A recent survey has shown that more girls/ladies in Lagos are going into diverse forms of prostitution and s*x trade, a term popularly known in Lagos as ‘runs’.
Reports inform that more ladies in Lagos started doing ‘runs’ this year than in previous years, an ugly development that tends to cut across all classes of ladies, both the literate and the uneducated. It has been noted that quite a good number of the girls are undergraduates and daughters of very prominent persons in the society.
That said, the question then becomes “why are more Lagos girls getting into prostitutions or ‘runs’ either on a full time basis or merely as an aside?”
With this question in mind, we took to the streets to find answers and afterwards we spoke to experts on why the trend. From the information gathered, here are five reasons that tend to answer the riddle of this new and troubling development.
1. Independent Woman
Women liberation is at the fore of global debate today, and most ladies in Lagos and around the world seek to break free from what has been termed the shackles of patriarchal prejudice and other biases which they say have long kept them down.
Experts say that there are two major ways to acquiring this freedom being clamored for all over the world, and these are either through sound and proper education or by amassing wealth and financial security.
The quality of education in Nigeria as a whole still remain crippled by militating polices and corrupt practices, hence one cannot readily boast of the education attainable even in Lagos, for the right quality of education appropriate for such liberation does not come cheap especially in a male-driven society.
Hence, most Ladies within the Lagos metropolis, often neglect attaining due respect through education, opting for a means they believe is less arduous, and faster in the attainment of wealth and financial freedom which ultimately will give them the desired independence they crave.
2. Peer Pressure/Low Self Esteem
In Lagos, so many people are trying to impress somebody who in turn doesn’t really care for anybody. Taste and class differences are clearly defined, the gap between the poor and the rich cannot be bridged and there is no middle ground.
In a bid to keep up with the status-quo, and fit into the upper class, many Lagos girls leave beyond their means. They want all that is trending, latest phones, shoes, dresses and other fashion accessories. Influenced by friends and the media, they look for ways to meet up, they seek extra sources of funds, a task that is not always easy to come by, so they end up joining the sex trade either as their major source of income, or as an extra stream.
3. High Cost Of Living In Lagos
Many who migrate to Lagos, do not take time to do a proper research as to where they will be staying, what job they would be doing or what will sustain them while in Lagos. Quite a good number of of those who migrate to Lagos from neighbouring countries and those who relocate from villages in other states, come with a perception that it is all green in Lagos.
So you have people in Lagos who do not have sources of livelihood and have no relatives, most staying on the streets, under the bridges and in the slums. The cost of living in Lagos becomes too high when compared to the villages they have come from. For others who manage to get menial jobs and probably a “face-me-i-face-you” apartment, certain rates and utilities continue to dig deep holes into their pockets, so a new way out becomes the question.
No relatives, no jobs and a lot to pay for, the offer of fraud (Yahoo! Yahoo!) seem tempting for the guys while the ladies opt for runs; like the local saying goes, “man must wack- (one must eat).
4. No Jobs In Lagos
Its not that there really are no jobs in Lagos, but due to the number of people that reside in Nigeria’s most populous city, the jobs cannot serve everyone. Starting up a business on the other would have been a very viable option, but with the most recent changes carried out by the government, it would take much to start up. For instance, road trading is totally frowned at, and the task force ensure to confiscate goods of road side traders, meanwhile, getting a shop and maintaining it cannot be sustained by the petty trader.
Again it all boils down to the question, what other options are available? Quite a number of the girls are then forced to go the extra mile to make ends meet in highly competitive and expensive Lagos city.
5. Escape From Poverty
Every other factor enumerated above, all centres around this point, like they say “Poverty is a disease”. The quest to escape the jaws of poverty has been given as the biggest reason why many Lagos girls went into prostitution this year, than in previous years. Some seemingly controversial report, shows that the average on which many Lagosians live is less than a dollar per day; thereby raising the poverty level to an all time high.
Making ends meet in Lagos can be a very demanding task, and many residents take desperate measures to survive. However, the sex industry in Lagos has been growing, especially because the government seem to have lifted the ban on brothels and strip dance clubs. So there are more strip clubs springing up and brothels thriving healthily.
Some investigative reports have shown that some ladies make as much as N150,000 a night from dancing at strip clubs in Allen Avenue, and an average of N30,000 in local brothels around the suburbs. This to many ladies to Lagos is sugar on their tongue, as most of the brothels avail them a place to stay while they sell their wares. So most ladies when tempted with this offer, compare it to the hard life of Lagos which they have tasted and give-in to the offers of pimps and handlers who make millions off them.
Prostitution or runs as it is called in Lagos is on the increase and many ladies are opting for the trade. The factors enunciated above are the top reasons we got from research and investigations as to why more Lagos girls are involved in what has been christened as ‘Runs’. Do you think there are other very important factors that were left out? Then let us know what your findings are.