The hardest part for Bukky was not the decision making process that went on at night or the desecration that took place afterwards, it was the disgrace that followed the morning after. It was always that.
The receptionist and security guards that gave her a knowing smile and ask “How market?”, the cab drivers that picked her up early in the morning after her escapades, and her neighbors who look at her in disdain while telling their daughters not to be like that lady that lives in flat 4. Not to be like that prostitute.
Over the past three years, she had grown a thick skin. She had to survive and make a living and as far as she was concerned, this was the best option.
Her parents were retired civil servants who were being owed months of their pension entitlement. They were forced to move to the village in order to avoid the embarrassment of outstanding house rent and the high cost of living in the city.
Her elder sister was in Dubai working as a nanny. At least that was what she said she was doing. She moved there in search of greener pastures, but Bukky knew that it was likely she was a sex slave. She also knew that it was better not to speak about it.
Bukky’s journey to prostitution began in May 2016, 2 years after she concluded her compulsory Youth Service.
On returning home after service year, she got a job as a teacher and she was paid 15 thousand every month. However, transport to the school gulped about 60 percent of the income, so she quit after a year.
Taking the little savings she had, she learnt and got involved in the production of small chops and cocktails. She did that for a few months but most of the customers she catered for at parties, funerals and corroborate events refused to pay her. Those that did pay mostly did so in piecemeal, weeks after service was rendered.
That led her to take a job at one of the popular hotels in the city. She got a job as a front desk officer. A receptionist. Her monthly income was 25 thousand naira, however the transport cost was lower because of the proximity to her apartment. Also, her income was boosted by tips from men who patronized the hotel. She got tips as high as 10 thousand in a good week. The men gave her the money just for being beautiful. They let her know that if she agreed to sleep with them, she would get even more.
“Fine girl, don’t waste this your beauty oo. Woman na like flower o. Night go soon come o.” She heard this and several variants of it from customers and even colleagues. Over time, her resolve softened and she decided to take the leap on the 6th of May 2016, a Friday night. Her first customer was a local government chairman who had pestered her for weeks. He rewarded her handsomely for her services and launched her into a new life.
That was then.
At the start of 2019, she began to feel a disgruntlement in her mind. It started when a young man who claimed to be a member of Gideon’s international gave her a Bible. He preached to her and told her about Christ. She listened because he was polite but she couldn’t care less. The words he spoke however didn’t leave her.
She knew what she had to do but she didn’t have the strength to do it. She knew she had gone too far for God to save her. She was also concerned about losing the source of her livelihood. So, she decided against choosing Christ.
However, last week Friday, something happened.
She was lucky to get a good customer quite early in the night. He was a young guy who worked in an insurance company, from the sticker on his car. He didn’t bargain when she told him her rates, he told her he just wanted a good time and he was willing to pay whatever was required. She was happy.
After they entered the room, he entered the bathroom to get ready for the night. Suddenly she saw something. It was a Bible placed beside the bed. With trembling hands, she opened it and a verse caught her attention.
““Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
She broke down in tears. There was no way that she could go to Christ. She was too far gone for Him to save her. She wasn’t good enough. As she wondered about her next decision, her mind wandered back to the passage. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as snow. Though they are red as crimson, they shall be as wool.”
At that moment, she knew what she had to do.
She quickly packed her things and headed for the door. Then she turned around.
She looked for a paper so that she could leave a note for the handsome young man in the bathroom.
“My dear, I’m sorry for leaving you like this but I have to go. I don’t know what’s going to happen next but I need to look for the One who can make something clean out of my crimson red life. I need to look for Jesus.”
Ire: Are you reading this and you feel you’ve gone too far? That you’ve done too much? You think you have messed up. You think you are messed up. Today, God is calling you. “Come, let’s settle this matter. No matter how bad you think you are and how far you think you have gone, I am here to take you home. I am here to make you clean”
Would you come to Christ and His saving grace now?