Six years ago, when she was at university, Shiro met a married man nearly 40 years her senior. Among Kenyan feminists, the rise of sponsor culture has provoked intense debate. The sugar daddy has probably been around, in every society, for as long as the prostitute. But somehow, we have arrived at a point where having a "sponsor" or a "blesser" - the terms that millennials usually apply to their benefactors - has for many young people become an accepted, and even a glamorous lifestyle choice. So for some it's only a small step to visualising the same transaction outside marriage.
Also, only a small percentage openly admitted to having a sugar daddy; the researchers were able to infer that a number were hiding the truth from answers they gave to other questions, using a technique called list randomisation.
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Phamotse eventually fled her abuser, with nothing to show for the relationship. But she has also been inspired by Kenya's celebrity "socialites" - women who have transformed sex appeal into wealth, becoming stars of social media. 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. The sudden emphasis on entrepreneurship does not hide the fact that these women used their sex appeal to create opportunities in the first place. The answer is that in Kenya, and in some other African countries, "sugar" relationships seem to have become both more common and more visible: 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.