Kenya: Plain Truth - Girls, Success Is Not Sexually Transmitted

9 February 2019
opinion

In light of the numerous allegations of local celebrities taking advantage of and even assaulting young female fans in the recent past, there has been uproar among online communities. The actions of these men have been admonished -- rightly so.

Interestingly, I haven't heard one person remind our impressionable young women the routes that will, and the ones that won't lead to financial success.

A lot of young women, especially those fresh out of high school or college seem to think that associating with the seemingly famous or wealthy men will have these attributes trickle down to them. This is hardly surprising in this era of social media, where individual earnings seem proportionate to how much one can flaunt on social media.

THE HARSH TRUTH

I had a very interesting conversation the other day with a mother of a teenage girl. She has been trying, unsuccessfully; to teach her daughter that genuinely free things are rare. The young woman isn't getting it. 'But he was nice, he didn't say he expected anything in return', she keeps rationalising.

The truth is that while there are many good men out there, men who have integrity and are kind and honest, there are very few men who will just want to give you money or set you on a journey to financial independence just out of the goodness of their hearts. Usually, in our relationships scene, material things are given with an expectation. Even when it isn't verbalised, this expectation is there.

A famous man will give you cash because he thinks you look good on his arm, you know, for the glam. An older man will pay your bills because he is lusting after your youth. A married man will entertain you because he needs someone to vent to on the state of his marriage. He may even be looking for a pretty woman to sit next to him at the bar smiling at him and laughing at all his jokes to stroke his ego.

While it isn't always sex, there is always something that a woman has to give in order to enjoy money earned by a man. This is unless, of course, the man in question is your father or your brother.

You will not believe how much energy we are wasting perpetuating this culture of women expecting the men they meet to iron out their life stresses. There are even articles which have been written giving women tips on how to get this, or that man to pay her bills.

How about giving tips on how a woman can make her own money? How she can pay her bills using those endless skills, gifts and talents that she has?

Stop telling girls that they can be a success by association; that all she needs to be successful is to hang around people like that. It's great to know people in high places but if you want real, lasting success, then you will need to put in the work.

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