By Jacktone S. Ambuka
I guess by now you already know who “Campus Divas For Rich Men” are. It is a Facebook group which claims to be a conglomeration of girls from universities across the country whose agenda is one; provide sexual pleasures for rich men in exchange of big money to offer and sustain elegant lifestyle in universities.
But there is a twist. ‘Campus Divas’ aren’t for cheap men. They despise men to whom they refer as “masufferers”-which when loosely translated, the slang word implies poor men.
All said and done, ‘campus Divas for rich men’ in my opinion isn’t the reason for decline of morality in our society. They are symptomatic of our already ‘sick’ society. Yet the “campus Divas” have magnificently captured media attention and curiously aroused our collective imagination.
The debate has turned into a national conversation. The social media is buzzing. While most people are in doubt on whether ‘Divas for rich men’ represent interests of all campus girls, they unanimously agree on one thing-the Facebook group has embraced a deviant behavior.
Condemnation has been loud and abundantly clear across the board: The ‘Divas’ are wrong. It seems the so called ‘campus Divas’ are being widely condemned from a religious and/or moralistic perspective.
A majority of Kenyans have condemned the group and branded it ‘evil.’ Others have questioned whether the self-proclaimed ‘campus divas’ have in essence created a prostitution ring disguised as a socialization group. As a matter of fact, some Facebook ‘administrators’ diametrically opposed to the agenda of the ‘campus Divas’ have established counter oppositional groups.
In response to the above allegations, the ‘Divas’ have come out fighting. In unapologetic statement to their critiques including the media, the administrator of the Facebook group which so far has been “Liked” by 44, 659 followers asserted: “As far as we are concerned we are NOT a prostitution page, we are simply hooking up people who want to find loved ones. Nowhere in the constitution of Kenya states that a young girl should not fall in love or hook up with a wealthy man, so…frankly speaking we are disgusted our portrayal by the media. We know the law very well and you'll be shocked to know that amongst ourselves we have final year law students. We simply offer solutions to the need in the current society, society is dynamic not static. If you don't like it, if you are very intolerant, very righteous, very conservative, if you are very archaic and fossil, Please mind your business and we will mind ours.”
But even as we grapple with moral questions presented by ‘campus Divas’ situation, it is imperative to understand that decline of morality in universities and in societies around the world aren’t exclusively Kenyan.
They are universal. It is happening in developed countries as well. Take United States for example. Faced with a lackluster economy, substantial amount of student loan debt and personal needs, more than ever before college students have resorted to the unconventional way of earning money.
They are pleasuring rich men with sex in exchange for big money. The Huffington post reported recently “Rich guys well past their prime have been plunking down money… in search of a tryst or something more with women half their age… and women, willingly or not, have made themselves available.
With the whole process going digital, women passing through a system of higher education that fosters indebtedness are using the anonymity of the web to sell their wares and pay down their college loans.” But here is a shocker and a ‘tell all’ website www.seekingarrangement.com. This website is “the elite sugar daddies dating site for those [college girls] seeking mutually beneficial relationships.” Moreover, the website encourages “attractive, intelligent, ambitious and goal oriented …sugar babies…students…to date someone who will pamper you…empower you and help you mentally, emotionally and financially.” By and large, this is quintessentially American way-whereby choices are in your hands. The powers to decide, associate, move and do things are in the individual’s hands.
Fast forward to Kenya and you discover that while ‘campus Divas’ are attempting to play a card that resonates well in the western worlds, they have equally presented a couple of complicates scenarios.
On one hand, there is no doubt the ‘campus Divas’ took a huge risk within a conservative society to bring into public domain that which is already happening behind the curtains. The ‘campus Divas’ have in essence provoked a national debate about the decline of morality in our country, which in itself is a good thing. On the other hand, however, the agenda presented by ‘campus Divas’ appear to be opposed to moral values of any given society.
All things considered and in order for us to understand the moral complexity created by the ‘campus Divas’, we have to critically examine a couple of undeniable truths within the context of our Kenyan society.
Number one, the ‘campus Divas’ are at least 18years and older which according to Kenyan laws, automatically makes them adults, a context within which they have a right to express their conscience and will without being intimidated as long as they do not violate the boundaries of the law.
Two, the ‘campus Divas’ have got a right to choose whoever they want for association and relationship. We cannot choose or decide on their behalf. In this particular case, they are abundantly clear-they have chosen rich men. So what? Who doesn’t want to be rich? After all most Kenyans including a majority of politicians and pastors are using every means possible including but not limited to corruption and performance of fake miracles to attain riches.
While two wrongs doesn’t make a right, they open a window through which we can see our society as it is and make difficult yet sound decisions whose long term benefits will be for the betterment of our children and children’s children.
Three, ‘campus Divas’ basically ‘officialized’ and brought into limelight that which is already happening behind the walls of universities. Which begs the question: Are the so called “campus Divas” victims of peer pressure, poverty, immorality or they are simply practicing post-modernism? Be the judge.
However, in my carefully considered opinion, these “campus Divas” are a reflection of our collective national character. In essence, the ‘campus Divas’ have indicted our collective character and conscience which more often than not deny the “fallen” state of our national morality.
In the wider scheme of things, the difference between ‘us’ who are condemning and the “Divas” who have come out of their closet is courage. While ‘we’, the condemning lot is in denial about the moral decadence of our society; the ‘Divas’ have tenacity to own-up to their ‘immorality.’ They have said ‘this is who we are; you can like us or hate us.’
In my opinion, the ‘campus Divas’ have invited us to an honest discussion concerning the decline of morality in private and public spheres of our society. Instead of living in constant denial about our fallen morality, let us confront our ‘fallenness’, sanitize our institutions and reclaim our souls and character. From a general perspective, “Campus Divas for rich men’ are telling us that our national conscience is no longer able to distinguish between good and bad. Further, the ‘Divas’ are saying our individual and collective morality is at an all-time low- we are void of values that can unite and arouse our consciences to do that which is good for this generation and the generations to come.
Instead of condemning “Campus Divas” let us introspectively reflect on our individual and communal character. Let us have an honest national conversation about the moral state of our country.
The ‘campus Divas’ are just but mirroring and channeling what they learnt from a society whose heart love and adores wealth over character. In economic terms it is called capitalism-unregulated is disastrous.
Moreover, the undeniable truth is: The rot within our institutions including churches and parliament is unprecedented. We need a holistic approach to heal every institution in our country from self-inflicted moral decadence. It is technically unfair and hypocritical in principle to point accusing finger at the ‘campus Divas’ while pretending to be ‘holier than thou.’
Our entire society, from the parliament to churches, from schools to government offices require a revival and ‘surgery’ of sought to heal and reclaim our lost glory.
But we can arise and shine if we responsibly propagate good morals into our society. Otherwise you better believe me, until we fix the moral state of our nation; we will never ever attain greater political, social, economic and religious dispensations.
Without a moral compass to guide us, we will be like children of Israel coming from Egyptian captivity heading towards a promised land. They wondered in the wilderness for a long time before they got there. Moral integrity (not religiosity but ability to draw a distinction between good and bad, right and wrong) is the foundation upon which societies define their values, relate with each other, attain development and achieve greatest ambitions ever known to mankind.
The measure of a greater society doesn’t exist in hypocrisy but in their ability to discuss difficult conversation and find a solution to difficult issues. But Listen! ‘Campus Divas for rich men’ are not the monsters we are projecting in the media. Rather, they are the embodiment of our collective morality. In the ‘campus Divas’, lies the image of our society.