Weekend Today can confirm that St Johns, a suburb of Accra on the Achimota- Ofankor road, has become a hot vicinity for sex workers who are often called ‘The Ladies of the Night.’
The sex trade, which started small two years ago at the St Johns area, has received a massive boost following the springing of companies including the Achimota Shopping Mall in the area.
These Ladies of the Night, Weekend Today discovered, line up along the St. Johns-Dome road, close to Vision One FM, in front of the Achimota Shopping Mall and Paramount Hotel and a lorry station, always waiting for clients after 8:00 p.m., every night.
Most of the containers along that stretch of the road which were initially used as shops have now been converted into drinking bars as a result of the brisk business of these commercial sex workers
And they seem to have strategically positioned themselves so as to attract prospective customers in the night, Weekend Today further gathered.
Some also walk into the mall to offer their services to interested clients who come to shop for more than material goods.
As the urban sprawl in Accra consumes more residential and even rural areas, the ladies of the night have expanded the footprint of the world’s oldest profession beyond the downtown core.
Weekend Today established that the driving force behind the boom in prostitution at St. Johns was the establishment of the Achimota Shopping Mall.
What is more worrying about the situation was the fact girls between the ages of 13 and 15 years who are supposed to be in school are involved in the trade.
Some of these sex workers who were seen by Weekend Today wore sexually provocative dresses, revealing generous amounts of cleavage, while others were also in hot pants and crop tops, with clutch purse and sling bags.
Others were also seen appearing casually dressed in jeans, sandals and top, deceptively passing off the image of ordinary revellers and thereby avoiding undue attention from law enforcement agents.
According to scores of traders around the St. Johns area who spoke to Weekend Today on condition of anonymity, the crème-de-la-crème of society patronise the services of these sex workers.
The sex workers, they said, are so daring that some approach potential clients in their cars, while others strategically position themselves in such a way to catch the attention of prospective customers.
The traders explained that these sex workers are now attracted to the place because of the class of people who come to wine and dine at the mall.
“Some notable footballers, musicians, broadcasters, politicians, businessmen/women come to eat and drink at this place so they [the sex workers] find here a good ground for their activities,” the traders alleged.
They disclosed that some of these prostitutes were ‘freelancing’ students while others were consummate professionals in the trade.
“Sometimes these girls fight among themselves and even break bottles when a colleague outsmarts the other,” one of the traders said.
Prostitution in Ghana is a criminal offence and therefore, the police often go after these commercial sex workers.
But interestingly, it looks like the ‘ladies of the night’ are not bothered.