? Do you live here?” I asked. “Onome, my friend, this place na my bunk for now until I get my own place,” she explained.
Unfortunately for me, I failed to realise that my dear friend, Cynthia, was into prostitution. She was the second-in-command in the brothel because all the other girls hailed her whenever they sight her. Three days later, I told her we needed to talk. “Cynthia, I feel very uncomfortable in this place. We can put money together and rent a place instead of staying in this unholy place. In fact, when are we going to buy the goods for sale,” I asked. “Onome my friend, I am sorry I lied to you I be correct opio, asewo. I dey sell my body to make quick money,” she revealed.
I got very angry because she did not only lie but also deceived me to leave my sewing classes for prostitution. “Haba Cynthia, why did you have to deceive me? I thought you were my friend,” I retorted. I wanted to travel back to Warri but I didn’t have any money. It was Cynthia who paid our fare to Lagos. I pleaded with her to loan me some money so that I could return to Warri. She bluntly refused. Then I knew I was stuck.
She became extremely nice to me. She made sure I was very comfortable but whenever she hasda customer/client as she calls them, I must leave the room for them. Even if I am asleep, she must wake me up to leave the room. However, three months later, Cynthia’s attitude towards me changed. She started becoming very harsh and irritated with my presence. She stopped fending for me and abused me with the slightest provocation. I had to ask her what my offence was. “Cynthia, your attitude towards me has changed, what did I do wrong?” I enquired. “Well, I think it is time you start taking care of yourself. I can no longer spend my hard-earned money on you. It is either you join the business to take care of yourself or you leave my room. I am giving you just three days to think about what I have just told you,” she said.
I cried throughout that night sitting outside while she was busy with customers inside the room. Many of the girls were either standing outside the hotel waiting for potential customers, gone with customers or busy with customers in their various rooms. “God, is this how my life is going to be like?” I cried.
On the evening of the third day, I approached Cynthia and told her I was ready to join the trade and make quick money. “Cynthia, I think I am ready to make quick money,” I said. She was excited. She patted me on the back and said, “You have made a good decision. Don’t worry I will teach you all the tricks you need to survive in this business,” she promised.
The next morning, Cynthia took me to a boutique where we bought all manner of skimpy and revealing clothes, wigs and other things I would need. In the evening, she took me to visit a herbalist who gave me some prepared charms and instructed me on how and when to see them. That night, she began to lecture me on the dos and donts of the trade. She taught me how to handle men and how to extort extra cash from them, how to use each charm and many more. Although, I was a bit frightened I was determined to make quick money.
With Cynthia’s influence, I got my own room in less than three months. We pay N5, 000 a week as rent, which must be compulsorily paid on Monday mornings. I sleep with about 15 to 25 men a day in the brothel before going to stand in front of the brothel at night for any customer who would take me home. I will say business was really booming for me. Sometimes, I make up to N50, 000 to N70, 000 a day depending on the kind of clients that come my way.
During one of my usual night business, I met Chief Ibe, a businessman who came to Lagos for a business meeting. He came to the brothel and picked me that night. He told me he wanted to have a nice night with me and he was willing to pay double for my services only if I agree to spend two whole days with him. “Chief, why do you want me to spend two days with you? That is against my business ethics,” I said. “I will be in Lagos for two days and I need company each time I return to my guest house after a long meeting which will leave me exhausted,” he explained.
I spent two days and when I was leaving, he tripled my money and promised to get in touch whenever he was in town. Just as he promised, whenever he was in Lagos I became his regular call girl. He owns me throughout his stay and we enjoy each other’s company. However, for a long time, I did not hear from him and I forgot all about him.
Later I met Kenneth, a good-looking young businessman one night while I was looking for potential customers.
Watch out for the concluding part next week!!!