Last week, I received an interesting email from a lady with an interesting name - Monixx. I initially thought it was from some Nigerian conman or some porn star- but the email was rather well written and invited me to call her on a Truecaller verified phone number. So, I contacted Monixx on phone and after a few minutes of chatting with her I must say I was impressed. She could string more than a few intelligent sentences together and could tell the difference between total lockdown and containment. She was neither a con nor a pornstar. Monixx proudly described herself as a slay queen. She said she felt compelled to reach out to me because she wants someone to tell the sad story of slay queens and Covid today. She told me that she is sick and tired of the fact that we Kenyans are constantly poking fun at them and making memes of them forgetting that they are facing a real crisis.
Our hour-long conversation started with Monixx educating me on the types of slay queens. Contrary to popular belief, all slay queens are not the same. There are those who she described as part-time slay queens, those who often have real jobs but have adopted the slay queen look- ‘massive horse hair’, perfect makeup, and the designer clothes and adornments. These part-timers use the slaying look to boost their ego, to outshine other women and of course get that extra advantage when it comes to favours, jobs and tenders.
Monixx told me that once again, most slay queens have chosen this way of life due to the high levels of unemployment- what good is a degree if you cannot foot your bills. So these full time slay queens take their craft more seriously so they go up a notch in comparison to the part-timers turning the same tools of trade into revenue generators. They buy better and pricier ‘horse hair; “their makeup is more expensive and slightly more exaggerated and they invest in enhancing and transforming their thoraxes and posteriors into lust worthy enticements.”
Monixx said these investments generate huge returns as they attract male investors-she did not seem to like the ‘sponsor’ tag saying it has a woiyee ring to it. These investors splurge on them and set up the slay queens in flats, buy them cars, take them on trips abroad and give them generous allowances. The range of demands from investors vary- some just want to boost their egos by displaying them like trophies, some just want to have their egos and gonads massaged and propped up. Just like in other careers, there are serious rewards in this- a lifestyle to be envied and to be splashed across all social media platforms.
According to Monixx, Covid has wreaked havoc on their lives and she fears that many slay queens are heading for depression. After years of perfecting the art, most of them have forgotten how to deal with all the natural assets they were gifted-be it their hair, their skin and in some cases their body parts. Over time, they have become used to seeing only the ‘perfect’ versions of themselves. These quarantine and curfews have made it impossible for them to go for their weekly facials, mani-pedis and hair appointments. They have reverted to factory settings and they do not like what they see in the mirrors- this is reason enough for depression.
Slay queens whether part-time or full time live to be seen - they exist to preen like peacocks. They get their daily fix from having people stare in awe and wonder at them or in having a flurry of likes and comments on their social media. Now they are no longer having their daily fixes because there is nothing they can share with the world.
They cannot share their natural pedestrian looks and they are unable to share anything that does not have an expensive drink or exotic location in the background. Some have only mastered the art of taking the perfect selfie of having the perfect trout-like pout, so they have nothing profound or scientific to post online. This inability to post and tickle public favour is driving them nuts and cause for concern.
All roads of woe and misery for the slay queens lead up to the sponsors or as Monixx called the- the investors. The investors have been holed up in their houses decked in masks and sanitising every other minute. For most of them, their thoughts are now on their families, their wallets and assets and sadly their ‘slay queen investments’ are not featuring prominently in their thoughts. Some are applying the good old male logic- if I cannot access the goodies, why then should I remit any funds?’ As with many other Kenyans, the slay queens were living in the moment and never thought that the gravy train would ever come to a stop- and so they have little in the way of savings.
So they are now worried and are having ulcers wondering what will happen when the money runs out. It does not help matters that some of them have never told their folks what they actually do for a living so expectations for support will continue to plague them. There is the natural worry that post-Covid-19, their investor might lose the interest or capacity to support slay queens. So for Monixx, she is ready to sign any petition to put an end to this lockdown because her economy and those of others is really hurting.