A couple of weeks ago, the BBC published a special series on their website titled: Sex & the sugar daddy. The story included an interesting narration by three girls – Jane, Bridget and Grace – who represent the struggle modern day girls around the world go through to make it in life.
I watched the interviews as the girls narrated how they make money. Jane, 21, is a university student who has several sponsors, plus she earns money by working in a massage parlour. She says her business is to get money, and indeed she does make money.
Then there is Bridget. Oooh!! This girl looks like she lives the life many girls dream of. From humble beginnings, she grew up in Kibera slum, worked as a house girl and now she earns money as a socialite. By the way, I don’t remember seeing her age. Anyway, hers is the typical rags to riches kind of story. Bridget’s stinging advice to women is if “you want a million bucks, you will do something that is worth a million bucks.”
Of the trio, Bridget looks like she has “made it”. She travels to exotic destinations, wears designer clothes and even runs an orphanage with 30 children in Kibera. This typically is the dream life that supposedly describes success.
The third is Grace, a 25-year-old hustler, single mother and dancer who has several sponsors. She has to earn money so as to support her school going daughter. Her dream is to be a star and a celebrity. “Working hard is doing anything as long as you are making money,” she says.
These girls look up to Sidika. Wikipedia describes Vera as a, “Kenyan television and social media personality, celebrity, video vixen entrepreneur and socialite.” She cleverly uses social media to market herself. Her photos and lifestyle are what many young Kenyan girls are aspiring for. This year, she launched Vera Sidika Beauty Parlor located at Western Heights in Westlands.
Socialite as a lucrative career
The BBC story got me thinking if there is something the Kenyan education system has missed. What kind of role models are our children exposed to? While some of us are pushing our daughters to study medicine, engineering, computer science etc, are we also connecting them with role models in those careers?
As a parent, I obviously want my child to be better than I am. While I will push him towards a certain career or life, I should also ensure the environment he is growing up in has examples he can emulate.
Young Kenyan girls can now become Socialites and earn really “good money”. After all, there are many examples of women locally and globally who earn top dollar from their bodies. Take Kim Kardashian West, she is ranked at number 54 on the fourth annual list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. In June 2017, she launched KKW Beauty.
According to Forbes, Kim made her first KKW Beauty contour kits, available exclusively on her website. In two hours, she sold 300,000 units! She then expanded into other beauty products like powder sets, concealer, lipsticks, eyeshadow and fragrances.
A career as a socialite requires a lot of effort, patience, persistence and courage. Most important, it needs role models and that is exactly what Vera, Corazon Kwamboka, Huddah Monroe, Zari Hassan et al are. They portray all those things we want in our children.
Sadly, our society is so vain that we judge people by the way they look, dress, where they live and the car they drive. You really need to have a thick skin to avoid the pressure. It is even more complicated because, with an enhanced/sexy body part, you can earn a fairly decent income compared to those who have to slog in boring 8 to 5 jobs.
Jane, Bridget and Grace have told us, they do look up to someone. Now ask yourself, who is your daughter looking up to?
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