Bottomline: My pictures alongside those of similar characters across the country had made the cut to a popular talk show on national television highlighting moral decay amongst our generation, suddenly I was the poster girl of modern day Sodom and Gomorrah….
All my friends kept bragging about the number of followers they had. The celebrity gossips that were trending, how they had seen the videos on the Gram. Weekends meant costly photo shoots,which would end up on social media,not posted by me. This was my 20th year of existence,I was in campus and I wasn’t into any social media platform.
I thought it was cool having to live low key without having to expose my life to the world but the moment I met my friends within my first week of reporting, my confidence started to be questioned.
“What?!” They all exclaimed after I told them I wasn’t into social media as we were out partying one night. A friend took a selfie then asked for our Instagram names so that she could tag us. That was when I told them to leave me out because I never even had an account. Most of you think I am a ‘blonde’ but you are all wrong. I was born and raised in the city an urban set up thus am fluent in the local slang. I have known photo shoots,road trips,parties and hangouts long before I joined campus. That tells you I ain’t naive.
My birthday came first in my squad. It got us holding a party in one of the clubs in town. My friends’ birthday present came in form of opening social media accounts for me. I had my Facebook,Twitter,Instagram,Telegram and Snapchat accounts that night. Pictures to capture the moments of that night were taken and uploaded immediately on Instagram auto shared to Facebook.
Gaining followers little by little so my likes were not so many. My friends would tag me in theirs for people to know who I am and hopefully get to follow me. It paid off though at a tortoise pace. I knew I had to try harder for me to match their popularity. I had two options of going about this,but one was quicker.
Spending most of my time on You tube watching videos on how to pose for photos and how to wear make-up. I wasn’t so much of a make up girl but I knew I had to spend for me to be visible, being an eye candy ain’t easy. My friends kept pressuring me all along discovering I was wrong all my life thus had to make up for lost time.
Hustle to fit in having to sacrifice a lot for my work to pay off. The makeup felt weird at first but I got used to it. I could spend over Ksh 800 shillings lipstick alone,foundation and the application brushes were something else altogether. My parents became inquisitive about my constant calls requesting for money and more money questioning my expenses but I kept lying it was for class projects, notes and academic trips. Looking good for the gram is damn expensive, my wardrobe had to change regularly. I have a good body so I started rocking short clothes to show off more skin. I could turn heads that was just it! I had met my objective.
My circle of friends noted the change, some started ghosting me from events we used to accompany each other, blocking me from their handles as I outshone their rising stars. I overtook them when it came to followers. To some,I looked good but to others, I was engaging in dirty businesses which gave me quick money to outshine. I started skipping lectures.
One thing led to another, I convinced myself I did not have to attend as long as I did the cats. I had a friend who would always sign the attendance list for me. I couldn’t get out of my house if I didn’t have a new outfit. I had so many clothes such that I couldn’t wear the same cloth twice in one month.
This is where I invested my money. My folks were constantly complaining they decided to discipline me by slashing my pocket money by half which was to last me for a whole month as I was barred from calling home to request for financial assistance before the end of the month. This amount wouldn’t sustain me past the 2nd week thus getting an alternative source of income was inevitable.
Rose, a girl well known around campus thanks to her flair and flawless looks. Known by her peers as the girl who doesn’t date students. She hangs out with old men who bankroll her lifestyle which is by mutual agreement though its simply high end prostitution.
Approaching was the only option, we had a lengthy talk on the rules of the trade before exchanging numbers for future communication. Two days later she called informing me of a hook up with my first client. It was painful, disgusting,unimaginable, unbearable experience but I had to stay there for the money only too receive half the agreed amount thanks to poor performance. Rose was so angry, hurling all available insults as she threatened to fire me if I failed her next time. Will there be an next time, I didn’t think so but the things people do for money……
My Instagram account grew very fast because I posted what people needed to see. It got to a point I would go for some shoots that were very erotic which would later trend. Live videos of me during sessions were taken,photos of us abusing drugs,party moments were all uploaded.
One evening,we were just watching movies with a guy that had come to my room. My friend bulged in as she spoke amidst pauses to catch her breath. I wanted to shout at her for not knocking and how she had scared me until she told me that I was on the news. I ran to her room because she had a television and there I was. My pictures alongside those of similar characters across the country had made the cut to a popular talk show on national television highlighting moral decay amongst our generation, suddenly I was the poster girl of modern day Sodom and Gomorrah….
This particular photo shoot had been lingering on my mind. It was our first time indoor shoot with my friends plus it was explicit. You all know how most girls dress while in their rooms alone more so when they are not planning on going out? Yes, that was what the shoot.
There we were posing pics taken at my place, I took most of them. The whole editing process was done after which we got our pics. We paid the photographer and were left looking at how cute they were. None of us dared to post them because we all knew this would stir something we couldn’t manage. We had told the photographer to delete them after the shoot which he promised,but we didn’t follow up because he was our friend, furthermore we trusted him.
My social life had been ruined,I had lost so many friends. People had already hated me because I had changed. I was now a hoe. Campus guys couldn’t even date. My name was ruined just because of the desire of pleasing strangers of the world who didn’t matter to me at first. It was my first year in campus yet I had already messed up. Will I really complete my course?
No one in class wanted to be in the same discussion group. I wanted to go back to my normal life. I miss the guys bombarding my WhatsApp asking me to hangout with them. I miss being this low key girl,who people considered shy. My life was gone. At home,I remembered my mother. She was a single mother. I had lacked nothing because of her hard work. She had made it this far to get me to campus and now this! I was such a let down.
Glued to the screen for like five minutes uttering some cursing words. My body trembled, eyes full of rage. I was left speechless. I breathed angrily as I headed back to my room to get my phone to call Max,the photographer,for leaking the pics to the public but that thought was put on hold by what I saw. It was my phone,on the bed just as I had left it. It hadn’t been touched by anyone, ringing. It was her,she was calling. My one and only mother had she seen me on national television, publicity I wanted publicity I got….