Welcome to Kanyama, where customers ‘chew’ hookers on credit

By Chrispa Mulenga

IF the craving for ‘nkani yaku bed’ hits you and you are broke, just visit Kanyama township— just less than 3 Kilo meters from the Main Lusaka Post Office.
Good customers here can get sex on credit, I have learnt.
But you will have to pay up on the agreed date without fail, unless of course, you are immune to embarrassment unleashed by the township’s prostitutes.
And if you are a client from outside Lusaka, say Livingstone or Ndola but you frequent Kanyama, an ID or Driver’s Licence is a vital document that must be produced before you negotiate for services.
The two documents will determine how much you will be charged. Just so you know, Driving Licence holders pay more, because you are rich, stupid!
Those who get sex on credit but fail to pay up in time have every reason to worry. One, the sex workers are feared for using witchcraft to make difficult clients pay up. So, the next time you find yourself itching to clear that debt, well, it is because your image is sitting in some smoky pot at ‘Doctor’ Kalonga Kanono’s hospital on Kalusha Bwalya road in Kanyama. Yes, that witchdoctor building an upstairs in Kanyama is the one all prostitutes there run to when dealing with ‘difficult’ clients.

Some truck driver from Chililabombwe ‘chewed’ a prostitute in Kanyama on credit promising to pay when he returns from Kasumbalesa. But for some reason, this man failed to pay within the agreed period. When he went back home ready to be useful to his sexually starved wife, he just discovered his manhood missing. He knew exactly where his manhood was.

SO, the following day he jumped on the next Juldan bus to Lusaka. Once here, he went straight to Kanyama to the prostitute’s house. When he handed her the money, she told him that “isula fridge iyo, elo usalepo iyobe! [ Open that fridge and pick your penis].” In that fridge, he found dozens of penises which had been magically ‘impounded’ from difficult clients.
It’s that bad in Kanyama!

And one more thing. You shouldn’t even make the mistake of warming your way out with counterfeit cash, because most of these ‘service providers’ only accept mobile money. The few who take cash prefer coins! Those with new paper notes have their monies subjected to serious scrutiny, as they do in banks.

Located next to Kanyama, the sprawling Chibolya slum is ever bright with lights from gas lamps and few drug dealers who have managed to ZESCO their houses. Wheelbarrow pushers (ZAMCAB) , general workers and bus drivers and conductors are the main clients.

Clients pay between K30 and K100. However, those who seek ‘goods’ on credit have to pay the regular fee which attracts a 50 per cent interest.


But why give sex on credit.
“The Zambian economy is biting right now. These men are broke most of the time. That is why we had to come up with a business model that is favourable to them. It is sustainable,” one of the sex workers who also plys her trade at the popular Mukupa Guest in the Lusaka CBD told me.

But who are the clients?
“Our clients are mostly Wheel barrow pushers and bus drivers and conductors. This was a virgin and an untapped market especially Wheelbarrow pushers. Everyone one looked down on wheel barrow pushers but these days, they make upto K150 per day. They toil and moil to make a living, which is why they need us to help them relax,” a sex worker told me.

Editor’s note: This article was first published by the Zambian Observer

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