Trust me, nobody cares where you live in Nairobi. But women do. Why else would a woman move out of a spacious two-bedroom apartment in Embakasi to a tiny servants quarter in Valley Arcade, where she can’t even keep a pet?
While a man might agonise over reasons for moving houses, a woman could be chasing a well-heeled man in such a hood.
Indeed, a city woman’s decision regarding where to live can be influenced by diverse factors ranging from search for the future father of her children, money, business opportunities and even myths and stereotypes about the area.
The Nairobian carried out an online survey on the best neighborhoods for women to live in...and avoid.
1. Karen/Runda/Kitsuru/Muthaiga Although Karen is located further away from the city as compared to the other neighbourhoods on this list, the serenity and natural scenery more than make up for the distance.
The neighbourhood is largely considered posh, with the many mansions and villas housing notable people in society.
Karen can be boring for housewives. But domestic workers more than compensate for what husbands can’t provide.
Precious Muigai, who currently lives in Embakasi says her dream home is Runda, Muthaiga or Kitsuru.
“Who doesn’t want an elite gated neighbourhood? Besides, most men working at the United Nations offices in Gigiri and the US Embassy, are known to live there. As a single woman, my dream is to get married to a man who either works for an Embassy or a well paying international agency.”
There are modern maisonettes, mixed with commercial developments, but most people who live in these neighbourhoods don’t have time to shop or even run errands.
Every business woman aspiring to work from the comfort of her house wants to live there.
Nancy Onjiko, who supplies veggies via an online platform in Kilimani, says these places are ideal for a woman looking for man to keep them.
“The wives here are so caught up in themselves doing their chama meet ups or getting depressed over first world problems that they don’t have time for their husbands,” says Nancy, who is a proud clande herself.
3. Woodley/Adams Arcade/Ngumo Women love to shop and the closer and cheaper the venue the better. Women who live in these hoods always look good, fashion-wise. You may wonder where they get the money to maintain such a fresh wardrobe but that’s what happens when the flea market is in your backyard.
“The advantage of living in such a neighbourhood is that you don’t even plan for the shopping. Most of my best pieces in my wardrobe were bought on random evenings on my way to work. The most expensive is Sh1,000 while the rest range from Sh50 to Sh300. I just can’t imagine myself living elsewhere,“ Lucia Mwali, a legal secretary told The Nairobian.
4. Syokimau/Mlolongo This is where all wannabe home owners have flocked to. The realtors have not only provided great rates for home and land owners but also tenants.
An apartment that costs Sh70,000 in Kileleshwa goes for only Sh35,000 in Syokimau.
It also comes complete with what every woman dreams of: a picket fence where you can wave goodbye to your child in the school bus as you walk back with your loving hubby and a Chihuahua.
Carol Karongo agrees saying; “I never liked Syokimau at first, but since my husband had just gotten a job on Mombasa Road, we did not have an option. I, have however, come to appreciate the place even more than I did with Kileleshwa. The houses are spacious and the children have a big playground.”
5. Thika Road/Roysambu/Kahawa Sukari Thika Road and its environs are one of the most underestimated neighbourhoods in Nairobi.
Even with two major shopping malls, Thika Road Mall and Garden City hasn’t made this part of the city receive the prominence it deserves.
“I live right behind USIU which is a very safe neighbourhood. It is also a walking distance from Thika Road Mall. The fact that we have the Superhighway now makes it easier for me to even drive to town late in the night,” said Henrie Moraa, who recently acquired a two-bedroom apartment courtesy of her older boyfriend.
She says that she is comfortable there since no one judges her.
“Most of my neighbours are kept women so no one has the moral authority to judge the other.”
Roysambu behind TRM is popular with single first time job women, ‘kept ladies,’ college girls and young (Babito) families of baba, bibi, toto!
6. Westlands/SpringValley/Mountain View
Women living in these neighbourhoods rarely have real things to worry about.
First of all, their men have only one purpose. To love them.
If you check online you will notice that most men who upload pictures with captions like: “Chilling with bae #Sundatings” always check in from these neighbourhoods.
Men who live here vary from DJ’s, senior media personalities, businessmen and diplomats. You will also not miss a random West African who doesn’t mind chopping money on a beautiful woman!
7. Riverside Although, Riverside features a good deal of commercial properties and consulates, the serviced apartments and mansions available provide for great living space.
There are a good number of cool restaurants too. Women who aspire to date diplomats and can’t make it to Runda can always live in affordable servants quarters around here to enhance their hunting game.
James Wanjala, a real estate agent, says most of the young girls he rents houses to are there for a purpose.
“They either hangout at DusitD2 or are hoping to hook up with a diplomat from the Australian or German Embassies.”
8. Ridgeways The Ridgeways area is along Kiambu road before Muthaiga and it includes estates like Garden estate and Thome.
Housing is in form of bungalows and apartments, some with swimming pools and quarters, and there are cool shopping centres around.
The Windsor Golf and Country Clubs is in the vicinity and is popular for its beautiful landscaping and challenging golf course. There is reliable public transport serving that area but the traffic especially during peak hours is a big concern.
Peris Kiriba, a former domestic worker, has been living in her former employer’s house for the last 20 years.
“He had so much property he left me the house. His children tried to object but it was already on his Will and besides they inherited other properties. I’m not the first female domestic worker to inherit property from an employer in Ridgeways. It’s almost a culture,” Peru’s who now rents out her bungalow confessed. She said that every domestic worker should aspire to work there as they could easily land on some ‘easy inheritance.’
9. South C/Parklands This is the best place to live especially for people with an Asian background as it makes it easier for women to survive and feel protected.
Pipi Arjun, a 20-year-old accountant, says she cannot live elsewhere as “I enjoy being around people we share similar backgrounds to avoid drama that comes with clashing beliefs.
If we all come from the same school of thoughts and I don’t have to enforce my lifestyle on everyone then I believe the world can be a better place,” Pipi who runs their family business in South C says.
It has always been the breeding hood for future millionaires. Most women who own huge businesses in this city started off by selling mtumba in Lang’ata and most seem selfless in sharing business ideas, otherwise what would explain their success?
“I started off as fruit vendor in Lang’ata. We were in a chama together with other small business operators. We kept saving and finally managed to buy a piece of land. With time we had built flats and later our own houses in the out skirts of Nairobi,” Irene Chebet, who still hangs out in Lang’ata told The Nairobian.
Irene currently lives in Kiserian.