In some parts of Africa it’s a tradition for girls to have sex with a special paid sex worker known as “hyenas” when they reach the age of puberty.
They think that it is a “cleansing” ritual that if not performed in time will bring disease or misfortune to her and the villagers.
This man is Eric Aniva. He is a professional “Hyena” and the villagers of villages around pay him to give “sexual cleansing.” If a man dies, women are required to have sex with him, if a woman has abortion – again sex with Aniva, after a teenage girl gets her first menstruation – Aniva. Aniva is about 40 years old and has two wives who know about his job. He has slept with over 104 women and girls. He has five children he is aware of, but he doesn’t know how many women he impregnated.
"Most of those I have slept with are girls, school-going girls," Aniva says.
"Some girls are just 12 or 13 years old, but I prefer them older. All these girls find pleasure in having me as their hyena. They actually are proud and tell other people that this man is a real man, he knows how to please a woman."
However this is what one of the girls has to say:
"There was nothing else I could have done. I had to do it for the sake of my parents," one girl, Maria, tells me.
"If I'd refused, my family members could be attacked with diseases - even death - so I was scared."
She also added that all her female friends all had sex with a ‘hyena.’
Aniva is one out of 10 hyenas in the community. He is paid about $4 to $7 for each ‘session’.
In addition, protection is not allowed when having sex with a hyena. But the elders reason that hyena’s are devoid of STDs because they are hand-picked for their good morals. A questionable tradition where one out of ten carries the HIV virus.
Aniva’s wife Fanny also has something to add. She was widowed before she was cleansed with “Aniva.” She says that she hates Aniva’s job but it brings a good income. In her hand she cradles their two year old daughter and says:
"I don't want that to happen," she says.
"I want this tradition to end. We are forced to sleep with the hyenas. It's not out of our choice and that I think is so sad for us as women."
"Not my daughter. I cannot allow this. Now I am fighting for the end of this malpractice."