I barely had any idea on what exactly escort girls do until I watched the series The Haves and Havenots a few months back. In the first episode of season one, Candace Young, a beautiful African-American girl meets up with Mr Jim Cryer, a wealthy and influential judge in a hotel room for a sexual escapade.
Later on, she uses this affair to her advantage by demanding money from the judge in order to keep it a secret. He pays her $100,000 (about Shs260m) and even gives her a sports car.
Being the hard-headed girl Candace is, she still goes ahead and tells the judge’s wife, Mrs Katheryn Cryer about how the two of them had been having an affair.
So how did the two meet? Well, Candace happened to be a highly priced escort girl who advertised her services on the Internet and that was how Mr Cryer managed to get in touch with her.
After watching all this drama, I kept wondering to myself whether this whole escort business was real or just some on-screen fiction. I decided to check on line for any kind of information on escorts.
To my surprise, the escort business was much closer to home than I ever could have imagined. In fact, some of the agencies I discovered online are operating here in Kampala.
I was intrigued and very much wanted to know if what I had seen in the series was anything like what was happening with escort girls here in Uganda. Were they getting heavy pay offs as Candace? Was the business as sassy and classy as Hollywood makes it appear? When I was given the chance to report on it, I could hardly say no.
Applying for the job
And so the next day, I decided to call one of the escort agencies I found online using a public pay phone.
When the call went unanswered, I became anxious. I decided to compose myself by taking a couple of deep breaths and redialled the number. Someone picked up and finally responded.
“Hello. This is Rebecca, how can I help you?” When I failed to reply, she repeated her first statement.
“Hello. This is Rebecca, how can I help you?
I took in a huge deep breath and replied, “Hello Rebecca. This is Sharon. I was able to reach you after getting this particular phone number on the escorts’ website.
“Okay, Sharon, how can I help you?” Rebecca asked calmly.
“I would love to work for your agency as an escort girl,” I replied.
“And why do you want to work for us?” she asked further.
“It’s because I am currently unemployed. I would like to make some money that will enable me to meet my personal needs,” I answered.
“I see,” she wondered. Rebecca then asked me to tell her something a little bit about myself.
“I am dark skinned and of medium height. I am a 2010 university graduate and have worked formerly as a waitress. My hobbies are dancing and partying,” I said.
“That’s quite an interesting personal profile you have there. Well, the first recruiting process involves you sending photographs of yourself dressed in a bikini.” She said while adding, “Send them to me on WhatsApp.”
Fear creeps in
“And what will you use the photographs for after I send them?” I asked with concern.
“For starters, it will help us know the kind of girl we are recruiting and also, we shall post some of them on our social media page for our male clients to have easy access to,” she said.
I was scared by her suggestion and requested that I meet her first in person before sending the pictures.
“We never meet any girls before they send their pictures. Do that and then we can talk later, face to face,” she said.
Before I could say anything more, her phone went off. I redialled her phone number but it was unavailable.
Three days later, on a Wednesday, I called the number again but it was off.
The number was finally available after I called on a Saturday afternoon.
When I introduced myself as Sharon, Rebecca immediately asked if I was the one who called her days earlier about wanting to work as an escort girl. When I replied yes, she asked if I had sent her my pictures already. When I replied not yet, she became somewhat irritated.
“But Sharon, I told you how things work around here. Pictures first and then meeting later, okay?” she replied firmly.
“When you send them, please let me know,” she concluded before going off line.
From the look of things, Rebecca was not willing to do anything for me until I gave into her demand, one that I obviously was not comfortable with. So, I decided to contact another agency the following week.
I made the call on a Monday afternoon. It was a gentleman who picked this particular one. He did not identify himself but then went ahead to greet me politely before asking how he could be of help. I called myself Comfort this time round and told him I wanted to work for him as an escort.
“Call back on Wednesday and I will see how to help you, okay?” he stated.
