I met a few Kenyans on Tinder and asked them their reasons for being on the infamous dating app (or hook up app, depending on who you ask), in a quest to understand more. Buckle up.
Nancy, Daniel, and Kevin (not their real names) didn’t have a problem being candid about why they have set up accounts on Tinder. Neither did they see the rub in me writing about them, as long as I hid their identities. We had attended a youth seminar in Nairobi, and talked about Tinder over break time. It was the seminar’s last of four days, I figured we had bonded enough to allow me to shoot my questions.
Nancy said the last thing she is out looking for, on Tinder, is true love. “True love is evasive in our age, regrettably, but that doesn’t stop one from exploring the pleasures that used to come with true love those long gone days when love existed.”
“What do you mean?” I asked her.
She tilted her head coyly, moved her gleaming lips covered in red lipstick into a smile and said, “Just because you can’t have the cake doesn’t mean you can’t lick the icing sugar. I get sex from Tinder. One-time hookups when I feel the pressure has been too much on me and I need a way to let it off. Sex is my way.”
My face widened and got puckered at her response. But it was her candor that surprised me. It’s only a few who can be that frank.
Not wanting to make my surprise blatant and cause her to back down from revealing more, I smiled and turned to the other friends who were knowingly amused. Kelvin was bellowing, “Yeah, that’s it. Nancy is right!”
After a few follow up questions, Nancy admitted that if she found true love, she would quit her current ways. She is a soul that trusted someone sometime back, and her heart was shredded. She now lives in the debris of what would have been. And it turned out that Nancy’s honesty had unshackled the rest, for they spoke openly.
Kelvin is what we can call a hitman. A dangerous mercenary. He confessed to bedding more than six girls, on different occasions, all thanks to connections he dredged on Tinder. When I quizzed him about whether he cares for their feelings, he scratched his heavy-bearded chin and said, “No. I don’t.”
He then leaned in and whispered, “Those are the terms of the trade, and they know it. If you have an account there, you don’t mind a one night stand.”
When Daniel finally spoke, it turned out his motivation for joining Tinder was different from the rest. It was curiosity. “I heard a lot of friends talk about Tinder and decided to give it a shot. I have a girlfriend, but I said; it won’t break a bone to check out what this Tinder fuss is all about.”
“And your girlfriend is okay with that?” I prodded.
“Who said she had to know?” Daniel then chuckled, before adding, “Anyway, I deleted my account after experiencing the app. A good app, I must say.”
“What do you mean by ‘after I experienced it’? Like, the app itself or did you pull a wham-bam-thank you m’aam?”
Everyone broke into laughter.
“Naaah bro! I didn’t hit,” Daniel assured me, “But I made some friends. Good friends. One of them is actually my date for this coming Valentine’s.”
Things were getting interesting now, as quickly as I was getting mixed up. “Daniel, I don’t follow. Give me a hand here. I thought you said you have a girlfriend.”
“Yes I said so. Because I do. But she won’t be my Valentine’s date, because she asked me to give her space. She said I’ve been breathing on her neck.”
Later while we walked back to the seminar hall, the topic of discussion had changed. We were talking about politics, but then Nancy out of nowhere interrupted. Gently letting her palm rest on my shoulder. She said, “By the way, I have a friend who is on Tinder solely for money. Call her a mirage. She baits suitors into believing she is down for anything, but then vanishes when they send money.”
Can true love be found on Tinder? Let us feel your pulse on this issue, by sending in your opinion.
Kenya never stops Buzzing. You shouldn't either