Tuesday, September 6, 2011


She walks with her head high, briskly sauntering through the streets of Mombasa county, taking each step with pride.

27 year old Beatrice Muni Wambua knows quite well how good it is to be home surrounded by loved ones.

The last six months have been the worst of her life an ordeal in the Arab world that she would rather forget.

When an agent who still lives in their neighborhood approached her with a job offer in January as a house help in Saudi Arabia that would pay Ksh 16,000 monthly, Muni jumped for the opportunity.

“I didn’t think twice it seemed like such a lucrative offer after unsuccessfully searching for a job for more than six years,” she said.

She had never been out of the country before and was worried that the opportunity would pass her by because she lacked a passport.

Her agent reassured her that it could be arranged for and managed to secure her one in a week’s time.

“She was very concerned, she got me the passport took me to Nairobi and made sure that I had boarded the plane to Saudi Arabia,” she recalled.

When Muni set foot in the foreign country she realized that she was not the only Kenyan who had sought for those greener pastures.

“When I arrived at the airport, I realized there were several girls like me. We were picked and housed in a big room in Sakaka until each of our employers came to pick us” she says.

The agents who coordinated their arrival ,ensured the househelps were safely delivered to their employers and hers was a two week stay.

She began working for her Arabian employer in the month of February and did all the house chores with much diligence even as the work load became overbearing.

“When I first got into the house I was given long deras and headscarfs that I had to wear every day, you cannot wear jeans you have to wear clothes that hide your figure because the women fear you can seduce their husbands.”

Like other girls, Muni was often scolded by her employer, abused and belittled before guests and children even when the house chores were done to perfection.

“She was quite jealous and would treat me badly, yet I was not interested in her husband.She would quarrel me while I stood their crying until her husband interefered.”

Real trouble began in May when she demanded to be paid her three month salary to send to her parents back in Kenya.

“The mistreatment worsened, the chores increased as she said that she wanted me to finish two years before she could pay my salary in lumpsum,” she says

Muni’s adamant defiant led to another drastic turn in the already strained relationship with her employer.

“I was so frustrated and did not even eat for days, then one morning she just woke up threw all my belongings out from the balcony and kicked me out of her house,” she says.

At that moment the reality of being stranded in a foreign country hit hard.
After two days of seeking directions with the few arabic words she had learnt, Muni managed to get to the police station in Sakaka.

“I recounted my ordeal and stayed in the police cells until the day my employer would come, pay for my air ticket and return my confisticated travel documents,” she said.

According to muni the police station was filled with poor girls of all races,mostly philipinos and Africans who had sought refuge after escaping mistreatment in the hands of employers.

For three weeks Muni stayed at the police station, her family in Mombasa remained worried as there was no way to communicate.

“I talked to my mother last,when I was kicked out,saying I was safe even though I did not know where to goand that my phone would go off because it had no charge,” she says

Her employer finally softened heart and came to the station handing her the passport and airfare but no pay.

Muni had to take three connect flights to get to Kenya and then a bus to reach home but that did not damppen the joy she continued to feel about her homecoming.

“When I got to Nairobi I called home to say I would arrive the following day. It was so overwhelming to see my whole family had come to the bus station that I fainted.”

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