The illicit lives of Nairobi, Karen housewives

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karenhomesIn July Tony Ogunda, the alleged lover of former minister Raphael Tuju’s wife, was found dead in a house in Upper Hill.

His death was a culmination of his well-publicised affair with Ruth Akinyi Wanjare, wife of former Foreign Affairs minister Raphael Tuju’s for 27 years. Before his death, Ogunda had been arrested for trespassing in Tuju’s luxurious home in Karen.

Inside the electric fences

How Tony Ogunda got into the home is a matter of speculation. Karen is one of the most exclusive neighbourhoods in Nairobi. For you to get into a Karen home, you must belong there, either as a casual worker or a resident.

Many individuals here live in enviable opulence. In a typical household, there is a spacious compound with well-manicured lawns and trees big enough to run a bird farm. Some even have an artificial river flowing through their compound and gardening is a favourite pastime of many women in Karen. The place is quiet and tranquil.

The perimeter walls are high, often surrounded on the outside by thorny kay apple bushes, and an electric fence. Virtually all houses in Karen are under CCTV surveillance. Security guards and the police constantly patrol the area.  There are at least two security guards at the entry of every close. And there is another security guard at the gates of individual homes.

When this writer visited a home in Hardy area, he was tracked down by security guards in a vehicle owned by one of the numerous security firms that have secured the neighbourhood. As he stood outside the gate waiting to be ushered in, he was asked what his business was and warned that walking around the locality is highly discouraged.

Young mistresses

It takes a case such as Tuju’s love triangle to offer individuals insights into what goes on in one of Nairobi’s most exclusive neighbourhoods.

First, Karen is home to the high and mighty in the land. The lifestyle in Karen is lavish, one that only the extremely wealthy can afford. The men are mostly the alpha type who are notoriously absent from the lives of their wives, mostly flying a younger mistress to an undisclosed destination with a sandy beach. But Karen has domesticated housewives whose life to the outside is a mystery.

In a research done by The Nairobian, a typical housewife in Karen has been left with two family cars for her shopping errands, more like sprees.

“Mum is always running up and down to ensure the home looks decent, especially when daddy’s friends are visiting. If they are from another country, she must do research to know what their preferences are, what to give them and the social places to visit when they are here,” says the daughter of a wealthy bank manager.

“Sometimes she is meeting the wives of other bosses and making business connections for my father. Besides, they have their own chamas.”

According to our sources, most of these wives are the managers of their husbands’ social lives.

Richard Nyaoga, a resident of Karen for nine years, told The Nairobian: “Given their husbands’ busy schedules, wives cannot afford to take a day time job. They take care of the family and the husbands delegates his social duties such as attending social forums like the church, sending money to demanding folks in the village and shopping for the needs of the household.”

Bored wives, sexual needs

They have time on their hands, resources at their disposal and unbridled freedom. This is often a recipe for illicit hanky-panky. Their lifestyle is more or less Victorian, complete with snooty table manners. Of course, new neighbours must pay a courtesy call to familiarise themselves with the neighbourhood, as happens in places such as the Long Island in New York – in the movies.

The marriages, while polite, have discreet, and some sometimes not so discreet, affairs. And love triangles abound in the neighbourhood. The men are power hungry, fortune hunters and their secret sexual liaisons are well documented.

In our investigations, it emerged that some bored Karen housewives are into numerous affairs, depending on their age and sexual needs. Younger wives, below 40, are bolder and wilder in their escapades. Given their husbands are constantly absent, and the children are in school for a great deal of the day, they use the time to bolt to kept men.

Angela Mwangi, a Karen resident who interacts with the housewives, groups the women in Karen into four categories.

“There are those who go for the suave metrosexual men in salons, massage parlours, or gym instructors,” says Angela. “This category is interested in romance and only dates men above a certain class. They can’t date men who are below their social class. These women are out to sate the sexual hunger because of the absence of their husbands.”

The second category of housewives, according Angela, are those willing to sleep with anyone available. These ones go for affairs with garden boys, security guards or any lowly man who expresses interest or whom they fancy.

“These women are only interested in the thrill and they believe that the more rugged a man is the higher the thrill,’ Angela says.

The third category is for those who are into married men, mostly their husbands’ friends, and they conduct their affairs in their respective homes without the knowledge of their unsuspecting spouses.

The fourth category is for those who hunt for young men in joints. When they get a young man who is decent and good in bed, they can keep him for sometime until the next man shows up and they dismiss the previous one, without as much as backward glance.

These affairs happen mostly in their posh homes.

Potentially damaging

“No one will ever know, it is very private here. All the vehicles that come in are tinted, so not even the nosy security will know who is being ferried home,” says Martha, a mother of one who lives in Karen and is privy to what goes on there.

“They  wait when their husbands are away, out of the country, and then take to their affairs. Some even drive across town to visit their men, in the guise that they are visiting relatives.”

It takes a lot of indiscretion for one to be caught. Most incidents are kept under wraps. The marital strife in such homes never gets out of the gates. But the security guards and Karen residents all know that it is not as prosperous as it is believed to be.

“Husbands give up on their wives down their line and lavish them with gifts or businesses as they opt for younger women as mistresses. So the wives now have to cater for their sexual needs. Most husbands are okay with it as long as they don’t catch her in the act. They know they have neglected them,” claims, Tony Agero, an architect who lives and works in Karen.

Some illicit affairs are known to have potentially damaging results. A few months ago, a politician’s wife died under questionable circumstances. She was reportedly having an affair with a watchman.

Watchman affairs

“No one will ever know, it is very private here. All the vehicles that come in are tinted, so not even the nosy security will know who is being ferried home,” says Martha, a mother of one who lives in Karen and privy to what goes on there. “They  wait when their husbands are away, out of the country and then take to their affairs. Some even drive across town to visit their men, in the guise that they are visiting relatives.”

It takes a lot of indiscretion for one to be caught. Most incidents are kept under wraps. The marital strife in such homes never gets out of the gates. But the security guards and Karen residents all know that it is not as prosperous as it is believed to be.

“Husbands give up on their wives down their line and lavish them with gifts or businesses as they opt for younger women as mistresses who they marry secretly sometimes, so the wives now have to cater for their sexual needs. Most husbands are okay with it as long as they don’t catch her in act. They know they have neglected them,” claims, Tony Agero, who lives and works in Karen as an architect.

Some illicit affairs are known to have potentially damaging results. A few months ago, the wife of a politician died under questionable circumstances. She was reportedly having an affair with a watchman.

-The Nairobian

Karen homes

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