This is an account of my first, only and last visit to a brothel popularly known as “ashewo house”. Since my school days and graduation from FUTA in Ondo State, Akure town became my third home after Uyo and Lagos, I developed a liking for the town which always prompts me to visit it from time to time whenever I feel like going away for some time.
So earlier this year I was in Akure, I stayed with my friend Francis, who is a devout Christ Embassy member, everything about Francis is “PastorChrised”from his phones to his cloths, he loved exploring, going for “soul winning” and most of all he loved going to church, I follow him to church on Sundays. Francis is an easy going person, very jovial and despite the fact that he is about four or five years my elder, we blended in quite fine! He is also very open, he speaks his mind without editing anything out, a quality that made his landlord’s wife to always refer to him as a wicked person. So it was with this pastorchrised and open minded fellow that I stayed with.

His house is close to Oja-Oba a popular market in Akure, so everywhere was always busy during the day, but at night a sense of calm would envelop the surroundings. On some of these nights whenever the calm was setting in say around 10pm I would suggest we take a stroll and enjoy the night life, eat some suyaand then return home. Quite typical of Francis, he would agree and out we would go, we would just walk around, buy suyaand return via another route. The city is safe, very few cases of armed robbery incidences so normally we always come across other people walking around by that time of the night too.

So it happened on this fateful day, we went on our normal night stroll, Francis told me that the area we were presently was surrounded by ashewohouses, that it’s like the different ashewohouses were in competition with each other in that area. Talk about ashewo, the closest I have seen or gotten to one was back in the university when my friend Ayo was celebrating her birthday, she threw a party in an unoccupied apartment off campus and lots of her friends were in attendance, I was the DJ for the night. 

Before the party began I was rolling out soft tunes to prepare the place for the party, I then noticed some girls walk in, they were dressed to kill, I felt they were too exposed even for a party! They sat down together and started drinking and smoking! Wooow in this FUTA? It was later that my friend’s boyfriend told me that they were ashewos, “you brought ashewos??” I asked “yes now, you know how FUTA girls dey form nah, I need girls wey go make this place lively” he replied. I never knew ashewos to be entertainers, I thought they were sex hawkers, or maybe these ones were of a different specie, I didn’t get the memo.

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My idea and picture I painted of an ashewo was a dirty looking, smelly, rough skinned and ugly girl who is from a poor background, without money to take care of herself so she decided to hustle, but the girls I saw at my friend’s party that night were a direct contrast to my earlier imagination. They were beautiful, smooth skinned, looked well fed and sexy! No difference from the girls I meet every day in school!

So back to my night stroll with Francis, after telling me of these ashewohouses surrounding us I asked him to take me round them, I want to see what their houses looks like and how they work, I love exploring and adventures and moreover as a blogger I need stories to tell.
We got to the first one and I met the kind of ashewos that I had always imagined, they wore just under pants and stood by the roadside dancing to the music blaring from their DJ, they didn’t call on to us to patronize them, they just continued dancing with their sweaty, flappy and stretch marked skins. I didn’t like what I saw so I refused to go inside that one. 

We continued strolling till we reached another one directly facing the “U” turn at cathedral bus stop. People sat outside in the open, drinking and smoking, we walked in, the girls here were dancing to music from a live DJ too. We climbed up the stairs and looked around, and just like the first place, no one called on us to patronize them, they were all busy dancing. But unlike the first place, these ones were good looking and fresh too! Maybe this was where those girls from the birthday party were gotten from, I thought to myself.

We left that side and entered another one at the beginning of Francis’s street. I never knew that joint was an ashewo house until that night. Unlike the first and the second place we visited, the girls here except for one very slim one, were not dancing outside, they just sat down and nodded to the music. We went inside, climbed upstairs and looked around like we were looking for an ashewo to take home. The way Francis was walking so confidently around that place I kept stealing side glances at him and thinking to myself “na wa o bros, this hand wey you dey use handle this matter no resemble learner hand o” The girls here were better looking than the second place we visited, they were healthier and prettier. I started feeling uncomfortable, you know, as a normal guy will feel seeing so many scantily dressed girls around, so I climbed downstairs and beckoned on Francis to follow me, on getting outside the place, I turned to tell Francis that this place had the best girls so far only to discover that Francis was not beside or behind me. 

