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Business Centres

Business Centres

I am not 100% sure if this is something Nigerian or just local to my own company here is Nigeria, but the “Business Centre” and having “Business” is an aspect of life here that is quite fascinating for me. Let me explain. Having “Business” basically means having the company of a young girl for the evening and all night. Now technically it is what it is, but in a local mindset it is not in any way prostitution. It is just that a small amount of money passes hands at the end of it all so that does constitute it as such.

The way it works it that as a man you go to a nightclub, you buy a drink, sit down somewhere and within a short period of time a young lady will almost certainly come over and introduce herself to you. That’s it, if you like her she is with you all night, and by all night I do mean until the next morning when you wake up together in your hotel room. In the main these girls are just “good time” girls looking to make a little spending money and work their way through collage or University. Yes there are a number who are doing this more on a full time basis, and yes there are professional working girls, but in the main it is a different set up here in Naija.

As an Oyibo or Mbacara, a white man, you will be paying more, you are seen, just because of your skin colour as being richer and therefore able to help them more. Now let me state for the record, I am not talking from a full on experience, I have not, nor will I ever, be waking up next to a young Nigerian girl, not in any way shape or form. It will never happen. But that does not mean one cannot learn it all, or experience most of the experience. Costs vary, but my friends tell me they pay around N5,000 (£20) for the night in Calabar. That can rise to almost double with certain girls. And for an Oyibo it is almost certainly double that. So for a really pretty girl a Mbacara will pay anywhere up to N20,000 (£80) for the whole night.

One aspect I find quite cute is the way the girls will ask for the money. They call it “Petrol Money”, you are simply paying well over the odds for them to get a lift home the next morning. I guess it is a case of them not wanting to appear, or feel like, hookers. By doing it this way it is just an act of gallantry from the gentleman, paying to make sure his date for the night gets home safely the next morning. The way we humans think sometimes is just so wonderful and even creative.

My own experience of all this has been quite fun. I was recently in Calabar and my colleague and I headed to nightclub for a few beers. Within moments of sitting down we were joined by two young girls, one prettier that the other but both attractive girls. A few drinks later, after a lot of laughs it was clear that one couple were heading home together. It was very interesting for me to sit back and watch this unfold. It is like watching “normal” couples first flirt and play with each other, but I knew the game, knew the rules and knew the outcome, but yet still a normal flirtation was taking place, I have to say in some ways it was quite sweet. The next morning I saw the young lady heading home with her “Petrol money” and she looked really happy, my colleague was on top form the next day, so I guess there was no real harm done.

A few days later we went back to the club, this time we had a day off the next day so we were more intent on having a lot to drink and to letting off some steam, for me, that was, once upon a time, just having a real dance, and this night I was to get that in abundance. The same scenario played itself out, buy some drinks, get joined by a young girl and that’s it, night set. However for me, this second experience was to be a bit different. I was joined by a very fit and active dancer, and this girl could really shake what her momma had given her. Boy could she dance. I spend the night in club desperately trying to keep up, and it was real fun. In my youth I guess I always thought I could move and as it happens she felt the same, it was a good night, however at the end the poor girl got the shock of her short life. I left the club, headed for my car, and said goodnight, she was stunned, so too was my driver and my friends. Her face and expression was one I will never forget, she did not know what to do as I got into my car and drove off. Crazy Oyibo !!! 

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