“Why we no go fight them. When dem dey collect N5,000 for customer hand for short time and we dey manage N500 – N1000, dem no come here. Na now dem wan dey come follow us drag the customers wey dey come here. We no fit allow make dem stay.”
Those were the words of Omolara who prefers being referred to as Queen. She’s a commercial sex worker who resides in the slums of Kara, a community of prostitutes close to Bodija Market in Ibadan. Two weeks ago, she was thrown behind bars for two days after engaging in a showdown with one of her colleagues in the prostitution business.
The lady she fought with is called Mercy. Mercy is a prostitute as well but with significant clout – at least enough to have a police officer effect an arrest on a colleague of hers at her behest. At the start of the year, it would have been hard for her to believe that she would be involved in a scuffle over where and where not to ply her trade; that too, with a b-grade prostitute in the slums of Kara.
Her routes were defined. She loitered around Bodija suburb of Ibadan shuffling between Platinum Club and GQ Lounge – both premium nightlife spots in the city – to scout for her clients who would either come to the clubs to have a drink and pick her up afterwards or random ‘clients’ who were sure about her availability and that of the rest of her colleagues in the business around the clubs.