When the sun sets on Nairobi, and the raucous sounds of East Africa’s largest metropolis soften into inaudible silence, scantily clad silhouettes on stilted heels stand at street lights, puckered lips painted in blazing red — eyes darting, hands beckoning.
They are ‘night nurses’, hardnosed professional hookers of the first order — locals, Caucasians, Ugandans, Ethiopians, Eritreans and most recently, South Sudanese women.
They are lanky, and their delicate body structure, sharp facial features and coal-dark skin seem to be the new rave in town. ‘Black gold’, as many men call them, are on high demand in Nairobi.
“They don’t charge so much, and they also don’t drink. Once you hook up with a South Sudanese, she will only drink a bottle of water or soda, and then you go,” says one Kenyan client. Unlike locals, he says, South Sudanese women aren’t thieves, and they rarely drug or steal from you.
Tall dark women
On a Monday night, I get to town around 8 pm and start scouting the clubs for tall dark women along Moi Avenue. I get into the first club and ask a waiter if I can get a South Sudanese woman for the night.
“Kuna group huja hapa lakini leo hawako. Huwa wasichana wanne, (there is usually a group of four but they are not in today),” he says. I walk out of the club to check out other places.
At a Club near Old Mutual, I finally get dark lucky. The women aren’t in the club but if I am ‘serious’, the waiter will call one for me. “She can be here in ten minutes because I know she is in town,” he says, pocketing the Sh200 for ‘airtime’ that I have given him.
In 20 minutes, the waiter directs one lithe ‘long’ chick towards my table, her eyes hidden beneath half closed eyelids. Without looking at me, she politely suggests we go somewhere else. She understands Kiswahili, but can’t speak it fluently, so we have to shout our conversation over loud music.
Her name is Marial, and she will charge me Sh2,000 until midnight. She can’t go for a whole night. She has to get home before morning. She was at three star hotel lobby, having a soda when she was called to meet me. She doesn’t drink, and insists she can’t come to my residence; our business has to be finalised in town.
“Kenyan girls don’t like us. That’s why I don’t want to stay here. I just come to town if a man wants me, otherwise I stay home. Can we please leave?” she begs.
At Fameland bar and Restaurant near Munyu Road, local girls have nothing positive to say about South Sudanese women. “We can’t allow them here. Let them go back to their country,” says Jane, adding that Kenyan men are infatuated with South Sudanese girls because ‘ni wageni huku (they are visitors)’.