THE ACT OF PROSTITUTION
It was some years ago as I am no longer certain when I was faced with two beautiful ladies in Lagos Sheraton Hotel; one was a Briton and the other a Nigerian. The room was 519 and it commanded an air of warmth despite the harsh Air Conditioning finding its way through my St. Michael’s suit. I felt at ease just looking at the red carpet room, stoned wall and rich pine furniture with tasteful finish. As the negotiations ensued, my phone began to ring; I was immediately troubled because I was about to commit the act of prostitution.
In writing this article, I consulted various dictionaries but I found Encarta to fully express my mind. The definition of a prostitute is;
somebody paid for sexual intercourse: somebody who receives money in return for sexual intercourse or other sex acts
Somebody who degrades talent for money: somebody who uses a skill or ability in a way that is considered unworthy, usually for financial gain
My knowledge of definition (1) was enacted the day I spent longer time than necessary in a friends place at the age of 11. I went on a visit to his place at 1004 flats at Victoria Island from my place in Apapa. After spending time playing Street Fighter 2 on Super Nintendo, the time was 10.00pm and I was stuck on the Island. My friend’s mother pleaded with the driver to take me home. It was on my way home, that I saw some ladies standing on the road dressed differently from the way women normally dressed in the day. The short skirt always reveals their high heel shoes together with their tight blouse with spaghetti strap; this was a force of attraction that almost threw the driver off course. My curiosity was immediately quenched as the driver started the long tale of what prostitution was and who they were as he headed back on the road. The memory of this day though half-faded, still commands the needed inquisition in my soul.
Definition (2) is my main focus as I am amazed at how much one prostitute oneself for the sake of financial gain. This is considered smartness in today’s world of increase poverty, challenging background and oppressive lifestyle. The act of throwing away your talent, skill and experience for another line of work in order to appreciate financially does not improve the person hence the country of the person. The act of studying Chemistry and ending up in a bank raises a lot of question on the future Nigeria. It is my belief that a country can not change if the human resources are dysfunctional, exploited and oppressed. Nigerians look at the fields that offer a better productivity and leans towards it despising their gift and callings. Who can we blame this on; the government, the employer, the employee or the job seeker?
I remembered a friend who lost an interview because she stayed in a department for 2 years despite her logical reason of love for the said department. Employers encourage prostitution because employees must prostitute to bullet proof themselves from this fast paced, ever-changing work place. You are considered by employers as slow and not ambitious for sticking to a company for a long time.
I would love to look at it from the employee/job seekers perspective. Things are hard, situation is difficult, your position remains the same, and salary has not been increased, an advert comes out that totally disregards your passions and believes but you apply because your skills could be transferable and the money is good. This is what happened to me on that fateful day in Sheraton Hotel where I was having an interview with Virgin Nigeria. As the phone disrupted our conversation, I knew I had blown the interview because the British woman’s smile faded. I immediately switched it off but it was too late; her mind was set because we had been negotiating on how much I would love to collect which meant I was a good candidate for the Team Leadership Position. The Nigerian lady made an excuse for me but the negotiation stopped immediately. I was negotiating 4 times my salary with a woman who was previously enthusiastic about my stories on the scenario question and now was not interested any more because my phone rang. Looking back at the scene, I am very happy that the phone rang because I would have traded off my passion for the Aviation Industry and all that I have learnt would have been thrown away the second time for a morsel of porridge…………..