HARARE: While her peers are busy sharing fables with their grandchildren, nurturing them to be better people in society, *Lucy Mutasa (52), will be selling sex for mealie-meal, salt, firewood and a bunch of vegetables at the legendary Booster area in Epworth.

Mutasa is one of many old sex workers in Harare’s poor neighbourhood who compete with teenagers for men as they sell their bodies for as little as 50 cents to earn a living.
In this business, she is competing with her 28-year-old daughter, Maidei, and at times with girls as young as 13.

 “Most of my clients are young boys who normally want to sample the Magogos [old women]. We give them the best such that they continue to come back with their money,” said Mutasa during a tour of the Booster area sponsored by the National Aids Council (NAC).

Her old face was heavily powdered, with dark eyebrows, but the artificial look could not hide her age.

 Even the way she walks tells that she has seen many battles and has slept with many men for a living.

“I know how to handle a client better than these young girls. Even my bed is smart and I know how to wash myself, clean my private parts to the satisfaction of my clients, hence I have survived in this game,” Mutasa said

Her body looks wasted but the make-up on her face tells a different story — a granny refusing to retire from the world’s oldest profession.

“If I retire, who will take care of me? My daughter is also in it trying to keep herself going. I have been in this trade for over 30 years,” she said.

“I started it after my husband, now late, cheated on me long back and we divorced.

“I had no option but to look for something that could sustain me.

“Indeed, this thing [private part] is gold, it’s a gold mine and I have sustained my family,” Mutasa told the journalists who were visiting sex workers with NAC officials.

However, Mutasa and other sex workers in Epworth are suffocating under the liquidity crunch that has dogged the economy since 2015.

At times they go without a cent or are forced to drop their charges to as low as $0.30 so that they can at least buy something to eat.

“Things are hard these days. We are struggling although we are accepting payments through EcoCash. It’s cold out there,” she lamented.