According to the statistics, National AIDS Council gathered, 70% of prostitution in Zimbabwe are of young girls under the age of 16 years
By Addlyne Hencil
Is it peer pressure that our daughters are turning to the streets – and in numbers? Is it the pressure of wearing the latest brands, weaves, and the hope of finding that one rich man to take care of her for life.
Are we raising a new generation of lazy girls?
Who do we blame when our daughters don’t feel the need to work or study hard or create groups of co-operatives to begin projects such as market gardening, poultry, let alone manufacturing, technologies, innovations and industrials etc?
Why are our daughters turning to dating older men for survival?
I recently had a call from an anonymous young lady who contacted me for help – she was taken for a weekend trip just outside Harare by her new lover.
After spending a great weekend of quality time and early on the Sunday morning he said was driving into town to buy breakfast for them.
He never came back.
Hours passed and eventually, she figured out that the man was not coming back. She tried calling him and his phone was off and her number blocked.
The young lady was left penniless had to walk to the main road (approximately 8kms) from this popular weekend getaway spot.
Hungry and tired she made it home by begging for help along the way.
In tears, breathless and feeling abused, I could hear her tremble as she narrated her story.
She blamed herself for wanting the easy way out and being fooled by the upmarket type of car he drove.
He had made promises to her that he was leaving his wife for her and all the lies that come with such stories. His name is known to me.
I later learned that a day later the man contacted the young lady and paid a couple of US$ to her, a pathetic apology and a story about why he had not pitched.
Are we to blame as parents for over-providing for our baby girls and treating them like the little princesses that they are and showing them luxurious things at an early age?
Are we forgetting to teach daddy’s little girls the real values and morals of hard work and a good education, let alone self-respect and girl pride, which begins in the home by simple chores, and responsibility acts, early mentorship and cultural pride.
There definitely is an element of over compensating on our behalf as parents, what happens when we are no longer around to provide for our little girls now grown into little women.
Are you teaching your girl child how to catch a fish – instead of depending on her beauty and other attractions to survive.
As Zimbabwe, are we to blame for this new generation of laziness developing?
Are men to blame for the growing demand of young prostitutes?
What goes through a man’s mind at that moment of undressing a 14-year-old prostitute to have sex with her? Do they ever stop to think that – that could be his daughter, it could be his niece, or that could be his sister.
At which point do alarm bells go off that this is an underage girl child, that shouldn’t be doing what she is doing? Do they feel a sense of responsibility to save a life and give her the money for free.
She might be a 14-year-old prostitute working the streets at night – but that doesn’t make it right.
Our economy is not the greatest in the world and with Covid-19 and border lockdowns still in play. There is all scary talk now of the 3rd wave looming, also adding to the increase in the rise of commercial sex trade.
According to the statistics, National AIDS Council gathered, 70% of prostitution in Zimbabwe are of young girls under the age of 16 years – this from a March report that I read in the newspapers from Zim Sentinel, quoting businesswoman Edith Chibhamu.
More recent reports show stats of a growing prostitution age group (13 – 18) girls who are joining the commercial sex trade.
As a mother it was difficult for me to digest the contents of the National Aids Council figures.
Where is the Department of Social Welfare and Child Protection?
What programs and initiatives are they putting in place to deal with this growing problem? How can we as a country get involved in saving our Girl Child? We need to save these girls from disease and unwanted pregnancies.
Is HIV testing still being encouraged and are condoms still freely available for those working in the sex industry? Just asking?
So many of questions I know as we reach out to all Woman’s Organisations and the Minister of Social of Welfare to join hands and remove the girl child off the streets of prostitution.
It is our responsibility to protect her.
That’s my take this week in the Sunday Express.
See you next week.
Addlyne Hencil is with Jit-Tv & The Media Box, Mud Hut Consulting, Tinavo Holdings, and Healthcare Infusion Solutions. This column is published in partnership with The Sunday Express. Follow her on social media. Her new programme Ndinotaura Zvandinoda is loading.
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