What you need to know:
- Even better than finding a man who loves you is finding a rich man who loves you. Sarai Njenga sources tips and advice for every girl who wants to make this dream come true
Fact: Everyone would love to live the champagne lifestyle. Those who are averse to hard work, saving, theft, murder or witchcraft may have to wait to win the lottery – but the odds of that happening are even lower than the odds of getting a call from Safaricom telling you that you are the winner of Sh10 million.
If you are a woman, though, the odds improve slightly because you can do the next best thing, which is to marry a rich man. Some may see this as gold digging, but it isn’t.
If men are allowed to marry women based on the superficial reason of how beautiful she is, women should also be allowed to choose their suitor based on how financially secure he is.
However, it takes more than just being female to secure and keep the eye – and heart – of a rich man. It actually takes work, timing and a little bit of luck – and some guidance from the experts, i.e other women who have successfully snared their own Mr Megabucks.
Lillian Onyango, a 27-year-old accountant in Nairobi at an NGO, only dates monied men. “I want to be financially stable and to be able to afford the nice things in life. Frankly, I’m unlikely to achieve that through my own work,” she says. Her secret to finding rich men is to “shop where they shop.”
If you are currently looking for mitumba clothes at Toi market, drop that load of clothes right now and head on over to the malls in areas like Karen, Westlands, Gigiri, Nyali. You may not be able to afford Sh3, 000 dinners or to shop at stores like Ivory (just yet,) but that doesn’t mean you can’t meet a guy who does.
Start running your errands, buying your cappuccinos and doing your grocery shopping in upscale neighbourhoods. By frequenting the same spots as the rich, you will increase your chances of meeting them.
“I have dated many rich men who spoil me, and met them in cafes or restaurants that the average woman would consider too expensive, but that is the investment for my future,” Lillian says.
Looks are key
It pays to be in the right place at the right time, but you cannot afford to look desperate. Most men of means have ‘gold digger radar’, and most people want to be loved for who they are, not what they do. And that includes wealthy men.
“Gold diggers do not give off a cute vibe,” says one successful 27-year-old investment banker. “They feign interest in your profession, only hang around when you’re headed to the most exclusive restaurant or club, and then often invite nine of their closest friends to tag along.”
How should you look, then? No less than smoking hot, says Angela Kariuki, who met her husband at an upscale hotel in Mombasa.
“Guys with money can get anyone they want, and you won’t turn any heads in sweatpants and sneakers. You have to look good at all times, which includes full make-up and hair. Dress in stylish, elegant, timeless, understated clothing that flatters and accentuates your figure every day. Looks are key when looking for a rich man. Your image is everything.”
All the women agree that one thing you have to do is to play the part. “If you want to attract a rich man, you have to look like a good match for him. You should dress and act like you belong in his world and don’t need his money. No one has to know that you rode the bus there, or have no running water at home. As long as you look wealthy, you have a shot,” says Lillian. She says that the first time she went ‘hunting’ she took a City Hoppa to one of the city’s best hotels.
“I had Sh1, 000 that had to last a week! Since I couldn’t take a taxi, I went the best way I knew how. But when I walked into the hotel my confidence levels were so high nobody would have guessed I had come from Kawangware in a bus.”
“I went where the men used to hang out,” says Angela. Rich guys don’t really bother with the singles scene; they’re usually too busy working to find their own dates.’ So, you have to show up where rich men hang out and put yourself in the spotlight. Hang out at the golf course, or try to catch his eye at the office,” adds Amina Ali, who works at a well-known hotel.
She met her husband at the hotel. “Many at times I spot the girls in high end hotels having a drink and I automatically think they are ‘working girls’,” she says, “until one day a guest at the hotel swept me off my feet and now we have been married five years. My luck came because of where I work.
“Don’t bother looking for your next boyfriend in places like kienyeji restaurants or in bars with happy-hour or BOGOF hours unless you are okay with always going Dutch,” laughs Amina.
Contrary to what many think, it does not help to be dumb. What helps is to have an education – and demonstrate it. Rich men want to spend time with women who can carry on a conversation.
Never act like you know how caviar tastes when the closest thing you tasted to that was chicken eggs. This will not gain you any points, as the conversation may go down south as soon as he finds out that you lied to keep a conversation going.
According to Angela, in order to carry on an interesting conversation, you must have interesting ideas in your head. You need to read books – and not just Mills & Boon. You need to be, at the very least, knowledgeable about a variety of topics.
Remember, common people talk about other people. Of course, most people also indulge in gossip at some point or another, but you should not.
She says, “It looks shallow, small minded and petty. Nothing cools a connection faster than a woman who has nothing to say except gossip. Can you talk about more things than what was happening on Twitter last night or about who was evicted from the Big Brother house?
“If you don’t read the newspaper or the news online, start. If you don’t subscribe to a magazine like Newsweek or Time, get it now. If you can’t afford it, read it at the library. You need to be aware of national issues, politics, current affairs, and other topics of interest. Reading tabloids does not count.” Angela learnt this the hard way when she met a man at a bar and he asked if he could buy her a drink.
"I was so excited and wanted to show off my knowledge of American politics. So he asked me if I support Obama’s run for president, and probably heard Osama. There was no recovering after I pondered how a terrorist can vie for presidency. That was the last time I ever saw him.”
89 per cent of high-achieving (and presumably high-earning) men report that they marry or would like to marry a woman who is just as, or more, intelligent than they are, says Christine Whelan, PhD, author of Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women. Also, 92 per cent of men who describe themselves as “successful” or “very successful” say they are more attracted to women who are also excelling in their careers.
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, but you should have at least a bachelor’s degree or be aiming towards getting one. Angela and Lillian both have bachelor’s degrees, while Amina has a diploma in tourism and hospitality, which they say is their best asset when getting into conversation with potential men.
Lillian also advises taking up a hobby – and make sure that it is one that you enjoy. “Don’t take up any activity that you really hate just for the sake of meeting someone,” she says.
If you’re stuck for what activity to participate in, there is a variety. Luxury sports like golf, polo, tennis and horse riding tend to attract the type of men who have disposable income to burn.”
The women all say that spending time on a golf course or at a racecourse can only increase your chances of meeting a successful man and, as a plus, gives you something to talk about when he asks you out on a date.
One does not have to go out of their way to borrow money to look wealthy. It is all in these easy steps that you may find Mr Right, with the wealthy bonus card to whisk you into marriage. Good luck hunting!