Nigeria: Single Ladies Treated as Prostitutes by Sheraton in Abuja- Nancy Onoh #ChildNotBride

  • The implied assumption is that “single” Nigerian woman automatically means sex worker. So it is a crime to be “single” and female — Nancy Onoh

Aug. 3, 2013

Hamza Suleiman

NewsRescue– In the article excerpted below, Nancy Onoh complains of single ladies being treated as prostitutes according to Sheraton Abuja hotel official service guidelines. She goes off:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton Hotel Abuja: Racism, & Gender Insensitive Policies In Abuja, Nigeria

By Nancy Onoh

On Wednesday 31st July 2013, I was at the Sheraton Hotel Abuja to use the gym. I am a fully paid up member of the gym, and have been for about ten(10) years. After the gym, I went down to the pool bar as I had scheduled a meeting with two colleagues.

On arrival at the pool bar, I was totally ignored by the hostess/usher. I didn’t make anything of it, just assumed it was either the usual poor training/poor customer service (which over the years appear to have become Sheraton Abuja’s core culture/value). However, when my first colleague arrived, the lady welcomed him (yes him) thoroughly with lovely smiles, started arranging seats (which she watched me carry from other tables in preparation for the arrival of my colleagues, and did not bother to help) and practically helped him to sit down. Apparently she was trained but apparently not for everyone. Thoroughly confused, I asked her why she was falling over herself to welcome my colleague while she thoroughly ignored me. Her shocking response was that, they have been instructed not to attend to “single” girls. And then I asked whether if I was white, she would have attended to me, she reluctantly mumbled yes.. She left. And when my second colleague arrived, another man, she was also greatly welcoming.

Two sensitive topics in one night: Racism and Gender discrimination.

What I understand from this is that the Starwood Hotels in strong partnership with the management of Sheraton Hotel, Abuja is institutionalising racism through its policy. And using Nigerians to help them implement this shameful act. In addition, they are promoting discriminatory policies against women. One thing I know is that this would never happen in the country of origin of the current manager of Sheraton Abuja.

The implied assumption is that “single” Nigerian woman automatically means sex worker. So it is a crime to be “single” and female. By this, I would infer that the definition of single according to Starwoods Hotels and Resorts is a lady/woman that arrives to their hotel without being accompanied by a man. Therefore, any black Nigerian “single” female according to Starwoods should be assumed to be a sex worker until a man arrives to validate her respectability or unless she is hanging on a man to give her respectability. Please note that this is a Starwood “Preferred” policy targeting black Nigerian ladies only.


Then good old racism. So as a white single girl, I am entitled to be served by staffs of Sheraton Abuja but as a black single girl I am automatically a sex worker and not entitled to be served by staffs of Sheraton Hotel Abuja. However, when I pay for my yearly membership for the gym, nobody wants to know if I am single, double, black, blue, pink etc. White single girl equals respectable and wanted; black single girl equals unwanted and not respectable. Reminds me of the days of “Blacks & Dogs not welcomed”. Now we have: Black Girls & … not welcomed. Some improvement, at least Black men are now acceptable!!! We now have to fight for black girls???? And not even in Western Countries but in a fully black African country. Not the mixed African countries where whites are allowed to misbehave towards blacks but in Nigeria?

Starwoods Hotel and Resort, please note that you can be as racist as you all want in Europe and America and some of those other African countries but you certainly cannot import your nasty racist attitudes to Nigeria and expect to get away with it. Reviewing your website under the customer service commitment, Starwood Hotel and Resorts claim to “do the right thing by …respecting our guests…”. Which part of my experience had anything to do with respect? I can bet that I am not the only black female that has been so disrespected by your “respectable” corporation but I refuse to be quiet on this. Read full on Sahara

But truth be told, there are thousands of Nigerian single ladies who constitute a noticeable and deadly nuisance prostituting themselves in public venues nationwide. With the debate on early marriage, the complaint of discrimination against single ladies, which is related to the undeniable prevalence of prostitution begs the question- what is the best solution and protection for the nations great women?

Hopefully Nancy is of age or married and hence able to apply for asylum.