Side chicks who thought they’d found it all

2015-03-15 15:00

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Ntombizodwa Makhoba and Zinhle Mapumulo meet the side chicks who thought they’d found Mr Right and Mr Rich all rolled into one.

The hopeful home-wrecker

Seipati Morake* gets angry when people call all mistresses manipulative home-wreckers who are only interested in getting what they want, irrespective of what – and who – they damage.

The 36-year-old media strategist, who has been dating a married man for four years, says she is anything but a home-wrecker.

“If my intention was to destroy his family, I would have done it a long time ago,” she says.

“I have had every opportunity, but it was not part of the plan. I love my man, irrespective of the baggage he comes with. I have accepted that the wife is not going anywhere, and neither am I. If it means him taking me as a second wife, so be it.”

Morake says she loves her boyfriend and that’s all that matters. When they started dating, she had no idea he was married, but suspected he was in a long-term relationship because they rarely spent time at his house.

“When I asked him about this, he told me he was divorced, lived with his teenage son and didn’t want his son to think it was okay to bring women over. I met his son once and he didn’t raise the alarm.

“This comforted me and I sort of accepted that maybe he was a strict father and didn’t want his son to do the same thing. I even met some of his relatives, who also seemed okay with our relationship.”

Morake learnt her boyfriend’s best-kept secret when he became ill and was admitted to a private clinic in Sandton. She rocked up to find him surrounded by friends and family – among them a beautiful woman in her early forties.

“I could see the shock and embarrassment on people’s faces as I walked in. No one wanted to look me in the eye, or say anything to me. His older brother greeted me and signalled for me to follow him outside.

“He broke the news that the woman holding my boyfriend’s hand was his wife and asked me not to make a scene. I was shattered. I didn’t have the guts to return to the ward and face the sham of a life I had been living for almost a year.”

Fast-forward a month, and Morake had forgiven the man and was back in his arms.

“My love for him could not allow me to let go. He had become a part of my life and I couldn’t imagine living without him.”

She admits she secretly hoped that someday he would leave his wife for her, but three years later, that hasn’t happened. And his wife still doesn’t know about her.

The sucker for love

Sassy model Thandi Ndlovu* (30) used to be wary of married men. Little did she know she would one day find herself in the arms of one who was not only married, but a well-known politician.

She insists she didn’t know he was married: “I was never into politics and, therefore, could not have known his marital status.”

Their short-lived relationship ended on a sour note after a nasty public spat.

But this was not Ndlovu’s last relationship with a married man. Soon after breaking up with the politician, she found herself in another love triangle.

She is quick to point out that her tendency to date married men has nothing to do with money, only love.

“When I first met him [the second married man], he was driving an old BMW 5 Series. But it didn’t matter to me because I was just looking for love,” she says.

“He only started flashing his wealth three months into the relationship, when he started arriving in different Ferraris. Even then, I was not moved by his riches because I love him for who he is, not his money,” she says.

Unlike most mistresses who date rich men, Ndlovu says she did not receive an allowance from him, but it never bothered her.

“I’ve never had a man give me an allowance. I didn’t even care whether he was giving me money because I was madly in love with him and he loved me too,” she says.

But Ndlovu did continue to hope that he would leave his wife for her, and when he didn’t, she became depressed.

“Being a side chick is the most painful thing a woman can do to herself, especially for women like me who get attached easily.”

The super side chick

It’s rush hour. We are on our way to meet model and businesswoman Mirriam Ngomani at a luxury salon in Fourways, north of Joburg. We arrive before her.

Mirriam Ngomani and her dogs Gucci (2) and Torres during their birthday party. Picture: Noko Mashilo

The tall, bubbly model finally walks in, oozing confidence. Many of the regulars at this top beauty spot, where manicures and pedicures cost upwards of R300, are celebrities and mistresses – in Mzanzispeak, nyatsis.

