Akute, a town in Ogun State, southwest Nigeria, has become a colony for commercial sex workers. Like other developed cities and areas, Akute is a beehive of several social activities, particularly in the night.
Within the last few years, commercial activities in Akute and neighbouring areas like Alagbole, Ishasi and Ajuwon have been on the rise. One of the first visible results of this development is a considerably growing number of beer parlours, bars and night clubs, and of course, a colony for commercial sex workers.
In fact, fun seekers from more popular areas like Ogba, Ojodu/Berger, Agege and Fagba in nearby Lagos patronise Akute fun havens at night. The prostitutes come from those areas too.
Ben K is one of the hottest fun havens in Akute and environs. The bar operates every day, but like most bars, its patronage increases on weekends, Fridays and Sundays to be precise. No doubt, the surge in patronage, coupled with the fast development of the area, has attracted commercial sex workers, who storm the area in droves every night to ‘hustle’.
While there is competition among the prostitutes for ‘Rosco,’ a term they use for male customers, the bar owners also try to outwit one another by adopting different strategies to gain the attention of clients.
At a point when Ben K, located on Ajuwon Road was regarded as the hottest and most patronised, Racceko Bar emerged. Opened adjacent Ben K, the management of Racceko realised it would be tough to rival Ben K.
“But what we did was to reduce the price of our beer. We also employed a live band that plays here every Sunday, just like they do over there (Ben K). If you look at it now, lodging facility is the only thing they have there that we lack,” a staff of Racceko who craved anonymity told our reporter.
For instance, when Racceko bar first opened, a bottle of 33 Export Beer was sold for N150, while at Ben K, it was N250. This marketing strategy, no doubt, gave the management of Ben K a run for their money.
At night, the rival hangouts are colony of commercial sex workers, who create side attractions. For short time rest, the prostitutes charge between N2000 and N3000, but when it gets late in the night, when there are no prospect of getting big customers, it could attract as little as N1000 and N1,500.
“If you call them (the prostitutes) when there are fewer customers around, you will get them for a very low fee. That is the strategy I usually adopt,” Femi Ogunlola said.
For all-night fun, they charge between N4,500 and N5000. They could demand for more depending on their valuation of the customer.
Meanwhile, the fee is a sharp contrast to what they charge at Temiogbe Motel, located at Akute Junction. At this local pub, short time rest is for a meagre N500, while all-night fun is between N1000 and N1,500.
Apparently because of the cheap rate, Temiogbe’s clientele consists of the lower class. The motel has about 30 small rooms rented out to the sex workers.
Other popular hangouts in the area that are colonies of prostitutes include Fourgates and Ola Infinity. Fourgates, which started operation some months ago, is regarded as the hottest now and it operates a strip club on Fridays.
Attempt to speak with some of the sex workers on their escapades was rebuffed. They said they were in no mood for such a chat.