The weeks


Meet Mary & Jane. Mary Jane smokers and prostitutes back in the early '80s, before AIDS hit Mombasa. It's Mary sitting down. Jane is not Jane at this moment though. Her professional hooker name was Cathrine. Here they are preparing for another day in the office.
It was and still is a hard job. These two youngsters (Mary was 15, Jane 19) only worked the white tourists if possible, but sometimes when the tourist season was over they had to seek the local men as clients. None of them were impressed by the pay and treatment they got from the Kenyan men. Beatings and abuse was part of the local flavour.

I have no idea what happened to Mary. Saw her last time in 1983, but Jane I met on Moi Avenue, Mombasa, in 1986. She had got another kid (the first was when she was 17 and that forced her into prostitution) and a German "husband" in that sense he send her money every month to take care of their kid. She was not sure if it was his kid, but had convinced him it was. She had left prostitution and lived by the D-Marks from the man up North. She also had some office work part time.

We had a great time together back in 1982 for some months full of fun, most of the time. And I got a good look into what is called the world's oldest profession. Maybe it is the oldest but it is still tuff. Not much improvement in working conditions and retirement plans.