While many men would go berserk on sighting their wives’ lovers, there is a group of men in Lagos who actually welcome their wives’ sexual partners.
A woman having sexual relation with another man who is not her husband is generally frowned at in most, if not all, cultures of man. It is considered as infidelity and also frowned at by all known religions of man. This, however, is not to ignore the existence of infidelity which is usually engaged in by both parties discreetly.
But in a part of the megacity of Lagos, the above is not the norm. It is actually the other way round. In this part of the city, a new wave of commercial sex activity is fast gaining ground.
Husbands not only know that their wives are prostitutes; they also make available their apartments for their wives to service their clients. Consider this: A woman who does not look like the archetypal commercial sex worker and a man converse by the roadside, a make-shift shop or a kiosk, a bargain is struck, the two of them head towards the woman’s residence.
The woman’s husband observes their approach. He quickly rounds the kids together, makes the apartment look presentable, shoos the kids out of the room and he stays somewhere until his wife finishes servicing her client. Welcome to Majiyagbe Street, via Morocco Road in Shomolu area of Lagos where wives feed their husbands and children from the proceeds of prostitution with the full consent of the man.
Saturday Mirror observed that prostitution is not the only vice prevalent in Majiyagbe Street. Banned drugs are also hawked with novelty. However, it is also alleged that suspected stolen vehicles and motorcycles find their way into the area. It is also claimed that small arms are kept with some of the illicit drug hawkers plying their trade in the area.
Reports also have it that most of the customers of these prostitutes are men of questionable character who use the place as hideout after perpetrating their acts. Saturday Mirror investigations also revealed that most of the owners of the houses lining Majiyagbe had moved out of the vicinity, but only sed their agents to collect rent from the occupants of those buildings.
Majiyagbe is a fairly long street with dozens of makeshift houses and kiosks lining both sides. Entering Majiyagbe Street, a first time visitor would take the area for a normal living community. Banners, posters of various soft and hard drinks are conspicuously displayed on those shops, while GSM service providers’ stickers also adorn most of the shops. That is in the morning and early afternoon. In the late afternoon until the wee hours of the day, the street wears another look.
The rooms, shops, kiosks and containers on the street are short time accommodation to sex customers. However, investigations also revealed that not all residents of the beleaguered street are involved in this act.
Some of them still live on the street, apparently because of lack the wherewithal to relocate from the area. Saturday Mirror discovered that about the time the sex seeking customers start arriving, the husbands of the prostitutes would vacate the apartments. They would only return when the wives call them that the apartment is ready for the family again.
In such situations, the children too are made to seek alternative abodes while their mothers engage their ‘customers’ in their family apartments. A resident of the area, who identified himself simply as Olatunji, told Saturday Mirror that most of the commercial sex workers on Majiyagbe Street are from a certain part of the country and are not indigenes of the state or Yoruba, but they have been living in the place for decades.
Olatunji maintained that the prostitutes get the backing of their husbands while they carry out their trade to the full knowledge of their children. “Most of the women took to prostitution to survive and this is to the knowledge of their husbands. Over the years, their female children grew up to see their mothers do what they do and later continue the trade,” Olatunji added.
Another resident, who preferred anonymity, disclosed to Saturday Mirror that before now, stolen cars and commercial motorcycles were brought into the area for remodelling.
The source however said the new Divisional Police Officer in the area had carried out raids on the workshops of the panel beaters always working on the stolen automobiles which had drastically reduced that part of the anomalies on Majiyagbe Street. “All manner of hard drugs are sold on Majiyagbe Street, but the effort of the new police boss in the area has made the hawkers to device new means of selling their wares.
Now, the drug dealers are mobile. Instead of selling the drugs in shops, they carry them around in bags, and sometimes in their pockets,” the source said. Favour Ideh (not real names) is one of the prostitutes on Majiyagbe Street.
Ideh, 37, and mother of three boys, initially did not want to disclose her real job to Saturday Mirror. She told Saturday Mirror that she sells recharge cards on the streets. However, she later owned up to her prostitution business. Ideh, however, said that she had to send her kids to school when the company where their father used to work folded up at Apapa. “I have lived here with my husband and three boys in the last eight years. But in 2009, my husband lost his job when his office folded up at Apapa. Where there was no gratuity coming and he was sick at the time, I had to seek alternative ways of providing for the needs of the family,” Ideh justified her line of business.