Nairobi mama nguo: Cleaning ladies' dirty secrets revealed
3 months ago, 8 July 12:05
In Nairobi's middle-class neighbourhoods, there are certain zones where women wait for cleaning jobs from 'lazy' bachelors and working women. These job seekers are usually young, and a good number of them are mothers. A lot of them live in slums that flourish in high-end surroundings.
Have you ever stopped to wonder what the lives of these women are like? What they have learned about the men and women they have worked for? What they are occasionally given to wash? What the men and women they work for put them through? We decided to find out what their world is all about and here is the report.
Ladies who want their panties to be washed
It is quite vexing, even dehumanising that some men and women actually give out their most intimate pieces of clothing to be washed by the women.
"What is most annoying is the habit where men and women give out their underwear or boxers and assume it is normal that we should wash them as well," Ruth Khaemba says. And what does she do with them?
"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. She has been cleaning houses for more than five years in Donholm. And she believes she has seen it all.
"At one point a woman kicked me out of her house claiming that that I was eyeing her husband."
But Ruth says she was not even thinking about it. "It so happened that when we were negotiating pay, the husband agreed to pay more than she had recommended and she suspected something."
"She complained that he was giving me too much. The husband said that I had done an excellent job. But the wife thought that I had not," she remembers.
Ruth and her friends have seen so much - there is never a dull moment in their lives, as they wait for the next job.
Walked in on two men making love
One of the women we spoke to claims to have once walked in two men making love and she was shocked. The men were equally dumbfounded. But they quickly composed themselves, and she decided to blackmail them.
She was given a lot of cash to never mention the incident to anyone. She has kept part of the bargain, given she will not mention which neighbourhood it happened in.
But some cleaning ladies offer extra services to men, especially bachelors in the city.
Enock Osumba* a 28-year old chap who works in the media and PR industry does not shy away from the fact that he has slept with his cleaning ladies, both young and old in in his bachelor pad. And goes on to accuse many bachelors of doing the same.
"I think it is the norm, not the exception, especially for us guys on Thika Road in Zimmerman, Kahawa, Kasarani, Roysambu and Githurai," he reels off matter-of-factly.
However, bachelors and ...
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