Most world renowned socialites come from wealthy families and have never had to work a day to fund their flamboyant lifestyles. In contrast, the Kenyan socialite relies more on the perception of wealth than reality. The Kenyan socialite will post a photo of herself inside an expensive car which is not hers, she will upload photos of an expensive 5-star hotel room in Johannesburg claiming to have spent the night there yet the closest she has gotten to JKIA is her auntie’s home in Mlolongo. Very few ever get to experience the life they portray to the public. For most, the desire is simply to be seen to be doing well and living large even when they are not. But for how long can they sustain this perception? What happens when the public unveils the deceit?
I talked to a top psychologist, Dr. James Mbugua, and he had a lot to say about the Kenyan “queens”. First of all, he argues that the Kenyan socialite is a creation of the media. Dr. Mbugua feels that some of these girls went to sleep one night and woke up the next day only to realize they had become celebrities because the media had decided they should.
“They are like a bubble waiting to burst because their foundation is not clear.”
He however feels that the trend is not necessarily a negative one and that with proper mentoring; some of the Kenyan socialites could become good role models to their peers. Dr. Mbugua says such people can be employed as ambassadors for community projects such as the anti- jigger crusade. He however fears that too much media attention has left many of these young women and men fame hungry and led them to lose focus of what is important in life. Therein, he says, lays the real problem.
“Many of them are hanging on a bubble that could burst because once this attention is withdrawn from them, they become cry babies and it’s like the world is hitting out at them,” says Dr. Mbugua.
Here is the interview with Psychologist James Mbugua on what goes on inside the mind of a Kenyan socialite.