With the current hard times, poor Kenyan families have been forced to employ “creative mechanisms” to make ends meet.
One of the most vibrant regions is the Coast whereby men, who have been hit hard by harsh economic times, have employed survival tactics to cushion their families.
In Kwale, parents have married off 12 school-going girls due to extreme poverty. After all, a drowning man has to clutch to a straw.
This aside, the most recent trend in all this is quite shocking.
Men are now “renting” and trading their wives and daughters for pennies.
They comfortably sit and wait for their wives and daughters to return home in the evening with something to eat after a series of sexual escapades with the tourists who flock the region.
Confessing, a 13-year-old in Mtwapa said she was introduced to a 65-year-old “mzungu” by her father!
He did this to raise the girl’s school fees.
It all began when the girl was sent home to collect school fees and instead of the father taking responsibility, he collaborated with the girl’s grandmother to have the girl trade her goodies for school fees. They claimed there was no other way out.
The girl’s mother travelled to Qatar in search of greener pastures and she suspects that her parents are no longer married.
The white man began by paying Kshs 3000-5000 for the sex and went on until he would pay tens of thousands.
In yet another bizarre incident, Riziki was forced to drop out of school at form two to help them “fend” for the family.
Her father, who was a beach boy introduced her to selling ornaments to tourists at the beach.
What stupefied her was when her father told her that a tourist whom he was with had liked her and he would like to have a good time with her.
This is how she ended up in this “business” of having sex with tourists.
Riziki’s father also taught her German and Italian to facilitate easy communication with her “clients.”
Disillusionment and desperation has pushed men to the level of pimping out their daughters and renting out their wives to earn a living.
One of the most memorable men is a certain Kimani. He confessed that he would not enrich another woman while his wife was “jobless.”
A tourist had requested him to hook him up with a local woman. The tour guide chose to offer his wife to masquerade as his sister.
“Why should I enrich another woman when my wife is jobless?” this is the big question that prompted Kimani to do the unbelievable.
He rented his wife for weeks and his wife did not turn down the offer knowing how bad things were on the ground.
Kimani and his wife now make up to Kshs 40,000 in a “good” month when she gets well-paying clients.
Confirming the incidents, local authorities in Mtwapa say such cases are common but there is little that can be done since no official complaints have been launched.