I answered, “Alright” before his phone went off. When I called him on Wednesday, the number was unavailable. The phone number finally went through after I dialled it on Friday afternoon.
“Hello?” the caller asked. I replied and identified myself as “Comfort, the girl who wants to work for his agency as an escort girl.”
“Oh it’s you, Comfort, how are you doing?” he asked nicely.
“I am doing fine, thanks for asking,” I replied.
“The problem is that I am not taking up any other girl at the moment. We are full. Give me a call around December, will you?”
“December is too far, sir. Please help me. Try and fix me somewhere,” I begged.
“You really do seem desperate. Okay. Meet me up tomorrow at Centenary Park, Barbeque Lounge in the afternoon at 2pm and we talk,” he stated.
I made sure that I was there by 1pm. I tried to disguise myself with a long brown wig and a pair of large dark sun glasses. I wore a dress of knee length with flat black shoes. I sat at one of the tables located next to the eatery’s open kitchen.
At some point, as I sat there, I wondered what I was getting myself into and deliberated on what I would do in case the agent who was coming realised that I was simply a fake. All I wanted was for him to avail me information so that I could know what exactly these escort girls do.
Meanwhile, my fore head and underarms were sweating nonstop while my body shook uncontrollably. As I contemplated on leaving or staying, a smartly dressed gentleman walked into the premises. He held a black phone which he started dialling two minutes later after making his entrance.
When he did that, my phone which was placed on the table started vibrating and someone’s number appeared on its screen. It kind of hit me then that the phone call might be from him.
I received the call, “Yes, this is Comfort.”
A gentleman on the other line answered, “Hello, this is Wilson. I was sent by my boss to meet you here at the barbeque lounge. Where are you?”
I looked straight to where he was standing and waved my hand. I stood up as he walked while smiling towards my direction.
“Hello Comfort. Nice to meet you,” he said as he shook my right hand and sat down.
“Nice to meet you too Wilson,” I replied.
“You look nervous. Relax.” he stated.
“Well, since I was only sent here by my superior, I am just going to brief you on what you will be required to do in case we finally hire you as an escort,” he said.
Before he started talking, Wilson requested me to switch off my phone. I did as instructed. He also instructed me to take off my sunglasses.
“I want to see the person I am talking to,” he said.
I refused and explained that I never take off my shades while in public because I am shy and the glasses give me a bit of false confidence.
What it takes to be an escort
“You’re shy? So how are you going to work as an escort when you are not confident? The girls we hire are self-reliant,” he stated amidst laughter.
“Anyway, you can keep your glasses on but you definitely need to come out of your skin if you want to work in this line of business,” Wilson said. He began by explaining that all the escorts in their agency are females of various ages.
“We have those in their 20s, 30s and even 40s,” he stated.
Their clients are both local businessmen and expatriates. Wilson says that the majority of them get the agency’s phone number from the website. Once the client calls and describes the kind of girl he wants, the agency immediately makes arrangements.
“We normally meet the client first and discuss our expectations and once the girl meets him, we have someone from the agency who trails their movements so as to ensure that no harm comes to her,” Wilson stated.
She is supposed to be good company by ensuring that the client is very comfortable and not bored. “What if a client demands for sex during the outing?” I asked Wilson.
“Well, now that totally depends on the escort girl herself. If she decides to sleep with a client, that is her business,” Wilson stated.
Wilson says that the male clients pay depending on the number of hours they are with the escort girl. The more time they spend with the escort, the more money they pay.
“For instance, hiring the girl for one hour is Shs400,000 while six hours is Shs800,000. The girls normally get half of this money,” he says.
“I know that some people out there say that we avail these girls to men for sex which is not true. We are very professional with our work,” he concludes.
After this remark, he says that since he has brought me about to speed with what to do, I should expect a phone call anytime soon for my first task.
Well, it’s been about a month ever since I had that meeting with Wilson. I am still wondering if anyone from the agency will ever call me back for the job.