South Sudanese people living in urban centres like Juba and, other major towns in the country have always blamed prostitution on East African commercial sex workers from Uganda, Kenya, Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopian but we can now finally reveal that south Sudanese young girls are much into this world oldest profession.

Recently, popular journalist and TV host Maal Maker alleged that South Sudanese young girls are becoming prostitutes at an alarming rate in Juba. This compelled HIJ investigative team to visit the alleged areas where Junubin prostitutes are found in Juba.

Our team made first stop at Hong-Kong [not sure how this name came about] neighborhood just behind Hamarat residential area where mostly government officials reside. This is the same area where Shalom and Panaroma Hotels are located.

This one street business centre [not sure if it should be called that] or ghetto is characterized by bee hive of activities. From drunk girls and boys dancing outside to popular Dinka song of Dinganyai, ‘En Che Niin‘ on the street to young men arguing at a pool table across the street. The bars and shisha shops are run by Ethiopians. Majority of patrons in these bars are young unemployed South Sudanese youths.

The girls we talked to denied being prostitutes but claimed they are just having fun before they go home. But most of dudes we talked to acknowledged that most girls in ‘Hongkong’ were prostitutes and drunkards.

One of the guys Deng [not real name] told us these girls are very discreet with their prostitution business for fear of stigmatization in the society.

“These girls you see around here are all prostitutes”, Deng told Hot in Juba speaking in local Juba Arabic. He said sex is offered for as little as 30 pounds. Asked why he thinks this girls have resorted to prostitution, he said “most of these girls are poor and have no families to take care of them”.

We then moved to Kubri, Shirkat and a place known as ‘Hai Condom’. We couldn’t witness much in these areas but according to few people we talked to, the practice is common in brothels which are disguised as bars.

In our investigation, we weren’t able to ask these girls where they come from but according to Maal Maker girls from Jonglei come at top, followed by Lakes State, then Central Equatoria, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and finally Western Equatoria.

Johny Masura – Is an aspiring freelance journalist, blogger, writer and social media expert based in Juba and currently working with an NGO.