Festac town, a once quiet, suburban, middle-class residential area originally referred to as Festival town or Festac village. It is located along the Lagos – Badagry Expressway in Lagos is fast becoming a haven for sex workers. The highest congregation of these sex workers appears to be in a brothel found near the bridge, linking the town with the new Festac extension.
Prostitutes Spread inwards
The ladies clearly prefer 1st Avenue. Under the cover of night, these ladies gather on the long stretch and wait patiently like birds of prey. Marijuana and cigarette smoke fill the area as they puff and loiter along of the avenue.
The prostitutes rent the rooms at the rate of N3,500 daily. 2 or 3 persons share this bill depending on their arrangements. In other words, the ladies take turns to entertain clients in their rooms. However, There are shabby details as to fees, as every one of them fixes her own fee for services rendered.
Residents living close to the brothel say they have continuously decried the presence of the nightly practice. Yet they believe that for prostitution to take place, there must be willing and ready buyers. This is what makes prostitution a thriving economic activity here. While most of the residents complained, others are just grateful that the prostitutes are all women – the trend of male prostitution seems to be on the increase in Lagos.
An economic activity
Although many (non-residents) argue that prostitution can be helpful to society (economically and socially), it is yet to be legalized in the country. Hence, it is still illegal. People generally link sex to love, life, and lineage. If ‘commodified’, it inevitably reduces the value of a human being to something material. Something external, and temporary.
Prostitution threatens the very ideals of marriage and family.
But these prostitutes earn a living from services rendered and are therefore able to meet their financial needs. In truth, most sex workers are driven to prostitution for survival. For many, this is the only option available to them. It is a wrong notion. And in many instances, it is the easy option or the lazy option. Prostitution is not the only option.
However, prostitution is well outside the scope of this article. There are health issues and economic issues. Risks to life and limb, and potential crime issues all as a result of unregulated, unchecked prostitution.
The hope then is that we can add to the discourse. Shining the spotlight like this will bring about some level of regulation and safety. Until then, the oldest profession in the world has come to stay in Festac.
ekoconnect.net (first published Aug. 2015)
Other sources: naij.com