A few years ago, traditional careers were esteemed, Engineering, Medicine, Law, Arts, Business etc. But the tides are changing. You can now become a socialite.
The past weekend was a sad one for me because influential leading personalities in Kenya gathered at Skylux lounge to party with two socialites; Huddah and Zari. Now that this high-end trade of flesh is gaining popularity, do not be surprised when socialites submit their intention to run for the top office in Kenya.
The urban dictionary does a stellar job of defining a socialite as:
Someone who has money and doesn’t work, instead devoting his/her life to being “socially active.” They go to parties, gather media attention, and essentially “work” at being popular. This often comes at the expense of any meaningful contribution to society or culture.
The allure of easy fame has driven many to abandon reason. Some have gone to desperate and extreme lengths just so that they might be in the limelight. You see, we will soon part irreconcilable with the days where success is about brilliance and hard work and one is celebrated based on the meaningful contribution they make to society. A new invention that solves human problems or an athletic ability that defies odds will be frowned upon. Excellence in academics or awards in arts and music will be pedestrian. We will hopelessly begin to search for days when we rewarded an impeccable character that is beyond reproach and questioning. You see, those days are almost gone.
They shall soon feel the full and final impact of the hammer of extinction. They are endangered like the white rhino because our society has set the bar and definition of success at a desperately low level. The end justifies the means, by whatever means possible, seems to be our widely accepted motto. Ours appears to be a generation that embraces excesses in all its mannerisms with absolutely no regard for morality. Irreducible minimums for proper socially acceptable conduct are deemed uncool by a myopic generation that lives for the moment. Wisdom has fallen by the wayside and manners are about to make a swift exit.
How do you make easy money in Kenya?
Well, first release a sex tape that goes viral but when asked about it, dodge the question and swiftly move on while making money from the dubious reputation gained. If that’s too extreme, release a twerk video where you hysterically shake the amplest parts of your body. If you are a musician or a music group and you are desperate to revive your dwindling career fortunes, just release a shockingly erotic music video that gets banned on TV but will most probably go on to amass over a million views on YouTube. You could decide to bleach yourself or acquire a weave at a ‘price’ that could comfortably cover the cost of a kidney transplant. You don’t have to explain to anyone where you got the money from because, as you will defend yourself, you are an entrepreneur with lucrative “business partners” from foreign lands that deal in oil.
You can lie to some people sometimes, but you can’t lie to everybody all the time. We know your profession, a high-end trade of the flesh!! What is particularly sad is the fact that in the past, such acts were deemed disgraceful. They could only be carried out by the most shameless miscreants and even then, such people had to operate under the cover of darkness but now, yellow journalism has sanitized the “world’s oldest trade”, dragged it into the limelight, glorified it through entertainment blogs and made it a noble career option. The easiest trick may be to check yourself into a 5-star hotel knowing all too well that you can’t afford a plate of oily chips at Sonford on Moi Avenue. In any society governed by reason, you would be embarrassed by this but no…not in Kenya. In Kenya, the media would eat up your story with a big spoon milking it of all its worth. They then reel you in for interviews and bestow upon you instant microwave ‘celebrity’ status. Make sure that you show no remorse for your actions when you appear on TV. Such airtime would probably be better spent talking about your innovative conversations starters you employ, read (the tattoos you have in place of your eyebrows)
If you live in Kenya, a few names may have popped into your mind while reading this article. Laura Oyier is probably one such name. It grieves me that while Ms. Oyier’s tasteless escapade were being covered in the media, Justice Joyce Aluoch became the first female vice president of International Criminal Court at the Hague. She achieved what no other member of the Kenyan legal profession has ever achieved but in the minds of the members of the Kenya’s glitterati worshipping 4th estate and blogosphere, Lady Justice Aluoch’s achievements are mundane and devoid of color. It was brushed as the kind of uninspiring news that merited, at best, a few yawns and was certainly nothing to write home about.
It becomes a national disaster when mainstream media glorify no apparent personal achievement apart from scandals, at the expense of those who rightfully deserve the limelight for their noble contribution in society. Since when did socialites chart a discourse for national dialog? Why have we becoming a society that worships scandals and attention seekers? Where are the moral sentinels? It’s all fun and games until your daughter comes home and breaks your heart with news that she wants to be a socialite. For a meager amount, one is willing to flash their dignity down the toilet. We will soon have a group calling itself ‘Socialites Association of East Africa’ headed by Zari and Huddah who then will embark on an aggressive recruitment drive and champion rights of these beings. Then we will wail while wearing sackcloth. Because it only looks glamorous until it enters your house.
Socialites don’t pursue this fickle vain fame for dwellers of planet Mars. Neither are they doing it for aliens. We are the consumers of their vanity. You see media that runs content that is deemed progressive like development issues, business, religion and any sensible content are not read in Kenya. Yet media that specializes in dispensing controversial content e.g. fake rear ends, fake mammary glands and basically any content that is vain, rake in viewers by the millions.
This tells you one thing, however much, we complain about socialites and their effects on the moral fabric of our nation, we cannot wish them away unless our core belief is fundamentally changed. What if we decided to intentionally steer our society towards content that is wholesome and beneficial? We have fed our minds with junk but shockingly we still somehow hope to miraculously become sensible right thinking members of the society. We are what we eat. Garbage in, garbage out. As a man thinks so is he, period.
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