For many young Kenyans, the values espoused in families, schools, and churches simply do not align with the economic realities of the country, or cannot compete with the material temptations that, in the age of reality TV and social media, are everywhere visible. You only have to visit the student districts of Nairobi, one recent graduate told the BBC, to see how pervasive the sponsor culture has become. The lines are blurred. Even within the family, most Kenyan girls have it drummed into them from an early age that they must marry a rich man, not a poor one. But her determination to feed and educate her child coexists with a naked ambition to become rich and famous through modelling and music.
At first, she received just groceries. Shiro's story illustrates an altogether more complex phenomenon - the exchange of youth and beauty for long-term financial gain, motivated not by hunger but by aspiration, glamorised by social media stars, and often wrapped in the trappings of a relationship. Her message to aspiring socialites, though, is that nothing is free. The best known of the Kenyan socialites is probably Vera Sidika, who went from dancing in music videos on to the set of the Nairobi Diaries, and from there launched a business career based on her fame and her physique.