selma Iipumbu (32) better known to her vast clientele of prominent men as Gabby is finally sticking her legs together.
Her life story reads like a movie script; she got pregnant at 15 and miscarried; battled with drug abuse; slept with policemen to avoid incarceration and endured abuse from abusive clients. She has travelled the world and jokes that she has been on more hotel pillows than chocolate mint.
A little bit over 10 years as the ‘matron’ in the world’s oldest profession, Gabby has found herself a rich Italian businessman and with his help, is set to start off a marketing company.
Her name rings bells and her face opens doors among top politicians and businessmen and she prides herself as the most professional Namibian sex worker.
“When it comes to working around Namibia, I’m the best,” says Selma, who is quick to add that her name sends shivers into the spines of top men in Namibia.
She was born in Swakopmund but grew up in Windhoek and matriculated from Ella du Plessis in 1999. She describes her childhood as stable but from a young age, she says she was fascinated with the notion of living independently.
Soon after graduating from high school, she moved into a flat in Dorado Park with some foreign girls who introduced her to the ‘trade’ after unsuccessfully attempting to enrol at the University of Namibia.
“My dream was to study marketing at Unam. My English was exceptional but my points were barely there. I pushed hard but nothing happened. I was renting a boarding house with two girls from Zimbabwe and one from Botswana at the time. They introduced me to prostitution and months later, they had to follow my lead because I used the fact that I’m a native and knew the country better,” she says.
Selma claims to have maintained close relations with at least two cabinet ministers, men in high Government positions and one top Namibian artist as well as five top businessmen.
In business, Selma, who has just bought her new BMW X 5, claims that the likes of the coastal-based millionaire and a businessman who was charged with a serious criminal case, were some of her clients.
She also claims that one of the businessmen who co-owns a fashion shop in Windhoek got her into drugs; an addiction she has since beaten.
She says the key to her success and long survival in the trade is good customer service but even that came at a price, she adds. “I treated my clients well, the only problem was that many fell in love and they wanted to date and marry me. I travelled with some important men out of the country and they would introduce me as their PA. That’s how I learnt a lot about real business. I shop in Paris and I’m leaving for London in a few days,” adds Selma, whose phone doesn’t stop ringing.
Selma sees her move to turning her life around as the beginning of a new dawn for her and she has her priorities set straight.
“I have always wanted to do legitimate business. I had to do what I did to get this opportunity. I have never really fancied myself as a parent but I guess the time has come for me to settle down and give parenthood a shot,” she asserts.
Selma says her phone still blows up with calls from her former clients but she’s adamant that she’s crossed the line and is never looking back.
She jokes about writing a book about her experience with top men one day. “I have memoirs enough to use in my book should I ever choose to write a book someday”.