Life was good until sponsors dropped by. Now you cannot be a young lady and be seen with a 40-something and above man and get away with it.
The society has been conditioned to think every young woman walking around or hanging out with an older man is definitely dating a sponsor.
I’m not against girls who have sponsors. I mean, there are people who kill for a living. There are people who overprice maize flour subsidized by the government and meant for the poor. There are butchers who sell you meat that is half bones, and there are the despicable, really horrible men who pee in public. Never mind the men who hog seats in public transport.
You cannot compare these people to a girl who cannot wait to have her money and decides to get some from a man in consensual terms. But I really would love it, if I could answer to my sins, not dragged into other people’s.
There are days that I get late for work and my cousin offers to drop me by our office on his way.
While I appreciate the peace and quiet of a private car and the fact that I do not have to fight with seat-hogs, I get thoroughly miffed when a simple car ride translates to sponsorship. It is worse when you are in a traffic jam. You draw up next to one of those Githurai buses and you look out only to meet a thousand and one eyes staring your way, all faces contorted in various states of displeasure.
To them I am yet another campus girl shacking up a ride in her sponsor’s car. I probably spent the night in a hotel with him. I usually try to return their stare, hoping that my defiant, if scary, stare will send a message, that they can use their brains to know that the driver is my relation, and not a sponsor, but wapi! I lose in the end and leave them to their ungodly assumptions, but it bothers me anyway.
The worst experience was when my cousin drove us into a cafe on our way to work to pick coffee because we had left the house sans breakfast. The chic at the counter looked at me in a way that suggested that we are together in something. She took our orders, but when it was my turn she spoke to me like we both knew what was going on. She kept throwing furtive glances at my cousin then back at me. My cousin had to step out to receive a call and as the chic was giving me the change she had this strange grin pasted on her face. The grin that I assumed to be congratulations, some sort of we are in this together in this grin. I was livid. I was not together with her in anything. I had to fight the urge to slap the silly grin out of her face, I was not feeling her camaraderie at all!
Since then I try so hard not to be dropped at work by my cousin. It is all a girl can do ever since this society decided that you cannot even be dropped at work by an older male relation. So, to girls who have sponsors, I don’t know how you will go about this but can you please come up with a way that you can be distinguished from the rest of us? Maybe a reflector jacket? Or whatever, just whatever will keep us from being sucked in your mess? Thank you!