“I was even prostituting when I was breastfeeding and eventually, my mum took the child away from me.”
Francis immediately returned to the city, linking back up with her group.
Four years later, Francis’ mum sent a message to her that a family relative was willing to take her to Namibia to save the family from shame and get her out of the ‘mess’. She eventually agreed.
“When I reached Namibia, I felt I was imprisoned. I couldn’t go to clubs, smoke, drink or meet men – which is what I wanted to do.” Fighting her aunt daily, she eventually threw Francis out of her home.
“It was celebration for me that I can go back to the same lifestyle. I already made a group of friends that were prostituting… They introduced me to the area where I could hunt for men and sleep with them.”
Living a lavish and promiscuous life on the streets of Windhoek, Namibia, Francis had lost all touch with her family.
‘Business’ was booming due to the influx of foreign workers in the city who would regularly patronise her and also introduced her to hard drugs. However, the consequences of her actions were about to catch up on her.
“In 2006, I discovered that I was pregnant again. I didn’t know the father because I was sleeping with five or six men a day – I just wanted money to enjoy,” she recounted.
Encouraged by a fellow prostitute not to abort, Francis visited a hospital when the pregnancy reached six months where they conducted several tests.
“That is when I discovered I was HIV/AIDs positive.” Shock. Bitterness. Rage. Emotions ran wild within the heart of the young sex-worker. “There was this voice that said – ‘Now, it’s better you die!’ ”
Knowing that death was close, the embittered prostitute resolved to take as many men as possible along with her.
“I cannot count how many men I have infected. If any man told me we should use a condom, I would tell him, ‘Look at how I look? I cannot have such a disease.’ So, the man would end up trusting me. They are thousands.”
Francis expanded her ‘business’ horizons via the internet, particularly using the dating social network ‘Eskimi’. It was in 2013 that she encountered a Nigerian man while looking for a more ‘serious’ relationship.
“The man became attracted to me and asked for my contact details. He told me he wanted to come to Namibia and visit me.” When the Nigerian arrived, the couple forged a relationship, culminating in Francis falling pregnant. She did not divulge her health status.