A magosha tells her story: the sex, the pain and the struggle to survive

Everson Luhanga

Desperate for work, Nomsa became a magosha at the age of 22 after spending six months in jail – and her life has been a living hell ever since.

Nomsa Dlamini (not her real name), now 39, said her life changed when she discovered that her boyfriend was cheating on her with her best friend. Nomsa fought her cheating boyfriend, and her best friend, and was then arrested for assault.

“When I came out of jail I had lost my job as a cleaner at a hotel in Sandton. I had no source of income,” she said.

She also had two children who needed food and financial support.

“It started when a man offered me money to have sex with him. It was an opportunity to feed my children so I did it,” she said.

“Then there was another man and another. It became a source of income. I got some money and I could feed my family and look after myself using my body. I started using drugs to get me through the day.”

She said every day is a fight for survival. 

“All I want is food on the table for me and my children so I have to sleep with strangers to get that money,” she said.

But then came the drugs.

She said the pressure to survive was so high that she decided to take her own life as a way out.

“I have tried to commit suicide four times,” she said.

In 2016, she threw herself from a third-floor balcony but she didn’t die. She just broke her left arm. Between 2016 and 2019 she attempted suicide by taking pills. 

“I still dream of being happily married and living with my husband and my children as a member of a beautiful, happy family.”