AN ADVANCED Level student in the town of Chivhu, Zimbabwe, is finding life hard as she cannot raise money to pay for her school fees and daily needs.
One student named Mercy (not real name) passed 10 ‘O’ level subjects including Mathematics, English, and science subjects, and is currently enrolled for A levels at the same school.
Mercy traveled to Harare from Chivhu after the government announced the protracted lockdown, as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, to stay with her sister and to find a job to enable her to pay for her fees and support her family.
After failing to secure a job due to the never ending lockdown, she was forced to venture into sex work to earn a living.
Mercy spoke to Health Times and narrated her ordeal.
“I am from Chivhu but these days I live with my sister here in Harare. My mother’s vending business has been bad, she can no longer afford to pay for my fees. I need money for everything, from food, shelter and also to pay my school fees.
“The only easy option I found was to get into sex work since almost every other avenue seem to have been closed by the coronavirus. I will be writing my final examinations this year and I think i have a chance to pass as i always worked hard.
“I also want to go for extra lessons since I am towards writing my final examinations this year and unfortunately, I have no one to assist me financially at the moment,” Mercy continued.
The A level student continued, “When I came to Harare, my cousin brothers told me that I should not return home empty handed, I have to at least bring some money and food home since they say I have become excess baggage and an extra mouth to feed in the house.”
She said her sister is unemployed and her mother’s business is not able to support the family.
“Some clients overpower me and sometimes refuse to pay even after having unprotected sex with me. I do not have the means to get paid for my services. I really need the money.
“I hope one day i will enroll with a university and study Biotechnology or Biochemistry and I would wish to study abroad if I get a scholarship,”
Mercy says the latest result of her HIV tests returned negative.