There’s no way am going back in there!! I would wait for him out here, I don’t know what he is still doing inside there after I had told him we should be going.
I found a place to sit outside, a little bit far from the light and the loud music, about five minutes passed Francis didn’t come out!! “Jesu o, bros wetin u dey do oh” it was late and I being in a place full of okada men, bus conductors, thieves and armed robbers who just want to have fun, I thought twice about bringing out my phone there to call Francis. But I braved the odds, brought it out and called him anyway, he didn’t pick up!!! Just as I was about to redial, I saw him emerge with his phone in his right hand and looking around probably for me, I stood up and moved into the light to let him see me and beckoned on him to come let’s roll.

He beckoned on me too to come over and then when he saw that I wasn’t coming over he walked towards me and said “Yubee, come and see your sister”
Hullop hullop hullop “my sister?”  I asked him. “come now” he replied. Okay, I had to see which of them it was and what she was doing in an ashewo house! So I followed him back inside and he led me to a pretty light skinned girl. She smiled when we approached her and Francis held her hands and said “see your sister” the girl could read the confused expression on my face because she looked down shyly. 

I have two sisters and as at that time of the night, they were probably asleep. “I wan hear una talk una language o” Francis said jolting me out of my thoughts. I was still looking directly at the girl, I noticed she was ashamed, from my little knowledge of ashewos, they are never ashamed to tell you what they do especially when you meet them at work. But this one was, I knew it because I am very good in studying people and their reactions.
She lifted up her face, met my eyes and threw her face sideways and said “good evening”. Francis playfully feigned anger “ooooooh, use your language o, I want to hear it o”. 

Wow Francis I can see that you are really enjoying yourself, nice one. I found my voice at last and asked her in English what her name was, “Angel” she replied. Hmmmm Angel of which kingdom? I thought within me, that should be her brand name I guess, the real name is undercover, she will assume it when she’s inside a bus heading back home, but for now she’s “Angel”, well I was glad she didn’t tell me her real name. I asked her in Ibibio which local government she is from, she replied “Eket” which happens to be my mum’s town. I was about to ask her what she was doing in Akure but I realized how lame that would sound, so instead I simply said “nice to meet you” she smiled and replied “same here”. God, she was pretty! The Brazillian hair she had on made her look foreign. 

Just then the slim girl we initially met outside dancing alone walked past me with a thug looking fellow right behind her and opened a big wooden boxlike room beside where I stood. I didn’t notice the door till she started opening the padlock that locked it. She lifted up her face and looked at Angel and then asked her to take her friends away from her office door, she said this in Ibibio!! Angel looked at me and laughed, probably she found her referring to the boxlike room with the wooden door as her office quite amusing, well I was still ashamed, I didn’t get the joke.

We didn’t want to just walk away without patronizing her so Francis asked for her number so he can call her up, she said she doesn’t have a phone, she instead asked Francis to drop his number, she opened the door of the boxlike room that her friend entered and asked her friend to lend her her phone. As she pushed the door open I noticed that the room was dark but I could make out the silhouette of her friend bent double with her hands on a table and the rugged fellow ramming her from behind. She passed the phone to her without even moving, the door was shut again.


We left few minutes later after Francis gave her his number, which she never called till I left Akure. I felt so strange, was that shame or was that fear? I told Francis point blank that the girl Angel or whatever her name is wasn’t my sister, why did he have to refer to her as “my sister”? He said he didn’t mean she was my blood sister, he meant that we are from the same place. Of course I knew what he meant, I wasn’t just comfortable with anyone referring to an ashewo as my sister. I get taunted a lot about how girls from my region like sex and how lots of them go into prostitution and I have always defended them anytime any day. But that one back there, I wasn’t prepared for that one. I began this story by stating that this was my first, only and last visit to ashewo house, now you understand why it will and has to be my last visit.

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  1. I can understand the feeling you got. Had similar experience with a Benin runs girl in Ghana. My Ghana friends called her my sister. Am from Osun.

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