Nairobi really is one of my favourite cities in the world. It does help that it has a buzzing nightlife and I have some pretty good friends here, even my flaky friends I love.

Last night I met up with two male friends of mine for dinner, where we engaged in a healthy but heated debate about female sexuality and HIV. Not directly linked but there they flowed nicely into each topic.

But first I must set up the picture for this dinner, we’re at a lovely sushi and grill restaurant – the boys had lamb steaks (yes in a sushi bar), in the middle of Nairobi’s shopping district – actually it was in a mall. My friend, I’ll call him Bob to protect his identity, though I’m sure he won’t mind, is a 30-something year old, Harvard alumni, investment banker, working for one of Africa’s biggest banks. My other friend is a 20-something year old creative, I’ll call him Smith. Bob is a very cynical guy who tends to see things as black and white – go figure, he is an investment banker, while Smith is more starry eyed and bushy tailed, very optimistic about the world and his future – he would, he’s 20 something! So these guys couldn’t have been more opposite, which always makes for interesting dinners.

Bob’s latest grudge – they are many (they amuse me, yet he does speak some truth) is about the lack of women, certainly in Nairobi, taking responsibility for their actions, specifically their sexuality. He also lambasted the rise of ‘plastic lesbians’. This was an interesting notion because it is a conversation I’ve had previously in Nairobi, where there is an increasing number of openly bisexual young girls and women.

The discussion is, are they really bisexual or is this just a way to get attention from men? Let’s face it, there are way more women than men, and pretty girls in Africa are a dime a dozen, so how else do you stand out from the crowd, other than to feed into men’s ultimate fantasy – two women?

But going back to the women taking responsibility. Bob though that young women were not taking responsibility for the sex they were having. He felt that women blamed men for the way they had sex. I guess what he meant was that women need to be consciously making informed decisions about the way they are having sex and with whom.

I did think that this was slightly unfair because sometimes young girls don’t know what they’re getting themselves into when they have sex. Hardly ever do we talk about the emotional toll sex can take on you, especially as a young woman who can be quite vulnerable. Not that all women are vulnerable but the media does paint a beautiful picture of sex but sex isn’t always that pretty.

Nairobi is definitely an interesting place and in fact I’ve seen traces of this new wave of a somewhat sexual revolution (whether it’s plastic is debatable) even in Zambia. It’s a breed of young aggressive women who seem to know what they want and are willing to go after it. But the question is do they know what price they will pay for this? There’s always a price to pay…

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