Prostitution, a risky life

In Zimbabwe some mothers are selling their bodies just to put food in their children’s mouths, putting their lives at risk in the process.

I recently watched a documentary called ‘Chauya Chauya – A Risky Life’. In Zimbabwe Chauya Chauya means whatever comes, comes, which is the attitude of the women who appeared in the film.

What bothered me the most is that some of the women have given up hope and have resigned themselves to the fate of eventually dying from AIDS.

The problem for Zimbabwe and its people is that too many sex workers and their clients have a nonchalant mentality when it comes to AIDS. The unemployment rate in Zimbabwe that currently stands at 90% is a recruitment mechanism for prostitution. There is no welfare system in place to support single mothers and the majority of unemployed urban women feel hopeless and have no control over their destiny.

What I found interesting is that some of the women in the documentary feel trapped and are looking for a way out. Maybe charities should find ways of helping these women off the streets. In the documentary, women candidly talk about the working conditions of this murky industry including the competition among women for sometimes very few clients and the acceptance of what is termed as danger fee. Danger fee is an extra charge for the risk that is taken by allowing the client to have sex with them without a condom.

As a mother, the film made me tear up at times with the reality that if I were in similar circumstances, I would have no choice but to do what they are doing. That is the juxtaposition of this documentary because it puts you in a position of action, a position of wanting to help.

Currently, it’s believed that up to 25 percent of Zimbabwe’s population is HIV positive, which is why prostitution is such a risky business for these mothers.

With Chauya Chauya: A Risky Life, you’ll learn about the different characteristics of the prostitutes including why they began in the industry, their attitude towards AIDS and the risks they must endure just to make sure their kids have food to eat. – Watch the documentary at

Post published in: Analysis

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