Hundreds of prostitutes have reportedly flocked to a Kenyan town ahead of the beatification ceremony for an Italian nun.
“Even Christians need sex,” one woman in the central town of Nyeri told Kenya’s The Star newspaper.
“It’s our turn to eat,” she said, using a popular Kenyan idiom meaning to make money. “We are waiting for all those foreign visitors.”
Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend the May 23 Roman Catholic beatification – a key step towards sainthood – of Irene Stefani, who died in Kenya of the plague in 1930.
She was an Italian member of the Consolata Missionary Sisters and a trained nurse who helped the wounded in Kenya and Tanzania during World War 1.
The newspaper said it had carried out a “spot check” and found that “hotels are almost fully booked by the women”.
“The sex workers booked hotel rooms two weeks in advance,” The Star reported, saying the women had flocked into town from across the country to attend the evening events preceding the beatification ceremony.
A senior local government official admitted that the town was full of “new faces”. A local Catholic priest urged people “not to be diverted by earthly things”.