Campus students in Kenya have been in the limelight for the last few weeks for all the wrong reasons. Girls have been accused of trading sex for grades from their lectures and dating old men enough to be their fathers just to live the high end life. Party in the likes of Skylux in Westlands every weekend, shopping in Mr. Price and Woolworths and living it large in luxurious estates far away from the hostels.
A few constructive ones have engaged in part time business to supplement the pocket money given by their parents but most of them prefer having it easy and will engage in the lewdest activities, just to get money. Some engage in prostitution, others are robbers by night and the list is endless.
It came to the observation of this correspondent last week that in most cases the students who get engaged in this kind of life are the ones that have just come to Nairobi for purposes of studies but initially resided in different towns in the country. They get introduced to the good life of Nairobi and get a sudden change of lifestyle. They feel the pressure to dress, talk and hang out where their counterparts do, in order to fit in. All of a sudden they get an expensive taste in clothes, shoes and jewelry.
Panic sets in when they realize they are just about to graduate which means school term is over and they are required to go back to their hometowns until they find a job, which to them is the last thing they would want to do.
22 year old Mary*, a BA student at Inoorero university and a neighbor to
this correspondent, is one of this lot. She is just a student, basically living off her parents support, but has rented a house where she parts with 9000kes every month for rent, and her house is richly furnished. A chat with her the other day revealed that her course ends in August and she desperately needs to get an attachment if not a job because she can’t afford to go back home.
“If I have to go back home, which I can’t even think of, it means I have to sell most of the stuff I have in my house, because my parents will question me about how I managed to get them. But I just don’t want to go back to Nyeri.” She says.
A kidnapping case that led to the death of Sarah Aruwa, a 24 year old student in the USIU revealed the extremes student will go, just to live large while in school. The culprits behind the kidnapping, who have since then been charged with murder in court, are the victims’ schoolmates and it’s alleged that prior to the discover y of Sarah’s body in a bush in Kiambu, the kidnappers had asked the family for a 100,000Sh ransom.
It’s not only girls who who are desperate for money, men fall in this category as well. A good number of guys are said to be having sugar mummies who meet their financial needs. ‘Isabel’ narrates in a secret group on face book how she caught her boyfriend in the act with a sugar mummy.
“I was getting curious on the whereabouts of the plenty of cash he had lately but when I asked him, he told me he was doing a part time online writing job. He would pamper me a lot and basically cater for my every need. Life was just easy and good for us until that fateful day I caught him with that woman, old enough to be his mum.” She narrated, adding that though hurt, she was glad that she turned out negative after several HIV tests after realizing her
estranged boyfriend had contacted HIV from his sugar mummy.
Girls have also been accused of trading sex for grades from their lectures and a disturbing post
from a reader on the Eve Gal pull out in The Standard on Wednesday, seeking advice as whether to go on and sleep with her lecturer in return for good grades for her to graduate, confirms that it’s indeed not fiction.
In campus, relationships end as fast as they start on and are mostly influenced and sustained by favors. Sex is normally casual and in most cases as soon as a couple gets comfortable with each other, which can be 3 days, a week or months after dating, depending with individuals, they ‘trust’ each other to have unprotected sex.
A study carried out by Family Health International two years ago at Maseno University in Western Kenya showed that students do not consistently use condoms. According to the study only 15.8 percent of the 500 sexually active students sampled, used condoms every time they had sex. In addition, 22.5 percent reported that they have never used a condom. Around 77 percent said they had used protection at one time or other.
‘Alert letters’ are common in universities in Kenya, where a victim of HIV AIDS, goes on a vengeance mission to sleep with as many people as he /she can in the same campus and infect them with the virus, they later go ahead to list down each of their names and post the letter on the campus’ notice board. Although this correspondent is yet to meet one person on the said lists who can confirm whether or not the claims on the list are true, it’s believed that they is some truth in it.
Well, our varsities hold a good number of the county’s future intellectuals, and if these destructive trends keep on, we can only imagine, the Kenya that we are going to be building.
The Kenya Forum will be running a continuous posting from the early hours of Wednesday 7th November (starting about 3.30am Nairobi time) reporting the results as they come in with commentary and analysis from our team, including a US-based political scientist, ‘APJB’ giving his views as the news comes in.
The Kenya Forum will welcome comments on the night from our many readers in Kenya and around the world and we will publish them live (if they are polite and do not break the laws of the Republic of Kenya!).