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Ciku Kimeria
Writer, Adventurer, Development Consultant, Travelblogger
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piqer: Ciku Kimeria
Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Evolution Of The Sugar Daddy/Sugar Baby Phenomenon In Nairobi

The trading of sex as a currency is as old as the story of humanity. What is most fascinating about this long read and series of videos by BBC is how it captures the evolution of the sugar daddy/sugar baby phenomenon in Nairobi and other growing urban centers on the continent. Initially, young women were driven to trade sex with older men out of poverty and desperation, but increasingly there is a growing number of sugar babies (or women benefiting financially from sexual relationships with older men.) This new group have been drawn into this way of life by the socialite lifestyle that shows all the wonderful perks (shopping trips, global travel, real estate, designer clothes, shoes and bags) that one can get if they hook the right sugar daddy. My own theory is that globalization has opened up the sugar daddy market and women looking to trade their youth for money have a larger, wealthier pool to choose from. They are no longer limited by geography.

I really enjoyed the videos, too. We get to explore the stories of a student who has two sugar daddies to help pay her bills, of a young single mother who is looking for a wealthy man to help her launch her music career, of a socialite who grew up in Kibera slums and now lives a life of glamour, but warns girls, "This is what I would say to a young girl who is beautiful, young and wants a glam life... Baby girl, nothing goes for nothing."

The feminist discussion at the end is also fascinating. As a feminist, I believe in women having the choice to live the lives they want. The reality being that this is a man's world, are these women exercising their right of choice, in societies where they know that power and money reside in older men's pants? Or are they victims of a system that will keep them constantly under the patriarchy – doing whatever is needed to get a few financial favors? It's a debate for another day, but one to reflect on as you read the article and watch the clips. 

The Evolution Of The Sugar Daddy/Sugar Baby Phenomenon In Nairobi
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Comments 2
  1. Ixtzel Arreola de Hanekamp

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Thank you very much.

    1. Ciku Kimeria
      Ciku Kimeria · 9 days ago

      Thanks for reading it. I'm happy you enjoyed the story.