Last Updated on 16 February 2019 by Gertrude
Hope, transfer from makuti house were Mama Nina’s way out of poverty, Nina was the way. Despite her mahamri business doing well. She wanted a better life for her children, her daughter brought the hope she had clutched onto for time immemorial. Agony has become her middle name, today, she would kill a human being, that human matching an animal’s soul. Even an animal recognises a malicious another. Holding her heart has become the only hope, slowly reciting her beads. Allah will bring back my daughter. Features upon features of stories are aired on television, radio, YouTube, about how Kenyan girls between the ages as young as 13 to 40 are held in Saudia concentration camps. ”Concentration camps”, Mama Nina forks out. What in the name of Allah is that? Like those used by colonialists? No, no, no, still, hope floods her mind. Next time, she will never give her daughter to strangers. She will be cautious. Very cautious. Her daughter can make it, will make it. Oh.
Camping at the embassy, finding representatives, Mama Nina realises her daughter has to be smart. She has to be, to get away. She doesn’t have to be kept in a holding cell with criminals: murderers, rapists, thieves. She isn’t one of them, she is, for now. Bad news comes of others dying in Dubai, Kuwait, another murdered by her employer, a mother of three hailing in Nakuru. In Machakos, a body is flown home, a girl dies in the hands of her employer. Mama Nina can’t stop her heart now as she understands the implications. She doesn’t want her child to die before time. She doesn’t want her daughter to be sold to slavery, she already was. Leave her too early. NO. NO. NO.
Weeks pass by, her soul never tiring, efforts ruined, thwarted by incommunicado Mama Halima. Vanishing like a demon is too little a statement, her phone numbers, ”out of service” means, she was a con? ”No, no, no, YES, I know her”, Mama Nina tells everyone who has gathered. ”Huyu mama kaishi hapa”, she says. This woman lives here. ”Hapa wapi, wamjua vizuri ama amekuja juzi?”. Here? Where? Do you know her well or has she transferred her recently? Recalling that she knows her as ONLY Mama Halima, makes her heart swell with too much hate, too much throat squeezing memories. She was duped, her daughter was sold into slavery. She should have just worked for the Arab woman with all her slurs, her insults, but, she has never hurt her daughter. Desperation leads Mama Nina to personally craft a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Knowing it’s a long shot, but holding onto it. Getting the reply widens the gap in her soul, widens the hope she has been thinking and praying. Allah has heard her, Nina will be home.
Home indeed, what about others who will not or don’t have such hope. What if it wasn’t for her Governor who helped her? What about those who were taken there by their relatives despite them having good education? Mama Nina has too many unanswered questions. She knows better, she asks only a few. Camping in Nairobi International Airport waiting her daughter’s arrival is something she never thought possible, too soon. Why did she send money in the first few months? Why? Did she suddenly become a thief as those horrifying stories speak of girls who have stolen something from their employers. What went wrong? All these Nina has an answer to. All these Nina will provide feedback.
It was a terrible sight to behold, it was so terrible Mama Nina almost crushed her face on the cemented pavement of Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. So painful but excellent to see her child back home. She woke up in the hospital.
What would would you do? Is this fair for Kenyans? Is this how you fake employers lie to us? Is it a mistake to seek a better life? Why should we rush to find jobs in Saudi and the Gulf knowing we will die? Knowing we will be sold to the highest bidder? Why? Is this greed? Your kind feedback will be appreciated. Thank you.