- Published on 09 November 2014
- Written by The Zimbabwean
Prostitutes are a common sight along the streets of the capital and at beer joints in most residential areas. In the pubs they can be seen mingling with patrons. This is their profession– entertaining men and make a living out of it.
But as the imploding economy has unleashed a black tide on the employed workforce, casting many into unemployment, the business of prostitution is now over-subscribed – and desperate sex workers are seeking divine intervention for charms and holy water to stay in business.
"One has to visit prophets and faith healers to be cleansed from all bad spirits that may haunt as you seek clients. Life in Harare is expensive and you cannot survive on an empty pocket. We have to make money, no matter what it takes," said one sex worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
"We are human beings and we get jealous of each other so someone might just go to the prophet to curse you with bad luck. At the same time, if you are not clever and have not had your luck boosted you can spent a week without even a single client coming to you."
"At one point my housemate cast a dark spell on me because she was jealous of my rich boyfriend who was taking care of me and I was dumped for no reason," she added.
In Kuwadzana one female prophet has become popular among women because several of them have seen their business booming since they started visiting her sanctuary.
Every Thursday, women flock to the prophetess' house wearing their long white robs as they wait to be taken to the waterfall to be cleansed of any bad luck that could prevent them from attracting men.
"Madzimai helps a lot," said one woman who frequents the sanctuary. "The first time I came here she took me to the waterfall and I later spent a week being cleansed with milk, eggs and water to wash away any bad spirit. Soon after that when I went back at work I met this rich man who bought me a car, it was like I had a small goblin that was giving me money. Things were going fine. He even bought me new furniture for my house."
"But I do not know what went wrong, the man just disappeared. So I am back again to be cleansed," she added.
Prophets and apostolic sanctuaries have become a common sight in the high-density residential areas of Kuwadzana, Dzivarasekwa, Chitungwiza, Waterfalls and Mufakose.
Social commentator Rebecca Chisamba castigated women who seek help from prophets saying that this is a sure path to failure in life. She said young women should learn to work hard for their lives, because nothing in the world comes for free.
"Women should spend their efforts getting educated and pursue better prospects in life rather than devalue themselves in trying to find money from soliciting men. Going to prophets in search of luck and holy water does not work. Spending time at the shrines is a clear sign of idleness. Young women should seek God, get proper education and pursue better prospects and talents rather than anticipate for fast results, from these prophets," said Mai Chisamba.