03 Jan 2012- Kenya- Reports about sex slavery involving women and children are not new, but stories related to gay sex slaves are seldom told. Africanveil interviewed a gay Kenyan man living in the Gulf who shines a light on this often untold business- and it's not so one-sided as often portrayed. For his anonymity the interviewee is called Dominic.
Dominic: "A lot of East Africans come to the Gulf because they do not have anything; no job or livelihood. We are all looking for a better life and it's a huge attraction to Somalians, Ethiopians as well as Kenyans like myself. Life is tough in East Africa and all of us want to better life for ourselves. But then we find that life here in the Gulf has its own issues and some of us find we have no choice in what we have to do; or should i say they will not give us much of a choice. We are being taken advantage of by many Arab men who secretly like men and entice us with work and then trap us into sex, which has become more of a money making business here.
There have been a lot of cases here where Arab men are being caught picking up black foreign boys. There are a lot of East African boys migrating to the gulf on the promise of a safe heaven for work here as long as they keep their master happy firstly through cleaning and then through sex. Sex should never be a trap; it should be a choice between two people even if money is involved, but I think the way in which this trade is reported makes entrapment more likely.
There are East African boys coming over just to have a different life through a good job, and that's where i come in. I was attracted by good money but have found that some local Arab men here pay you a lot of money when you start to work for them, and to be honest who wants to stop having good money? But when you become their property, they threaten to stop paying you what they promised and demand sex and that's how all this has got out of hand.
There are a lot of guys in my situation here, but they won't talk about it because even that little money they are getting here is so much more than they can ever earn back in Mogadishu or Addis Ababa. It's the same for me. I was proud of being a Kenyan in Kenya but what was it giving me?,no job, no money and no life, so one must find a solution. Some of us are ok with this work but for us who are in the middle of it, it's work, but its just a different type of work. Those guys who came out here and alarmed the media must have been hurt so much and only showed one side of the story.
We don't want it to be forever a secret, but the fact that we are being paid for sex, they need it, if they cant get it from their wives, we are here to serve them and with a cost but it's unfair if this process is not understood before we come. Both parties should agree, but for some reason most of these arabs are becoming greedy hence all this coming out of proportion.
I have a master, but not in the slave context as the way the media is reporting it. Some journalists continue to report our situation as one of sex slavery which will just make things worse and encourage arabs to entrap us. I want to tell the other side; that right now Eastern Africans careful haggling and negotiating with arabs for a domestic and sex work. And for me it's working well. i play football with a lot of them and i have arab friends but because of the way everything had been reported, it's now causing more harm for me and others.
So to everyone out there who thinks we are being trafficked as slaves I want to say it's not exactly as the media reports it. We also agree that sex is bought here by men and it's nothing like prostitution except that you have a regular arab man that takes care of your needs.
Please note that the name of this man was changed due to security reasons.
Report by Ndanji chola.