Their World, Their Clientèle

Public university residential neighbourhoods across the country have since become virtual red light districts, with different affluent professionals as main customers.

First-time weekend visitors to Soa, the fast-growing university town on the outskirts of Yaounde, Bonamoussadi, Yaounde, Molyko in Buea, Bambili near Bamenda, Dan near Ngaoundere, and several other university student residential areas in the country, would think that some big event is being organised.

Far from it! These are virtual red light districts that draw in all manner of customers from the locality, neighbouring towns and at times far-flung places like Yaounde or Douala, driving hundreds of kilometres just to come and meet their lovebirds. These neighbourhoods, largely made up of private hostels for university students, often have one thing in common – the large presence of exquisite cars, be they State-owned or private.

Variously referred to as ‘bon payeurs,’ ‘mbomas,’ ‘sponsors,’ ‘cous plieacutes,’ etc, the customers to the open prostitution practised by some of the female students are generally well-to-do, or people who pass for such. Conspicuously backed up classy cars, these gorgeously dressed men often cut across almost all professions – former cabinet ministers, Directors, General Managers, business people, industrialists, senior functionaries, journalists, communication specialists, lawyers, university lecturers, politicians, influential sports men, etc.

Of late, another class of student prostitution client has joined the queue. ‘Scammers’ or Internet fraudsters, when they hit their jackpots, need people of the opposite sex with whom to splash their ill-gotten money in an ostentatious way. Sources say cocoa farmers are also part of the group, though their appeal is less, given that their income is seasonal and they do not possess the ‘required’ resplendent cars and refined looks.

Married and unmarried, the major concern of these young women of easy virtue in student garb is the cash that comes along from “playing life” with these men. At the end of the day, what counts most for the girls is how much more they take home to replenish their wardrobes, furnish their rooms and have something to spare for feeding and other school needs.

Source : Cameroon Tribune

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