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House Helps in Kenya: “Why I Took in My House Girl’s Son to Stay with Us” -Marion’s Story

Marion and her family.

Moms, would you take in your house girl’s child to live with you, take him to school, pay his school fees, support your house girl to return to school, pay her school fees as well, and basically take them both as your own children? Well, that’s exactly what 32 year-old Marion Wanjiru Mwangi did.

Marion introduces herself as a mom of three children: her daughter Lya, her house girl Esther and her house girl’s son Lewis. Mummy Tales writer SYLVIA WAKHISI spoke to Marion, a self-employed interior designer more about her life as a mom.

Marion Mwangi, slaying 🙂

Esther Comes Home

“Let me start my story from when my daughter Lya was six months old. That’s when I got a new house girl, Esther who was aged 21 years. I was 28 years-old at that time.

Before then, I had been through such agony with other house girls I had employed and just longed to find a good one. I was so exhausted from all the drama –I’d employed and fired five house girls in five months.

It didn’t help that I was also undergoing post-partum depression, running a salon business where things were tough, and basically just dealing with so many other things in my life – I just needed everything around me to calm down. That’s the time that Esther came. I always say that I would have gone crazy if she didn’t come at that time.

Esther was referred to me by my sister-in-law who had once employed her. When my sis-in-law heard that I was looking for a house help, she gave me Esther’s number and after I called her up, tukaelewana and she came to work in my house.

Marion, Lya and Esther

Embracing Esther as my Own Daughter

Right from the beginning, I noticed that Esther was a gem. She was motivated, proactive, and performed her duties diligently. I didn’t even have to instruct her on what to do because she instinctively knew what to do. With my daughter so young, I was impressed by the way she observed high standards of hygiene.

As days passed by and we became well acquainted with each other, I embraced her as my own child. Whenever I bought something for my daughter Lya, I bought something for Esther too. Interestingly, whenever she saw something nice, she would also buy it for my daughter and get me something as well.

Also Read: I’ve Been with my House Girl for Thirteen Years

Sponsoring Esther’s Return to School

When my daughter joined school, I talked to Esther and asked her to also consider going back to school since she had quit while in class six after she got pregnant.

Esther had always dreamt of completing her schooling. Many times I had heard her speak fondly about education. When you hear someone around you repeat something over and over again, and if it is in your power to do something about it, then I believe you should go right ahead and make their dreams come true. That’s what I did.


When I asked Esther if she’d consider going back to school, she was so excited at my proposal and told me she was more than ready to return. She enrolled in an adult education school just near where we stay, and she is now in class eight and has been performing very well. She’s a candidate!

Why did I give her the option of returning to school?

Early this year, Esther was called back home to attend to her son Lewis who was very sick. As I released her to go home, I asked her if she wanted to return to Nairobi with her son, so that she could be closer to him. She said yes.

As a mother, I like being near my daughter and I imagined it was the same for Esther. I thought it would be good for Esther to raise her son close by even as she worked. When her son recovered, she returned with him, and that’s how he too became my ‘son’. That’s why I say I’m a mother of three.

I immediately found a school for her nine year-old son Lewis, and enrolled him in class 3. My daughter Lya is in nursery. The two get along very well, play together, learn together, and call each other brother and sister.

Lewis and Lya

How Esther Balances her Work and School

Esther wakes up at 6.00am and by 6.30am, she has prepared Lewis who is picked by the school bus a few minutes after that.

She then prepares herself and undertakes other house chores so that by 7.30am, she wakes up my daughter Lya and prepares her for school. Lya is picked by the school bus at 8.10am.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. Very Inspiring story. Marion kudos for this, Esther is indeed God sent.
    I would take up my h.girl with baby depending on how long we have been together (lest say at least 1.5 years) and even take her back to school. its always my wish to get one who stays, unfortunately they stay for less than a year when sometimes i have made prior arrangements to even take them to adult learning school. but i wont tire i will still help

    • Hi Joselyn, yes, it’s all about empowering a fellow woman if you have the ability and capacity to do so. Your experience by the way is similar to that of so many moms I know; the turn over rate of DMs is not easy. But we try our best, and when you get a gem, you would to all it takes to ensure she is as comfortable as possible. Marion is an example.

  2. I took mine in at 23,took her to a tailoring school for 1yr. Initially i wanted her to complete form 4 cos she dropped out at form 2 but we couldn’t find her Kcpe result slip.
    Later on she got a job with a tailor.She had 2 jobs-i paid her in the house n the tailor paid her too.She worked from my house for a year.When i opened my restaurant,i recommended her to my partner as our cashier.
    We tripled her salary(from wat i was paying in her in the house).She is the best anyone could ever have.I had no option but to empower her. 5years n am a happy mom. My daughter is a teen n shes taken care of her from wgen she was 8.I am forever greatful
    She left the other day to get married.
    I believe in treating my girls right.Making an impact in their lives.I saw my mom stay with housegirls for ages.I was well taught.
    I will treat my next one the same or even better.

    • Wow Jane what a story! You have a kind heart. And yes, I too believe in empowering other people. It’s the best way to invite blessings into you life and those of your kids. Blessings to you and yours.


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