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The Genesis And Rise Of Modern Day Socialites


You have probably heard of the term ‘socialite’ at one point or the other especially in the Kenyan entertainment industry.

The concept of socialites dates to the 18th and 19th century. Most of the earliest socialites were wives or mistresses of royalty or nobility, but back then being a socialite was more a duty and a means of survival than a form of pleasure.

However in the 21st century, the term “socialite” is still attached to being wealthy and socially recognisable. The lines between being a socialite and celebrity with an exuberant partying lifestyle have since become blurred due to the influence of both culture change and the media, particularly when the status of being a celebrity is largely due to that lifestyle.

The world of socialites is really a difficult one to understand as some only see it as a ladies social climbing pillar.

Modern day socialites unlike their counterparts in the past centuries are about large social followings, exuberant partying and of course publicity of a lavish lifestyle accompanied by expensive holidays overseas.

Kenya is among some of the African countries that have embraced socialites but it is not clear how exactly they earn and manage to keep their lavish lifestyles.

Names such as Huddah Monroe, Vera Sidika, Stacey Pendo and Risper Faith come to mind when you think about Kenyan socialites.

They constantly try to explain just how they earned the lifestyle but the Kenyan industry has always been skeptical of the explanations terming them as a bunch of women who are social climbers as a result of rich men.

The Kenyan socialite world is full of scandal, nudity and heavy partying, so just how does one earn a lavish living from such? Well Kenyan socialites term it as ‘HOSTING’ which generally refers to one earning money from their appearance at high end fashion event or the A-list parties.

Did you know that there are male socialites? Kenya particularly has not embraced the idea of male socialites and it is not a surprise that male socialites are not famous.

In fact one can say Nairobi’s self proclaimed male socialite who happens to be a comedian Shaniqwa is the only one they know.

German Oliver Prinz Von Anhalt who dies last year was one of the earliest breed of male socialites in the world.

So is modern day socialite world just a breed of social climbers who embrace nudity and a life that leaves little to the imagination?

This particularly has been portrayed in the American series Gossip girl as well as Kenya’s own Nairobi diaries which have continued to give insight into the scandalous life of socialites.

I guess one can never truly understand the concept of being a socialite especially in Kenya.