Immaculate Njeri is just a few months fresh from living and working in the Gulf, where she has been for over a decade. During her time in the Middle East, she often fantasized about returning to Kenya and reaping the rewards of her hard work.
Earning about Sh. 100,000, she had imagined buying a plot, constructing a beautiful house, and enjoying a comfortable life with her two sons. Njeri was aware that her sacrifices as a single mother working in the Gulf would eventually pay off once she returned to Kenya.
As fate would have it, none of these dreams will manifest. After working her fingers to the bone, she returned to have her heart crushed by her son.
The industrious lady returned to find she had nothing to show for her 10 years abroad after all the money was squandered.
She recalled first flying out of the country in 2013 when life had become unbearably hard for the family. Njeri at this point, was certain that her sons could take care of themselves.
She left for Dubai where she worked for 2 years. Her first salary abroad was Sh. 18,000 monthly, which she would devotedly send to her eldest son, Raphael, to take care of himself and his sibling. She knew and trusted his obedience and judgement.
“I took the younger one to boarding school; I knew the firstborn was a polite guy and he would manage. They did everything on their own, including school visits and circumcision.”
“I came back and didn’t stay here for long because my kids needed a good education; I left for Bahrain where I worked for 3 years,” she shared.
In 2021, Njeri returned to Kenya and signed another contract for Qatar, where she worked for 3 years. After finishing her contract she returned to Kenya, last year in September.
In her time working in the Gulf, Njeri said that she always had good bosses, who would pay her well. This allowed her to put herself in the line of duty for years to give her children the best.
However, her years of working such labour were gradually ending. She knew that she would arrive home to find a cool Sh. 1.4 million reading in her savings accounts.
“Since I was tired, I told myself that this would be the last time, and so I saved very well. My son told me he would go to the Gulf so that I could relax back at home,” said Njeri.
Shock unto her upon returning. The hardworking single mother of two came back to find that Raphael, had taken all her money and gone into oblivion.
Njeri had 4 savings accounts in Cooperative Bank, KCB Bank, Waumini Sacco and in Mshwari. Allegedly, the mother would deposit money into accounts that her son had access to once she was paid.
Raphael would religiously pay tithe, spare enough for rent and food and set aside some amount for their mother. She arrived to find that there was no money at all in her accounts.
“He never kept any of that money, I asked him how come I never get any alerts? He took me in circles but I wanted to know why I wasn’t getting the alerts,” she lamented.
“I used to be paid Sh. 100,000 in Qatar, I would send Sh. 50,000 per month and whenever he asked for any amount, I would gladly give it to him.”
Now, Raphael has turned his hardworking mother into a devastated beggar. Additionally, his actions have turned his youngest sibling into a school dropout. Njeri looks around, beyond the emotional distress and trauma, and cannot see any help forthcoming.
“He left at 4 am with his phones. He had been eating money and never deposited any money in the accounts,” an overwhelmed Njeri said.
Raphael seemingly played the game of staunch believer, having been employed at the Holy Family Basilica where he would earn a tidy sum monthly. His younger brother revealed to her that a friend at work had corrupted him and they would eat all the food she bought in bulk.
“I am now a beggar; I don’t have food or rent. You will find me in the streets of Donholm. My mum was looking upon me and I was also educating my sister’s school fees,” she said.
She had at first thought of laying a curse upon him before being talked out of this by the priest. Immaculate is now considering returning to work in the Gulf since her former employer is very willing to take her back in.
“I wanted to curse him but my priest told me to wait and hear from him. I am very bitter with him. Raphael you know I am a single mum and decided not to marry because of you.”
“I took you to the best schools, dug ditches with mattocks so that you can get a good education. If you don’t come out of hiding, you won’t have a good life,” she said.