University life can be tough on finances and that is why it is common for students to live on a diet of ugali sukuma.
The tough financial times on campus get ingenious students taking up part-time online work, others scamming their relatives into giving them cash – or, as it turns out, turning to increasingly desperate forms of money-making.
According to the 2018 UK Student Money Survey more than 11% of the students in UK revealed that they use their bodies (sex works and drug trials) to make money. This includes prostitution, turning to ‘sugar daddies’ and webcam work.
The 2018 survey sampled over 3000 undergraduates at various UK universities, asking how they coped with finances during study.
The survey shows 78 percent of students worry about making ends meet while at university, with 50 percent saying their diet suffers, 69 percent saying their social life suffers and 27 percent their grades suffer from lack of funds.
Some students revealed they had even eaten out of bins or stolen from their flatmates to make ends meet, and in some cases looked into sex work.
The percentage of students who turned to sex work was only slightly lower than the proportion who said they had turned to their university for help (15 percent), which student finance website Save the Student said was “testament to how patchy student support is”.
“Every year, our survey reveals students are involved in sex work, whether by choice or because they’ve run out of options,” Jake Butler at Save the Student told The Mirror.
“They, along with other students struggling to get by, should be able to get the information or support they need.”
The situation may not be too far from what Kenyan students experience.