Single Lady In Nairobi: The Shock When You Find Out You Are The Side Chick


We all have an image of what a ‘side piece’ or ‘side chic’ is in our heads: a sad, lonely, vulnerable and easily swayed woman who can do anything to break up a relationship for her own benefit. But sometimes, it’s not always the case. Sometimes, the side chick is a woman who’s deeply in love with the wrong man, a man who is probably laughing at how vulnerable this woman is. At some point, I was that woman.

As the story starts, there was a man. The man who you meet either by coincidence, through a friend or through two finished bottles of wine at the club. And so it begins. Each day starts with a “Good morning, beautiful!” text. It feels weird not talking to him in the middle of the day and since you’re convinced he knows you so well and you connect on such a deep level, he doesn’t let a day pass without endless conversation.

Brian was that guy for me.

At the time I met him, I was broke, unemployed and at the brink of depression. Getting a job proved to be one of the most difficult tasks in Nairobi. It wasn’t the paying of taxes or the fact that you had to beat traffic every day, it was the fact that I was a 26-year-old lady with no job and no hope; then I met this Superman at a poetry gig that my friend forced me to go to and my life changed.

He said he loved the color of my eyes. That’s when I first fell for him because, in all honesty, I looked pathetic then. I had lost a lot of weight, I had very few decent clothes remaining, makeup wasn’t part of my budget anymore and my face was almost pale from all the stress I had. But this guy came up to me at the refreshments booth after the gig, looked at me, smiled and told me that he loved the color of my eyes.

Six months later, I was working in their office, a digital marketing agency handling some of the biggest clients in Nairobi and Brian had pulled all the strings to get me there. Not that I wasn’t qualified for the job, but instead of me getting just a regular non-paying internship, he got me a position that had me back on my feet in 3 months. If that’s not enough, he treated me like a queen every time we were in the office. When we were together, he was always complimenting me, laughing at my very stale jokes, sneaking secret glances my way and making sure that he would spend any free time at my desk distracting me.

Now I know you’re going to jump up and say, ‘never date your co-workers’ or ‘don’t mix business with pleasure’ but I was already far down that hole and everyone in my life knew about him but I didn’t know about Her.

One Friday night after a stressful week at the office, my workmates decided to go out for a couple of drinks. Every fiber of my being told me not to go, to just take an Uber, get home and relax with a glass of wine in my hand but after knowing that Brian would go as well, my energy levels spiked. It was as if I hadn’t spent the whole day complaining about how tired I was, I just wanted to spend time with that beautiful man. Tonight, however, he started acting a bit strange.

From the moment we got into the club, we got separated. The guys wanted to play pool and the girls wanted some time on the dance floor so I decided to go to the bar. I ordered a couple of shots of tequila and just as I decide to be a bit generous and buy the guys a couple of beers, I saw him talking to her. From the way he embraced her to the way she kept touching his arm, I knew something was up. This wasn’t the way you meet some random chick at the club, this was more than that.

Trying not to cause a scene especially with how my blood was boiling, I paid my bill and left the bar and just as I was walking out the door, I saw them making out. That was my turning point. I ran out the club never to be seen again until Monday morning. Brian kept blowing my phone with calls and texts of where I was and even though I just couldn’t come to terms with the way he was with that chick, I couldn’t be as angry as I should have been towards him. I should have walked up to them and asked for an explanation but instead, I hurried home to cry myself to sleep.

As I walked in the office on Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. trying to hide the obvious fact that I was drinking till the previous night, I saw her again. This time, she was at our office reception. Confused at what she was doing there, I thought, ‘why not get to know what’s going on between them,’ but Brian showed up just in time. He, however, didn’t look scared or shocked that I’d finally met her. He actually came up to us and introduced me as his work girlfriend and her as his girlfriend of three years. 3 years! Trying not to show my obvious state of 1000% confusion, he explained to Julia that I’ve been his work wife for the past 6 months; this very supportive ‘friend’ who really understood him and ‘had his back’ from 8-5 p.m.

In Brian’s eyes, I was nothing more than someone he flirted with at the office, someone who would occupy his thoughts when work became boring or too much to bear. The nights we spent together didn’t mean a thing to him, the words he told me that always made my day were just but words to him because at the end of the day, I wasn’t just his side chic, I was also his work wife.


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***Single lady in Nairobi is a collection of real life stories and opinions from different women. It looks at the current world of dating in Kenya and experiences that ladies have gone through. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of

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