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February 19, 2019

Samantha Chronicles: Too pretty for a polo fan


Saturday morning and I’m looking through my wardrobe for something appropriate to wear. I’m watching the Prude play polo today and I’m unsure what I’m supposed to wear.

I forgot to ask and I don’t want to look inappropriate.

In Pretty Woman, my favourite movie of all time (perhaps I relate to a prostitute finding love?), there is a scene where Vivian and her billionaire boyfriend attend a polo match together. She is wearing an iconic brown polka dot silk dress with a matching hat.

She accessorised with an Anna Kline belt, Chanel shoes and handmade pearls. Why do I know this?

Because I have researched every damn outfit she wore in that movie, that’s why! My favourite scene is the shopping spree on Rodeo Drive. Who wouldn’t want to do that? Shop until you drop and money is no object. Heaven!

Remember the red opera gown? How about the elegant black cocktail dress? I need to watch that movie again. But first, I’ll relive it today. I find a pretty sundress, a matching hat and some pumps. Pretty woman, indeed! Traffic is not bad as I make my way to the Nairobi Polo club. Thank God for Uber. My bill is not as high as I thought it would be coming all the way from South B. There’s no way on earth I was going to take a matatu to this place.

The first thing I notice is that none of the ladies are dressed like me. They’re all in jeans, polo shirts and hats reminiscent of country singers and mugithi halls. What the hell? I contemplate going home to change but the Prude has spotted me and is making a beeline for me. Oh, well. Momma always said that it is better to be overdressed than underdressed!

He shakes my hand. How formal.

“Come with me,” he says. I’ll take you on a quick tour.”

We walk alongside each other, stopping briefly along the way for him to greet fellow players. He introduces me as a journalist interested in covering the sport.

“Nairobi Polo club is one of the largest on the continent,” he says. Thank God I chose flats. It rained yesterday and the grounds would not have been friendly to my heels.

“We have stabling for ninety horses, and if that fills up, we have additional stables at the Jamhuri show ground.”

He is in his element now, proud to show off the grounds and rambling on about things I don’t care about.

“Meet Gavin,” he says as an elderly mzungu approaches us. He has silver hair poking out of a cap and is well tanned. He is wearing jeans, a shirt and riding boots.

“He’s pretty cool. He’s a grade one coach from SA.”

I smile as Gavin shakes my hand. He has a firm grip.

“If you want to learn, this is the man to teach you,” the Prude adds. “Take advantage, he only comes once a year.”

“I’m pretty certain I can’t afford to keep horses,” I say, laughing. “I’m just happy to watch for now.”

They speak quietly about the upcoming match and Gavin, I gather from the little I can pick up, is the umpire for the game. We finally proceed to what looks like the clubhouse.

“The cocktails here are excellent,” the Prude informs me. “We’ll try a few after the game.”

We don’t stay long. He is eager to head to his horse and get ready for his match. “Sit wherever you like,” he says. “I’ll see you soon.”

I sit on one of the benches. There isn’t much of a crowd. This is going to be one long afternoon.

Poll of the day