Thursday, July 25, 2024

Maryann Mwaura: Lady working as Saudi househelp builds multimillion mansion

Among the many women who have worked in the Gulf and wisely invested their money in Kenya, Maryann Mwaura is one of those who top the list.  She has worked as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia for over 10 years.

Speaking to Lynn Ngugi, Maryann revealed that she has been with the same family for all those years. The family has been supportive and generous, helping her achieve her dream of buying land and building a mansion in Kenya, which are no small feats.

Born and raised in Kiambaa, Kiambu County, Maryann is the third of eight children; six girls and two boys. She attended Kiambaa Primary School and later went to Hidden Talent Academy in Dagoretti for her secondary education.

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High school presented many challenges for Maryann. After a brief period, she and two of her siblings transferred to a local school in their home area. During this time, Maryann struggled with self-esteem issues to the extent that she dropped out twice.

Before she enrolled for her final year of secondary, Maryann left school briefly to live in Nairobi but later changed her mind to return to school.

“After a few weeks, I figured this was not the life I wanted. With the help of my eldest sister, I managed to go back to school,” she said.


Upon completing school, Maryann fell pregnant and her partner refused to take responsibility. She got into a marriage that did not work due to her partner’s violent nature.

Three months into the pregnancy she left the relationship and informed her sister of the pregnancy.

“I decided enough is enough, I had done my best and the best move was to leave with my son.”


She returned to live with her parents. In 2014, Maryanne got an opportunity to travel and work in Saudi Arabia. Despite hearing about mistreatment cases in the Gulf, she was determined to relocate and take her chances.

She underwent training in Kenya and signed a contract before meeting her Riyadh-based employer. Upon arriving in Saudi Arabia, she spent a week before being taken to her workplace.

Maryann disclosed that the salary she was to be paid at the time was small. She was however told that there was an option to negotiate with her boss for better pay once she got comfortable working in the house.

Linet Omusala: How I bought 2 plots, built rental houses with Saudi househelp salary

“At that particular point, I was conversant with the whole house and although the work was too much, I had planned how I’d be working and that way it was much easier,” she said.

Fortunately, she had a good boss who listened to her whenever concerns were raised. This is why she has ended up staying with them for more than 10 years.

“One thing I like about her is she is very understanding. I found a mother in my boss because she makes me feel at home and we would always talk about anything with her,” Maryann added.

After some time in Saudi Arabia, her employer opened a bank account for her allowing her to save money. Maryanne revealed that when she left Kenya, she dreamed of returning and building a house for herself and her son on the land she had purchased.

Maryanne Mwaura initially planned to buy a house after investing her money in a real estate company. However, the project fell through, and the company CEO refunded her money. She used these funds to build her own house, which is now nearing completion.

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