The salon also sells human hair from India, Peru, Malaysia and Brazil for anything between R1?000 and R6?000.

Ngomani is here to tell us her story of being a former side chick. But before we start, she pours a glass of Moët & Chandon.

“I was 24 when I met an influential businessman. I left my boyfriend for him and, although he was 10 years older than me, I was emotionally attached,” she says.

Ngomani met the businessman through a mutual friend and fellow model. Their relationship lasted for about five years. “I was naïve and I don’t remember asking him if he was single or married.”

With hindsight, Ngomani says there were signs he was involved with someone else. Days would pass without them seeing each other. But instead of questioning or confronting him, she made excuses that he was busy with work. “I hardly saw him because he was travelling between South Africa, Germany and Brazil to run his businesses.

“Whenever I saw him, he’d give me money and gifts. He knew my weaknesses,” she recalls.

Ngomani’s new boyfriend introduced her to an opulent lifestyle she would have never been able to afford on her own. She can’t remember how much money he gave her, but her monthly allowance was enough to cover the rent on her Fourways apartment and groceries, and she had enough “pocket money” to see her through the month.

Sometimes she accompanied him on business trips. “We’d travel first class to Turkey, Dubai and Germany. When we were overseas, we would shop at Gucci and Louis Vuitton. He’s the one who taught me about expensive clothing brands.”

But there was a catch: sugar daddy rules. For example, Ngomani wasn’t allowed to go out, even when he wasn’t with her. Four years after they met, he confessed that he was married and had a family.

Ngomani was devastated. “I was so hurt. Knowing that I was not the only woman in his life was the most painful thing ever. I felt that a part of me was dead.”

He gave her the option of being his “second wife” – to be married by civil or customary law – which would have doubled her “benefits”.

And for the next few months, she seriously considered it. “I thought about what my life was going to be like without him. I had grown fond of him and was accustomed to living a life of opulence.”

She eventually decided to pull the plug.

“I came to my senses and realised that he would always love his wife, even if I was there too. I didn’t want to be the second best. I couldn’t stay.”

At the time of the break-up, she was still studying towards a diploma in business management and entrepreneurship at Varsity College, and the man was paying for her fees. Fortunately, he volunteered to continue paying and today she has her degree.

“I was not just a nyatsi,” she boasts.

“He always wanted the best for me. He used to tell me that beauty doesn’t last forever, and I must take this opportunity and run with it – and I did.”

The income-replacement seeker

It started off as a transactional relationship for Jackie Phamotse, but it snowballed into a complicated love affair.

]Jackie Phamotse author of Shattered Innocence.Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

When she met her boyfriend, an influential businessman with political connections, the model and author of Shattered Innocence thought she’d hit the jackpot. And for a small-time girl from Westonaria, a mining town near Johannesburg, she had.

Before long, Phamotse was drinking Champagne at breakfast, shopping abroad and seeing the world. Then she fell in love with him. He was 49 and she was 22.

“I was attracted to him because he looked young and was obsessed with the things I liked.”

They met at a party, and he later tracked her down on social media and invited her on a date at the opulent La Campagnola Restaurant in Sandton.

“One thing led to another and we fell in love. The first year was blissful. We would go on trips and he would shower me with gifts.”

Phamotse had no idea that her sugar daddy was married. Two years later, she discovered the truth, but stuck around because she was in love with him and had become used to the glamorous perks that came with the relationship.

But soon the cracks started to show. He started seeing her less frequently and became annoyed when she complained about this.

“I was crazy in love with him as a person and not for his money, as I initially was. I wanted him and it didn’t matter if I was going to be a mistress,” she says.

But then she found out he had snared yet another young woman.

“I couldn’t bear sharing him with a woman other than his wife. I wanted to be the sole mistress. When I couldn’t have that, I called it off.”

Today, she has no regrets about breaking up with him (they remain close friends). Her novel is based on her time with him.

*?Not their real names

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