Kenyan preacher, Jane Watiri was one of Nairobi’s popular commercial sex workers in her heyday, earning close to Sh20,000 a night.According to Watiri, she was a “destroyer,” driven by vengeance against men. She was not on Koinange Street the city’s red-light-district just for the money, but also for revenge. She says she turned the heartbreak she suffered when she was betrayed by a man into a personal vendetta against all men.
Now standing tall, slim and stylish, wearing a pricey weave, her self-assured husky voice belies the naive girl who first arrived on Koinange Street in 1997 at the age of 17.
“I was not the average prostitute,” she says, adding, “I was quite dangerous. I used to steal from my clients. I would carry everything; clothes, shoes, phones, keys and even wedding rings which I sold for Sh3,000 in Eastleigh. I used to really mess up those men,” she says.
Born 38 years ago in the capital city’s Huruma Estate, Ms Watiri was the third born in a family of six children. Her parents provided everything she required. Towards the end of her education at Naivasha Primary School, her life took a wrong turn. She got into bad company and refused to join secondary school.
. “I had some friends who would take me out to clubs and reggae nights when I was 14,” she recalls.
The teenager then sunk into a life of clubbing and alcoholism as her mother watched helplessly. When she was 16, Ms Watiri was arrested, charged with loitering and jailed at Lang’ata Women’s Prison for a month. When she got out, she met a young man, fell in love, got pregnant and got married.
. “One day, he left me for an older woman and there I was, 17 years old, with a baby boy, no education and no job. I was very angry,” she says.She was in Koinange street seven years: “I wanted to hurt men the way the father of my child did to me. Bitterness and unforgiveness can really destroy your life.”
She says she would change her look weekly so as not to be recognised by clients she had stolen from.