How Eastlando Estate Bachelors Are ‘Eating’ Mama Nguos

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Talk of emptying loins as they empty cloth baskets.

You have probably seen them or live in Estates -Nairobi Middleclass hoods- where they hurdle at a given joint every morning, especially over weekends, waiting for cleaning jobs- they are often called “mama nguo.”

Usually, they are young mothers seeking to fend for their kids- and who have to sometimes endure washing filthy stuff, including rags couple use to wipe themselves after sex, soiled sheets, undies, just for the meager hundreds at the end of grueling hours

A feature carried in The Nairobian details the intriguing and even horrifying quagmire these women face

One lady narrated what she does in such situations,

“Initially I would soak them in soap and just rinse them, but now I separate them and leave them there. I don’t care whether they will call me for the next cleaning job or not,” the 29-year-old mother of one says.

Edwin Awuonda* a 28-year old chap who works at a PR firm admits that he samples with his cleaning ladies, both young and old in his bachelor pad.

“I think it is the norm, not the exception, especially for us guys on Thika Road in Zimmerman, Kahawa, Kasarani, Roysambu, and Githurai,” he shrugs off matter-of-factly.

Is it a case of sexually exploiting the gullible and meek?

Take Emily* a mother of two, for instance. Every morning, she wakes up and heads to a particular spot along Kilimani. One day, a man driving a top of the range car stopped and signalled her.

“At first he looked like someone who was asking for directions because here it is very rare for a man to ask for a cleaning lady. I went to him and he asked me how much I charge for washing,” she begins.

“It depends on the number of clothes to be washed,” she told him. The man said that her only had a few clothes but was willing to pay Sh1,000. This as a good offer since she was used to getting Sh200 to Sh300.

She jumped onto the back seat and they drove to Jamhuri. The man who she says was about 40 gave her some clothes, mostly jeans and tee shirts. She was done washing in less than two hours. Instead of Sh1000 as agreed earlier, the man gave her Sh2000.

As the man thanked her for her good work, he pulled her close and touched her inappropriately. She did not know what to do, given she had already taken the Sh2,000. She explains, “What came to mind was the Sh2000 he’d given me. I had not worked for it.”

The man kissed her and said his name was Jose. She recalls him saying, ‘Pole, but you are beautiful’. He asked her if she would come again. She agreed.

She left 3k richer and blames her husband’s neglect for her lowkey sexual work

Then there is Anne* who cleans her boss’ house in Lavington twice a week. The lady and her husband have live-in house help.

One day she arrived to find that the woman of the house had travelled to Eldoret with the children and their regular house help. She found the compound unusually quiet and when she knocked, it was the man of the house who came to open the main door. She inquired where the others were and was told they had travelled the previous day.

The man went back to his bedroom while she washed the utensils they had used previous night. Since there wasn’t a lot of work, Mildred decided to go back to their ‘waiting area’ and try her luck elsewhere.

But before she left, she knocked on the man’s door and asked for her day’s pay. The man opened the door in a night gown and asked how much. She told him it was Sh200. Mildred says the man seemed to hesitate a bit. He then promised to pay her more if she agreed to be his wife briefly. Mildred got shocked, and was lost for words. “We stood at the door to his bedroom for almost 30 minutes as he pleaded with me to ‘keep him warm’,” she recalls.

Then the man took his phone and an MPESA message showed up on Mildred’s phone. The man had sent her Sh1,500.

“Your problem is that you are not telling me how much you want. I would have given you exactly what you want,” he said.

“Add me Sh1,000, or Sh2,000 or any amount you feel suits me,” Mildred found herself answering. This time, the man went for his wallet and fished out Sh2000 in cash and gave it her. She gave in. The man did not stop there.

Since then he’s been inviting her to his house when his wife is away. At one time, he took her to a lodging when his wife was around. Mildred, a single mother of a five-year-old son says she doesn’t regret having an affair with this rich man. “He gives me good money,” she says. She still works at the house, but his wife has no idea what is going on.”

 

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