In this article of Maliweb ( a web’s digest of press articles), a journalist asserts that Chinese people open new brothels every day in the country under the administration’s very nose, whose senior members are the best customers. Malian people from every social class pay them a visit and journalists point out that such brothels opened as bars in the neighbourhood of mosques and schools.
Comparing with Senegal, the journalist points out that Chinese activities remain restricted to traditional shop activities in Senegal whereas they have developed all kind of sex activities from porn movie making in Bamako apartments to be exported to Asia, to bars dealing alcohol, sex and even drugs. This industry is reported to send a 3 million euros yearly benefit to Asia (according to a non profit organization report).
One year ago, a police superintendent Mrs Sacko Ami Kane had started to close Chinese bars, but she changed her mind after a few phone calls from senior executives in the government. The Malian administration prefers to keep good diplomatic relations with Beijing and the population was surprised to see Chinese bars reopen and they now charge this lady of having worked only to her self promotion in the police hierarchy.
The most surprising in this country : in this country where most of the people who cannot find enough money daily to get food, many of them find very easily 3 € to spend one hour in one of the Chinese rooms.
Last but not least : the journalist points out that after dark, young and old men must wait queueing in the corridors before entering unhealthy and nauseating rooms.
Advises from a Frenchman :
Unless you are a resident in Africa, the most simple is to find a local friend. This is valid not only in Mali, but in almost the whole Africa.
Beware : do not find a pain in the ass (as in Senegal) who will explain you after 10 minutes he needs 40 € to get a rice bag nor one who will contact you asking “hey are you French ?”. You must find a real buddy you will have to give money to, invite to the restaurant to talk about his country, get information without thinking he is maybe trying to scam you (Actually, I don’t know what he meant exactly). You should find him in your country in Europe.
If you ride to Mali, try to spot a Malian when riding out of the boat. Riding across Mauritania will give you time to create a good relationship. Once in Mali, your buddy will make your life become easier, will negociate for you and make you save your money.
On the other hand, always be generous with him, find a balance. I may sound cynical but I have real African friends with whom I kept contacts before I go back and see thim again.