More than ever before, sexual immorality, substance abuse and criminal acts have become the new nightmare among students at our local universities. In fact, academic excellence has become secondary to the vices. Whatever it takes, students will go to any length to ensure that they enjoy a luxurious lifestyle and every good thing life brings their way.
‘Sexually transmitted degrees‘
Abby Mungai, a soon-to-be graduate at a local university in Eldoret, confesses to sleeping around with lecturers for good academic grades.
“I did this to get good grades and avoid supplementary exams. I rarely attended classes because I have a day job and it is difficult to balance books and work,” says the soft-spoken Abby.
“I have done this several times,” she declares.
“Prostitution has hit our campuses hard. Though some of the campus girls find themselves in it through peer pressure and experimentation, most of them are there simply for the money,” she adds.
Jane (not her real name), a student at the University of Nairobi, confesses that she and her friends transform into twilight girls at night by hitting popular Nairobi streets where known clients pick them to solicit for sex in exchange for hefty amounts of cash.
“My parents used to be very strict on me when I was in high school, so this is my time to explore life. I don’t really do it for the money. I think I’m just addicted to the practice since I was recruited into it by fellow students two years ago,” she remarks.
“We have particular halls in campus where these things happen but some of us opted to take our business to the street as the bargain is better there,” she poses.
“Some of us receive a thousand shillings in two or three months from our parents. What does a thousand shillings buy nowadays?” Irine, a student from Kenyatta University, wonders loudly. She confesses that pressure to belong to a certain class in campus by owning, among other things, several designer bags, expensive shoes, dresses and change of hairstyle at least every month is a major contributor to prostitution in the campus.
‘Sojourn at ‘Box’
“In case you want to sample the latest state-of-the art vehicle in towns, I suggest you make your way to the women’s Hall 13 and 20 at our campus. The cars are usually on a mission to pick up girls, otherwise known as escorts,” another student at University of Nairobi confesses.
Further inquiry got us some insight into how the girls land themselves the big guys. You have to know the girls in the business, the madams, befriend them and they will be glad to get you a hook up. It only takes a night. The following morning, depending on how good your negotiation skills are, you may do your walk of shame back to school Sh7,000 to Sh15,000 richer, and a second invite secured.
The same happens in Egerton University. Cars mostly pick students from Runda, Taifa, Mama Ngina and Maringo Hostels on Fridays. Most refer to those who pick them up as Cousins and Uncles to seal their identity from their poor campus boyfriends.
The lucrative business has also attracted university boys who play the middlemen roles of pimping the girls to willing men, who in turn award them financial tips once they deliver the girls. On a given venture, the pimps play a brother’s role to the girls.
“I accompany the girls to the joints where a client is, after agreeing with him how many girls he needs on a given night. Most guys come with their friends and each girl gets attached to a partner over drinks after which they can agree on how much to be paid for sleeping out with the men. Sometimes it’s a whole weekend affair,” Sam, a USIU student, admitted.
The girls give him an agreed percentage from their kill. As a result, some of these students have transformed their hostel rooms into showrooms well furnished with state-of-the art music systems and TVs with fridges stocked with the best drinks money can buy.
The Facebook avenue
For those who regard themselves as more private, social media has become the way to go. The suitor tries his luck by inboxing or sending direct messages to female students he may be interested in. In the message he specifies his offer, noting his terms and conditions.
Students from different universities we spoke to identified different places as the hot spot for transactional sex. Such places are also said to be frequented by prominent personalities ranging from those in politics, corporate to entertainment worlds, otherwise also referred to as ‘heavy-spenders’ by the students.
Rodah Masibo, a fourth year student at Moi University Eldoret West Campus, posits that transactional sex among students has festered a lot. According to her, posh cars picking and dropping young girls off at university premises has become a norm. She observes that athletes from the region are the major clients of these girls.
The quick money trade has forced some students into criminal acts as peer pressure hits universities. To match up their female colleagues, male students are inevitably forced to resort to dubious means of making money to impress their lovers who are already accustomed to a single night out estimated at Sh5,000.