Self-boarding girls in Mzimba are involving themselves in sexual activities with men in order to sustain themselves, Malawi24 has learnt.
Investigations this publication conducted in some schools in Mzimba, have revealed that girls who are self-boarding are facing a lot of challenges including sexual exploitation.
In the very genesis of our investigation, our reporter met with about 30 girls, who are schooling at Embangweni community day secondary school in Mzimba.
The girls, most of them teenagers, found themselves some tiny rooms which they are renting for about MK15,000 per room each month.
“We supervise ourselves. Our school authorities have nothing to do with us. We find food ourselves and some upkeeps,” said one of the girls.
At around 10pm, our reporter started observing some girls leaving their rooms for unknown destinations.
Nonetheless, some wouldn’t bother moving out, as they were busy decorating themselves, ready for some night duties.
“There is nothing about going to night studies. It’s this time when we find money for upkeep. Those you have seen going out, were rushing to their sugar daddies,” she added.
From a distance, our reporter saw two girls entering into a posh car which later headed to Jenda trading center.
“Some are at a resthouse just a distance from here. If you wish, you can go and check them out. As for me, I don’t go out today but my clients find me here,” she said.
People from the neighborhood confirmed the trend, adding that most of the girls from these rooms end up dropping out of school and venture into serious prostitution.
“It’s not news to us. We are becoming used to this malpractice. Some men find comfort in these girls,” said one of the neighbours.
Elsewhere in Mzuzu, girls shared the same experience. Here it is even worse being near the city, where prostitution is proving to be very high.
“Our parents can’t afford to meet all our basic needs. As grownups, we have to find a way of helping ourselves in solving some minor problems. Gone are the days a girl like me would beg for sanitary ware from parents. These days, we buy on our own,” said one girl our reporter met at a bar around Chibavi Township.
One of the local education activists, Benedicto Kondowe, who also heads the Civil Society Education Coalition, bemoaned the tendency in an interview with Malawi24.
Kondowe said the current status quo, is a cause for concern because girls are not being protected by anyone.
“Something has to be done immediately. We shouldn’t be claiming that we are fighting for the education rights of girls, while in reality, we are not. Let’s follow up the story and find lasting solutions,” he said.