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The lies Nairobi women live and tell


It’s an open secret that men lie. In fact, sages have it that a man who can’t lie, can’t marry. But as it turns out, women, too, lie just as much.

Women began small, with little harmless fibs such as “Let me use your loo to powder my nose,” when in actual sense they go there to unleash scud missiles and atomic bombs! Or to take selfies! “I will call you,” they promise. Only to flash! Or send “Please call me, thank you”.

They always say, “I’m not ready for a boyfriend now,” when they are not ‘feeling’ you. “My phone battery is about to die” is a common lie for nags and annoying men who incessantly text and call them. They have been at it for a while, so much so that lying is now part of their lifestyles, especially for the Nairobi type.

One of the biggest pet peeves of taking a Nairobian woman to a restaurant is not that she may order food that she may not eat, but they can be annoyingly picky when it comes to choosing a restaurant for a meeting or date, especially when it’s at your expense. They always favour the trendy fast food joints, particularly if it is a foreign brand, where they only eat the salad and toy with the rest of the overpriced food.

Frankly, Nairobian men endure a lot. There is no annoying type of woman like a jobless one with unreasonable demands.

You approach a woman drinking Fanta Orange in a night club or at a restaurant and as soon as you offer to buy her a drink, she switches to a cocktail that is 20 times the price of her soft drink. What’s more, a typical Nairobian woman has blacklisted restaurants on the lower side of Moi Avenue.

Unreasonable demands

“Gosh! I don’t do downtown. The hygiene and safety manenos...,” she will complain, as if her house, particularly the kitchen, is any better! This brand of women will consider restaurants run by this community famed for hawking colognes and shoes as “noisy and smelly (they always say their perfumes smell funny)” and will always pick the priciest, big brands any time you offer a gift. Talk of choosy beggars!

She will scoff at your one bed-room house and lifestyle on the Thika Superhighway or Mombasa Road and push you to move into a palatial house in Nairobi West or Nairobi’s Westlands area, yet she lives in a bedsitter in dingy Eastlands.

Ever wondered why most Nairobi women always want to be invited over to men’s houses, yet they never reciprocate by hosting men in their digs? We asked a few Nairobi women why they lie and the lies they have told over the years.

Turns out, women, too, lie through their teeth. They lie about their lives. They lie about their lifestyle. They lie about fashion. They lie about the men they date and the stability of their relationships. Abigail Mkangi* used to date a well-to-do man. Since she dressed and looked the part, every time the man asked her where she lived, she would lie that she lived in the better part of town. And every time the man offered to drop her at her “place” she would play along.

“I would lie to him that I live in a fancy estate,” she says, “and he would drop me, I bade him bye, and as soon as he is off, I hop onto a boda boda and go to my real home,” she says.

When Anne Mwikali was a student at Kenyatta University, she played the same trick on a yuppy she was dating. The man with his Subaru would insist on visiting her in her apartment in Kahawa Wendani.

Fake homes

“I would tell him that I lived in Kahawa Sukari with my mother if he insisted that he comes with me to my apartment, then he would drop me by the gate, and as soon as he left, I would board a boda boda back to Wendani,” says Anne.

“I would wake up at noon to fry githeri as we recollect about the previous night’s events with my roommates,” she says.

It is something her girlfriends often do. Even those who stay in Githurai, will have some ‘designer’ clothes and ‘designer’ perfume and can frequent high-end establishments where they hope to attract yuppies or sponsors, not hapless college boys. It is not uncommon to see a woman perched on high stool at the counters of the bars of five-star hotels, sipping choice wine, but they know who their clientele is. Middle-aged white men have it better.

Jane Kerubo*, 35, who works for a global ICT firm, says she shops mostly in Nairobi’s Toi Market and Gikomba, and all the designer apparel she owns is second-hand. But, hear her: “I wear it as original and when I meet my friends and they ask about it, I will insist I bought them in one of my visits out of the country,” she says, adding that most women do that, so no need to feel guilty. Kerubo says women live the biggest lies.

“Women lie about their age, income, they exaggerate when with their peers, they play it down when with men,” she says. And this is for obvious reasons. They want to be seen to be doing well by their peers, and not so well by men who can be their potential sponsors.

Uber to the rescue

The latest pretence game in Nairobi is women refusing to use matatus, after a night-out. Even during the day, men are finding it hard to invite a woman over, especially if they are not the driving types. Uber taxi has now become part of their lingo. “Si you get me uber woiye, you want me to use matatus surely? I don’t do mats,” you will hear them whine.

“I have had to forego so many dates because a girl insisted on being picked by Uber, even during the day. You are in town and she stays in Ngong’ area and she wants Uber at peak hour, man that is expensive,” says Sydney Otieno, 35, a university lecturer, who is quick to clarify that he doesn’t mind such demands during the night.

“She should be humble enough to board a matatu because what did they use to ride before Uber?” he asks, wondering why some women are allergic to spending their own money.

But Anne Mwikali defends women, saying that it’s all about setting standards to earn maximum respect from men. “If you are dressed in revealing clothes, to impress the man, it can be hard boarding a matatu and walking around town, you want a taxi to drop you where he is. Men should stop complaining and upgrade,” she says.

If you frequent any of the dirty and smoky restaurants that sell food to the Nairobi working class, you are bound to see women, too, indulging in the food, since they are buying for themselves. But when a man offers to buy, their taste climbs the ladder faster than a monkey being chased up a tree!

Solomon Mweu, a civil servant, has such female colleagues. They carry food from home, often make do with a fruit punch for lunch (saying it is healthy, but we all know it’s the economy, stupid). But anytime he and his male colleagues have tried to take them out, the women’s tastes change almost instantly.

“Some actually earn more than us. But they will insist on drinking wine or expensive beer, if we take them out. But we know on their own, they always settle for the most affordable,” he notes.

He has noticed the same trend with most women. “It is just impossible to find a woman who is real, unless an older woman, or a woman who earns good money to overcome such fakeness,” he says. Kelvin Obiero, who works at a high-end salon, has also noticed that women who come to the boutique often struggle with payment. “Some of my clients are by referrals and when they come and I quote the price for the manicure and the pedicure, they are always shocked.

There are those who bargain like crazy, you wonder why they can’t go to salons they can afford,” he says.

It is very expensive to look good: wear fashionable clothes, don the right hairstyle, carry the right bag and all.

Now, some women who earn more than men can afford that. More have sponsors or rich parents. But those who cannot afford try to look the part.

Obiero has noticed something in his 10 years in the beauty industry: “Men foot the bills for about half of my clients. Some women can call up to four men to foot the same bill. They do it shamelessly,” he says. He admits that he often eavesdrops and snoops on their phones calls.

“If only men understood how they are played, they would never offer to pay for the woman’s hair to be made,” he says.

Obiero notes that it is never an exaggeration to say that women have men for all occasions and seasons. The lies that Nairobi women live.Read more at:evening gowns | long prom dresses