Be one: The delicate art of being a good ‘kept woman’


A friend once told me that the art of being a good visitor is to know when to leave. Similarly, for all the girls in many urban areas living large out of ‘sponsorship programmes’, the art of being a good kept woman is to know when to give your ‘sponsor’ breathing space.

There has been an alarming tendency by young girls, especially the college-going types. These girls at times put unnecessary pressure on their ‘sponsors’, when they know too well such men have wives and other responsibilities, and that putting them on a ‘sponsorship programme’ is a favour.

Take for instance last week, when schools were opening. That was not the time for any side dish worth the short hair sprouting out of her head to draw an extravagant wishlist for the ‘sponsor’. He was buying books and paying school fees for his kids, for crying out loud.

These girls can be naive at times. How can someone lose her expensive phone, of course bought under the ‘sponsorship programme’, over the long weekend as she partied with her friends, and them demand an upgrade, just as her benevolent ‘sponsor’ was hopping from one bookshop to another, trying to get a bargain for his kids’ books?

When Zack, a pal of mine, was called by a lady he ‘sponsors’ last week, he just thought she was reminding him about the rent for the one bed-roomed flat in Nairobi West.

So when he heard her ring tone, he quickly picked the phone and said: “I will call you back”.

When a kept woman nags

The girl, undeterred, continued to call endlessly. They normally have one rule, no texts and calls are limited to certain timelines. She violated all that in her quest for an instant smart phone replacement. Not that she did not have a handset to keep her going, as she had reverted to her cheap gadget that she previously owned prior to the ‘sponsorship programme’.

Seeing that his memsahib would start suspecting him of cheating, Zack picked the call and proceeded to mount the most business tone he could muster. But annoyingly the dimwit could not read between the lines. She continued to shout at the top of her lungs. It was a good thing that he had the presence of mind to pick it when there were many people around. Therefore, when he excused himself as he walked a few metres away to pick the call, it didn’t look like he was actually walking away from his wife.

He was so pissed off when he discovered that all she was nagging him for was a new phone. There and then he brought the ‘sponsorship programme’ to a premature end, and warned the girl that she should never call him again. Not even the hysterical sobbing could dissuade Zack to review his decision.

So the poor girl, as my grandmother would say, lost four chasing eight. We are now in the second week of May and unless she was executing two parallel ‘sponsorship’ programmes, she may have to come up with a very innovative story to keep the dreaded landlord at bay.

Girls, you need to know your place because being put on a ‘sponsorship programme’ is not a career where you develop appetite to go up the ladder no matter what. And if you do, you should have sufficient arsenal to deal with the aftermath.

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