As I sat watching a discussion on K24 Alfajiri, I realized just how much this thing had taken root. It’s no longer a secret affair. It’s public knowledge and to make matters worse, it is becoming acceptable by the day. Am talking about the sponsors’ phenomenon.

If you are a bit advanced in age, I know you are wondering what am saying. I mean, aren’t sponsors a helpful bunch of people who fund those who have potential but have no resources to at least get an education? Relax! There’s a new meaning attached to it. Sponsors are old folks, who could be men or women, who fund the lifestyle of young persons and get sexual favors in return. You may want to call them sugar daddies or mummies. Some people have claimed that it doesn’t have to be sexual favors, it can also be friendship. I refuse to agree with them. What kind of bond is that, where you agree with an old man that you’ll be friends for as long as he is funding you?

Pendo, one of the panelists in the discussion on K24 Alfajiri, is a young lady. She confessed that she had once had a sponsor. The sponsor only wanted her for public image. To floss with her, to be precise. Pendo, on the other hand, had been offered money. She says she got all she wanted. Good hair, shoes, and watches. When asked why she wouldn’t work to earn her money, she stated that in this world money is everything. It will never be enough. Therefore if a guy shows up and he wants to walk around with her and gives her money for that, she’d gladly take it.

I have a friend who told me of cases he knew of his friends who are in the sponsors business. In one of the cases the old guy had approached the lady and the deal she was being offered was quite significant. The second instance is a woman who has multiple sponsors. Her friend introduced her to one of them. Am told that she does the most “expensive everything”. She never gets enough. My friend says that he has observed that this is also happening in rural settlements. Bodaboda guys sponsor young girls with airtime for a sexual favors in return.

Recently I overheard some close blood relations talk about sponsors. One was going out to a place that was likely to have whites. So the other one took several photos and told the first one to go and market her to the whites, and hook her up with a sponsor. The sponsor business could not be more real!

What’s wrong with having a sponsor? You are probably wondering what it is with all the fuss am creating. A sponsor will be a married person most likely. Hooking up with one means that you are interfering with his family. They’ll give his husband/wife little or no attention because they’ll probably focus more on you. It will cost him the trust by his wife and kids if they ever get to know. The family could end in a breakup. You don’t want to contribute to the breaking up of a family. The Bible clearly says that what God has put together no one should put asunder. By contributing to the blurring of God’s order in marriage, you are out-rightly rebelling against God’s word. (Mathew 19:6 & Mark 10:9)

The sponsor will most likely be your parents’ age. The Bible says something about treating older people. Paul tells Timothy not to rebuke older men harshly, but to exhort them as fathers, older women as mothers, younger men as brothers, and younger women as sisters with absolute purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2) You’d wouldn’t have a sponsor and sponsee relationship with your father, right? In the same way, it ‘s not normal having one with that old guy fit to be your dad or that old woman fit to be your mother.

Why would any sensible woman or man want to get funding through an illegitimate way like having a sponsor? Why is the pressure to get yourself an ATM in the form of a person very high? It’s because of perversion, and I am convinced. Romans 1 expounds a lot on the depravity of man and how God gave over those who knew him but didn’t glorify him to sinful desires. They were given over to degrading of their bodies with each other, and they exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. It’s quite strange and beyond the norm to have these forms of interactions with old folks. The fact that people are getting comfortable with this issue is an apparent show of perversion. Maybe that’s why Pendo can courageously confess on national TV that she would accept any sponsor deal if it’s bringing in some good cash.

The other underlying factor that is fueling the sponsor and sponsee business is greed and discontentment. It’s almost like a syndrome. Young people are greedy. The world has peddled a lie among us that money is everything. It’s the measure of success. So then what do we do? We look for money. In both legal and illegal ways. We want to have the best phones, best hairstyles, and an impressive lifestyle. But we don’t have the money. What we get from our parents is little. So we get ourselves, someone, to fund the lifestyle. We have to remain on top of the game by all means. But the Bible advocates for a different kind of attitude. Paul, in 1 Timothy 6:6-10 says this:

But godliness with contentment is a great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

The Bible seems to suggest that if you have food and clothing at the minimum, you are ready to go. Being content in life is a key value. This whole thing of running after worldliness is ungodliness.

It is also worth noting how lazy we’ve become. We want to become wealthy and to live comfortably, instantly. But not through our efforts. Someone else will get money, and because we are witty, we can enjoy wealth without so much effort. We’ve heard people say that riches are not necessarily a reward for hard work. They are a reward of good brains put into use. There’s some truth in the notion. But that doesn’t justify you when you live on an old man or woman’s money. Again the Bible is clear on laziness. In Proverbs, we are told to emulate the hard-working ant. Paul in the epistles says that those who don’t work should not eat. Please, get working. It’s sweeter to live on your money after acquiring it in legit ways.

I am therefore justified in concluding that the sponsor phenomenon is sinful. It goes against God’s expectations on us. It is an expression of lust and greed by those who engage in it. It’s one of the new ways invented for sinning.

Living sober and walking right in our times calls for discernment. I believe more is yet to come. The struggle to conform is real. But the power to help us have victory is also real. We’ve not struggled to the point of shedding blood. Don’t give in yet. Let’s walk in integrity at all costs and in all areas of our lives.