Online escorts: Reports of the escort business i.e corportae prostitution have been on for a while. Today, however, the business has grown online and many Kampala girls, especially boutique owners and campusers are into it. our writer did a little digging online and almost had an encounter with an escort in Mutungo.
Times have changed. In the past, prostitution in Uganda was first associated with the Islands. Then, it spread into various red light zones. At the time, Speke Road, William Street and Kabalagala were some of the areas that became synonymous with prostitution. With the advent of technology and the popularisation of the Internet, the new red zones could have transferred to the digital streets. It now seems that a Ugandan prostitute is only a call away. These digital prostitutes are called escorts. But who are they?
The evolution of escorts in Uganda
According to the Online Oxford definition, an escort is simply a person who may be hired to accompany someone to a social event. It could also be an euphemism for a prostitute. In Uganda, it could be said that escorting is simply a profession that evolved from other professions. It all started with the massage parlours and spas that would operate during lunch time hours and after work. These parlours went on to add a new service, known as extra. For the clients, whenever a masseuse made an offer of an extra, it came to represent the actual act of sexual services.
As massage parlours mushroomed all over the city and its suburbs, the newspapers took interest. Once again, it was time for a rebrand. For the sake of privacy, the parlours began offering mobile massage services. It is these mobile massages that have later come to produce the era of Ugandan escorts aka ‘call girls’.
Where are these escorts?
These escorts have opened up profiles online. One website in particular is the Massage Republic which features girls from all over the world, with at least 30 profiles of Ugandan girls. Some of these girls are signed to agencies while others operate as independents.
If you do a simple google search for “Kampala escorts” or “Ugandan escorts”, you will be hit with a number of search results. These include websites such as Queen Escorts services and Exotic Uganda.
The info page on the Exotic Uganda website reads in part; “Exotic Uganda is a safe and secure escort listing directory. We provide information only, location, telephone contact, and pictures of escorts in Uganda. We are not an agency, although we encourage agency listing and independent escort listing.”
But there are other websites such as Escorts 256 that put a disclaimer on how they offer nothing beyond non-sexual escort services.
“We have built its reputation on delivering what it promises and this is essential to maintain the standards we have set in the Non-Sexual escort industry. We take commitment to our clients very seriously indeed, and this is why when it comes to entertaining and making you comfortable, our Escorts are very experienced and happy to help.” True to their word, when one calls and asks for sexual services, they are quick to turn down the offer, explaining that they are purely about social functions and nothing beyond.
Experience with a Ugandan escort
To further verify that the escort services exist, I am forced to pick up the phone and call one of the numbers on the Massage Republic website. The escort on the other end of the phone is a one Daisy (not real name). She claims to be just 22 years old and in the prime of her campus life. She answers the phone with a very melodic voice. I soon inquire about the escort services and her availability. She confirms she is available before asking about the exact time and duration of her service.
“I want just one hour. I am in Mutungo,” I tell her. Daisy responds; “for one hour, that will be $100 dollars (about Shs350,000). So confirm the time and send the name of the hotel and room number.”
It is then that I discover that most of the girls deal mainly with men in hotels, especially foreign tourists. When I tell Daisy that it is at my place, she insists that I make a down payment on her transport before she comes since she has been disappointed by many men who call her to their homes.
We settle for transport of Shs20,000 and she agrees to arrive in about two hours. These were the longest hours of my life. What had I set myself up for? Did I know what I was trying to do for the sake of a story? What if the girl knew me? Indeed in two hours, Daisy notifies me of her arrival at the meeting point in Mutungo. I freak out and come up with a lie that I just got an emergency and prefer we postpone. With all humility, she confirms that it is okay, I just have to help her with transport for her return journey. We hug and she sets off. It is a narrow escape. Luckily, I do not know her. From her looks and command of the queen’s language, she seems to be a campus student in her second year.
I later learn that an independent escort earns more than one signed to an escort agency. However such an escort will have to look for clients on their own. For those signed up with the escort agency, the agency handles all the bookings and only notifies the girls or models when the deal has been sealed. The pay will then be split into half.
The price of Ugandan escorts
The same way fuel stations and taxis agree on certain fares for their respective industries, the players in the escorts industry seem to have set up their prices. For example, for 30 minutes, one is charged $50 (about Shs 170,000). One hour is double the same amount. The girls offer a wide range of services, ranging from the basics to the extremes in the world of sexual fantasies.
Not only that, each of the girls uploads at least two lewd photos of themselves with their faces hidden. It is all about enticing the buyer and presenting the best image of their bodies. In fact, some of the websites even had reviews and some profiles were verified in a similar way Facebook and Twitter have the blue ticks.
Massage Republic has documented statistics of its Ugandan escorts.
“We have 23 Kampala escorts on Massage Republic, nine profiles have verified photos. The most popular services offered are: oral sex, massages, parties, french kissing and other explicit services. Prices range from Shs199,484 to Shs1m. The average cost advertised is $100 (Shs350,000),” reads their statistics page.
Who is into this stuff?
With Emmanuel Mungoma (not real name), one of the guys behind Manuel Escorts hinted that most of his models are campus girls. “Most of them I met them in various top bars and clubs around town and sold them this idea. They range from the ages of 20 to 25,” he explains. “Some of them run boutiques during the day as a side business, others are students, some are even bankers. So when a client requests for a call girl, I base on his different interests to select a girl for him,” Mungoma narrates that some of the men ask for Rwandan girls, others want slender ones while others want the girl that is nearest and available. A majority of the girls are actually serving foreign clients who come into the country as sex tourists. Some of these sex tourists have gone ahead to share their escapades on a forum known as “International Sex Guide.”