SPONSOR ATTACK: DEMYSTIFYING THE “SPONYO” CULTURE

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When Nairobi Diaries’ Pendo introduced her boyfriend-come-fiancée on the latest episode of the celebrated TV reality show, Nairobi Diaries, the Kenyan social media community exploded with reactions. She introduced her ‘mzungu’ bae as “my 50 years old lover, my sponsor…” Kenyans especially the boychild was infuriated by these comments revealing the amount of pain and frustration that young men are going through because of this so-called ‘sponsor attack’.

Who is a sponsor? An intriguing question that has raised a lot of debate among most ladies and even men who deny being sponsors despite being branded sponsors. However, according to Nick… “A sponsor is a person who funds a lady’s comfort and happiness and in return, the lady has to satisfy him either emotionally or sexually. It’s more of barter trade, its simply high-end prostitution. I call it prostitution because the lady is engaged in sexual and emotional relations with the man with the intentions of gaining some material wealth from it.

This tendency has heightened because of certain factors like high unemployment rates among the youth who thirst to live beyond their means. This has led them into selling their bodies and exploiting their sexual value for financial gains. Sponsors are a way of looking for a shortcut in life.” However as we engaged with more ladies, it became more evident what the full definition of a sponsor is.

Qualifications of a sponsor

  • He must be financially stable, and preferably rich.
  • He must have a car or a couple of them at least
  • He must be generous with his finances
  • He should be or have been in a long term commitment with another lady (wife).
  • Age doesn’t really matter as long as the wallet is thick
  • He MUST be willing to finance the woman’s needs
  • NB: He doesn’t have to necessarily be physically attractive or good in bed. Money compensates for those.

Surprisingly enough, most of the correspondents insisted that this is fast becoming the scale with which young ladies are using to sieve out their potential boyfriends. This explains why most young men are frustrated at the mention of a sponsor since they bear the burden of trying to outmatch these heavily loaded old men who fit this scale set by young ladies. It’s a stiff competition where money is the shortcut and young women, the price.

READ ALSO: THE WAMLAMBEZ SOCIETY 

Why are these young women preferring ‘sponsors’ over young men of their age? Men who are mostly the so-called ‘sponsors’ have time and again fallen victims of criticism for leaving their wives for these young and sexy women but now that the norm is becoming increasingly bold and evident in the society, the conversation is changing.

It’s the ladies who are now making the major moves and even scouting for potential sponsors all over the city. Wives have even formed associations to take down these ladies calling them ‘husband snatchers’ and ‘home wreckers’. But the question is why?

  • One of the ladies states that the main reason is usually the lucrative financial benefits that come with having a sponsor. Most young ladies are being driven by the desire to live large at a young age and maintaining the expensive lifestyle that they see their fellow ladies living on reality shows abroad and in movies. The thirst for luxury has overcome their morals to an extent they are willing to trade their bodies to older married and successful men just to have a grip at that expensive lifestyle. 
  • Peer pressure has also played a major role when it comes to influencing more women to take up sponsors and experience the lifestyle. Most women join this form of high-end prostitution after seeing their fellow young ladies living the life they desire while they are still stuck at a lower level. 
  • Some opt to turn to sponsors after experiencing an emotional wreck from a previous relationship with a guy who is possibly within his age group. Most young ladies claim that young men nowadays don’t know how to love and all they are after is sex. They don’t understand how to appreciate a lady while the older men even though they won’t marry you, they will treat you in a way you feel appreciated. 
  • In this modern age, some girls also grow up in unstable families with father issues or single mothers and therefore end up lacking a father figure in their lives. They then turn to older sponsors who will listen to them, advise them and take care of them as their own daughters. Such girls won’t mind trading sex to someone who fills that gap in their lives. 
  • Its believed that older men are more caring and gentle. They are the so-called TLC (Tender, Loving and Caring) which most young men lack. They are therefore less stressful. It’s a more convenient option than having a boyfriend, to most young ladies apparently. 
  •  Sponsors have also become a ‘Retirement plan’ for most young women out there who are too lazy to work hard and create their own wealth. They scout for very old sponsors with the aim of inheriting their wealth after they pass on. 
  • They say a new broom, but an old broom knows the corners and apparently the same also applies when it comes to sex. Some girls prefer older sponsors because they are experts when it comes to sexual satisfaction.
  • Last but not least, the status quo is a significant determinant when it comes to having sponsors. Most young and naïve girls fall for older sponsors because of the positions they hold in society or the jobs that they do. A perfect example is politicians. Some girls sleep with them to get the entitlement and power that comes with ‘mheshimiwa’s lady’. 

Where do these young ladies scout for sponsors? 

The most common phenomenon has been getting sponsors through dating apps like Tinder and Dirt Flirt Find. However, with the dominance that social media has established within the digital space, it’s become even easier to find sponsors through one’s social media platform. The kind of content that one puts up on social media also contributes hugely to the possibilities of landing a sponsor. 

Clubs have risen the ranks quite fast, as a hotbed for sponsors and thirsty rich men looking to have some fun with young ladies. In the cities, high-end clubs have become very notorious for hosting young ladies who are on a hunting mission for high-end sponsors. Some of the clubs in Nairobi include: 

  • Kiza 
  • Milan 
  • 1824
  • Blackyz Lounge
  • Blend

In Mombasa clubs like 

  • Anuba
  • Danka
  • Hypnotica
  • Tapas 

They lead the front line when it comes to this phenomenon. 

High-end events have also emerged as another potential scouting ground for sponsors. Such events include: 

  • Koroga Festival 
  • Safaricom Jazz Festival 
  • Masinga TT 
  • Safari Rally’s
  • Polo tournaments at Ngong Race Course 
  • Concours D’elegance 
  • Art Exhibitions 

Young ladies have taken this seriously to an extent they even handle research before embarking on their sponsor missions. Some like, X even know the most popular pimps in the city and where to find them. “I know of pimps who masquerade as taxi guys from the airport just to prey on foreigners since these are the potential clients. Most foreigners often trust their cab guys to find them ladies within the city.” 

READ ALSO: AGE IS JUST A NUMBER

The different types of girls who keep sponsors:

  • Escorts. These are girls who are simply looking for men who will shower their lifestyle with money and in return look good for the sponsors. There doesn’t necessarily have to be any sexual attachment. 
  • The short flings. This a quick cash strategy. You can compare it to prostitution, where the girl trades sex for instant cash for a very short period of time and then moves on to the next sponsor. 
  • Long term contracts. You can easily liken this to an exclusive prostitute. This is where the lady gets into a contract with the sponsor to be trading sex for cash for a longer period of time, maybe a year, two or even more. 
  • “The unofficial second wives”. These are the ladies who get the privileges of a wife but are not officially recognized by the family or colleagues. Their entire lifestyle is financed by the sponsor and they even bear children for the sponsor. 
  • The Baby Mommas. These are the worst. They are girls who intentionally get pregnant so as to trap the sponsor and leverage on child support to get their lifestyle funded. 

All in all, the sponsor culture is simply a form of prostitution that most girls are nowadays opting for since it’s a shortcut to a comfortable lifestyle. As long as a lady is trading sex for any form of material gain, that qualifies for prostitution and young girls should be discouraged from adopting this culture.

Grab a copy of The Outsyder in The Nairobian every Friday for more revealing stories about youth culture.

 

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