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Ciku Kimeria is a Kenyan author "Of goats and poisoned oranges" - (https://www.amazon.com/goats-poisoned-oranges-Ciku-Kimeria-ebook/dp/B00HBBWPI6), development consultant, adventurer and travel blogger (www.thekenyanexplorer.com). She writes both fiction and non-fiction focusing on African stories that need telling. She has worked on diverse pieces for various international and local publications including Quartz, Ozy, The East African etc. She has travelled to 45 countries – 16 of them in Africa. 153 countries to go and 63 territories!
"Of goats and poisoned oranges" has been extremely well received in Kenya and beyond. It tells the story of a Kenyan middle aged power couple and their complicated marriage. The novel explores issues of greed, revenge, betrayal and murder. It runs from the 1960s to 2013. It has been described as “Wicked, funny, poignant, wacky, human, a big ball of fun and danger”, “A unique and captivating book”, “Fun and intriguing”, “Impossible to put down once you start reading.”
She recently moved to Dakar, Senegal from Kenya to work on her second novel. She also works at as the Africa Communication Manager at a leading global strategy consulting firm.
She holds a B.S. in Management Science from MIT with minors in Urban Planning and International development studies.
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.