The horizon of Kenyan socialites

“An adventure is about to begin. I love you so much my husband Brown Mauzo,” Vera Sidika recently captioned a video of her baby bump.

“We are pregnant and we could not be more excited! We decided it was time to add an entertainer to our lil family. We have for some time, wanted to share our lovely news.”

Such news would have broken the internet half a decade ago when socialites were the rave of the showbiz industry. In fact, it would have been the news for weeks, with blog after blog finding ways to regurgitate the news.

The industry is no longer wowed by the price of weaves or the latest salon opened by a socialite. They are but a speck in the horizon. Other events have taken over our consciousness.

In the age of socialites, Bridgit Achieng‘s expose of her naked body by a friend would have elicited police action, not excitement on Telegram and a discussion on Twitter. Celebrities would have been asked to give a comment about the drama, and other socialites would have given us juicy captions. But they have moved on.

Corazon Kwamboka is now married and no longer on flights from one end of the world to another; Risper Faith is raising a child and doing a series on liposuction.

Huddah has somehow grown irrelevant, and Vanessa Chettle has retired to Eldoret. Pendo? Where is she?

Even the secondary casts of that golden age have taken a back seat. No one remembers Maura Malanga, or Ella Ciru. Mishi Dora is non-existent, as is Pesh Lema.

“The socialites wave came at the right time and some took advantage of it, but it won’t last because there is nothing they are doing. They do not have anything to offer because they cannot sing or act,” said rapper Mustafa, who would know a thing or two after appearing in Nairobi Diaries, and having dated singer-rapper-socialite Noti Flow.

According to Risper, whose YouTube video titled The Bitter Truth About Liposuction, a journey through the procedure that she produced in October 2020 and has 80,000 views, she always knew marriage would be the end game.

“Even way before I started out in showbiz, I always saw myself in a stable relationship. Winning has been an aspect of me since my childhood,” said the mother of one, who was a video vixen, before she became an influencer. “If I were to start again, I would not change a thing!”

Efforts to revive the socialite scene have always hit a snag, occasioned by less structured ideas and young players who are years late to the game.

In May, popular Comedian Eric Omondi announced that the second season of his Wife Material show will not be coming to a YouTube channel near you, blaming a rogue contestant for the cancellation.

Golden age

Ironically, the golden age of socialites culminated with another ‘reality’ TV show, the Nairobi Diaries, an immensely popular part-reality-part-scripted show that captivated audiences on K24.

It first ran from December 2015 and featured Silvia Njoki, a model and stylist, Noti Flow a musician and notorious nude model, Ella Ciru, an actress and adult model.

It also featured Gertrude Murunga, a blogger and entrepreneur, Kiki Diang’a, an architect, with an expanded cast that included Pendo, Mishi Dorah, Risper Faith, Brian Muiruri, Mustapha, and others.

Citing his own experience on the show as a career-boost, Mustafa, aka Mr Lipunda, is of the opinion that socialites are done and dusted.

“At the moment, there were beautiful girls in colleges who are active in social media and they are making known socialites disappear from the limelight. There are no new socialites who are getting crazy attention. We still remember Huddah and Vera, who is pregnant. There is no shortcut this time around,” said Mustafa.

On September 24, 2020, singer Mauzo proposed to Vera Sidika, in what initially seemed like hype. This happened weeks after Mauzo told Pulse he was dating controversial socialite Amber Ray, who recently was involved in a scuffle with her co-wife, Amira. Amber Ray was also involved with Otile Brown, who sang Baby Love for Vera.

Now, as Vera celebrated her pregnancy, with a star-studded gender-reveal party over the weekend, Mauzo remains coy about the pregnancy, brushing off our questions about the child’s paternity.

Settled down

“I have settled down. This is completely a new Vera Sidika. I am no longer the socialite girl, and I do not want anyone to view me that way anymore. That is now in my past and whatever is in my past stays there. I have moved on to more serious things in life. I am more mature now and more into investment,” said Vera, who once indicated she was done with men and would rather have a child through a sperm donor, and not a partner.

She added, “When I talked about thinking of getting sperm bank services, I had not factored what God’s will was. Covid-19 came and I could not travel to the US; then I got a boyfriend who turned into my husband. Before I knew it we were talking about getting a baby. Now the baby is on the way,” said Vera.

Now an established businesswoman, Vera says she is no longer anxious about making all those international trips she used to make in a luxury life where she would have holidays with her lovers and prominent musicians.

Now, all her attention is on her business and family. In fact, she says she now misses everything she was growing up as she seeks to settle back in Mombasa, where she was born.

“I really missed my mother and the rest of my family members. I missed everything about growing up, the simple things like being around people who know me truly. I am happy to get back to Mombasa, to invest here, and probably to think of equipping myself into positions of power as I mingle with the right people and learn more from their experiences,” she said.

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