Zimbabwe: Married Woman Turns to Sex Work to Raise Varsity Fees

Macheke — A 33-year-old mother of two here has turned to commercial to sex work to raise her tuition fees, putting her life, marriage, and that of children at risk.

The woman, Charity*, said she had since turned to target truck drivers plying the Harare-Mutare highway in transit to neighbouring Mozambique in a highly involving task of raising US$500 per semester at the Women’s University in Africa (WUA) where she is studying.

Her wish is to start an income-generating project that can sustain her and her small family and quit sex work she says was her last and only option left.

Charity shared her depressing story in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com during a recent media tour to Mashonaland East province. The tour was organised by the National AIDS Council (NAC).

She said she currently owed her university nearly US$1 000 in unpaid fees and had doubts if she could enrol for her industrial attachment scheduled during the next semester.

“I am a student and I am also into sex work. I am also a mother, I have got a husband,” she told NewZimbabwe.com.

“The challenge that is there is the issue of university fees which I pay in United States dollars. The issue of tuition forced me into sex work because my unemployed husband does piece jobs in South Africa. He earns little money, and, therefore, can’t even afford to look after us or pay for my fees.

“At the moment, I need US$500 as tuition fees, and you can’t write examinations without clearing fees or proceed for industrial attachment. So, I take advantage of the fact that my husband is in South Africa and I go and wait along the Harare-Mutare highway and sell sex to drivers. I usually end my journey in Rusape or sometimes in Mutare.”