But it's all a pretence," he says. Does the breaking of old taboos around sex represent a form of female empowerment? Grace, a year-old single mum from northern Nairobi, has a regular sponsor, but is actively seeking a more lucrative relationship with a man who will invest in her career as a singer. If I look hot, I look good, there has got be some rich guy who will pay good money to possess me," says Oyunga Pala, Nairobi columnist and social commentator. Another two years down the line, he gave Shiro a plot of land in Nyeri county as a show of commitment.
If women have become more willing to profit financially from their youth and beauty, she says, it's partly because of Kenya's gross economic inequalities, lack of social mobility, and widespread corruption.
Then it was trips to the salon. It could've been in when Kim Kardashian's infamous sex tape was leaked, or a little later when Facebook and Instagram took over the world, or perhaps when 3G internet hit Africa's mobile phones. She says that her religious parents brought her up with traditional values, but she has made her own choices. In the past, some of Kenya's socialites have styled themselves as SlayQueens, and have been quite upfront about the financial benefits that have come from dating tycoons. The days of waking up early and working from morning to night are behind us, he says: She is poor by the standards of middle-class Kenyans, often living hand-to-mouth, dancing for cash in a nightclub, and struggling to put her daughter through school.