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House Helps in Kenya: Why my House Girl was my ‘Big Sister, my Support System and my Friend’


Hello friends and welcome back to Mummy Tales where I talk about issues motherhood. Many times, I like sharing encouraging stories about house girls / nannies / DMs.

This is the 5th article in this #MyAwesomeHouseGirl series where I feature amazing house girls who have been great blessings in our homes. Today, I share the experience of Shiku Vanderborght Theuri who describes her former house girl as her ‘big sister, her support system and her friend’. Her house girl came through for Shiku at a time when she was falling apart and she felt like she was breaking into a thousand pieces. Read Shiku’s story below. 

If you’d like to share your story that will encourage another mom, you can write to me on maryanne@mummytales.com

“My nanny’s name was Jessica. She was from Uganda, and a mother of four (two of them from her late sister who died while giving birth).

Jessica came into my life when I was going through a very very difficult time. Initially, she was working for our neighbour who was working at the UN. I used to say hallo to her in the neighborhood and that was it. By then my son was 3-years old.

One day I heard my son crying, and when I went to where he was, I found him standing next to the fence saying “kika, kika” while pointing to my neighbour’s back door. It was my neighbuor’s husband who came out and told me that my son was looking for Jessica (Kika). Apparently, my son used to be picked by Jessica everyday at 10am and he would go to their house where he would drink milk and eat a piece of water melon.

But on that day, Kika didn’t show up because my neighbour was packing up to leave –for good. My son was feeling stranded, wondering where Kika was.

I then had a chat with Jessica and learned that she was not going to have a job anymore as her employers were leaving the country. I told her to report for work the following day at my house.

Related Stories:

How my Nanny Saved me from Going into Depression – Tildah Kahuthu

How my Nanny has Seen me through my Worst – Carol Jemutai

Why my Nanny is Awesome – Catherine Njoroge

My Nanny Cared for my Child with Special Needs – Janny Marangu

Jessica was God sent. She became a friend, my support system, my big sister. I miss her dearly.

One time, my husband, who had resigned from his job became very ill. I was a mess and only Jessica noticed that I was falling apart. When he was very sick and had to be booked for a major surgery, Jessica kept me comforted, and ensured things in the house ran well. She would make sure my three children had everything they needed and were comfortable. She was a dayscholar and would only leave my house after tucking the kids into bed.

Jessica had noticed that I would barely eat because of the stress I was going through and she worried about me. Before she left each evening, she would make sure that I had at least eaten something. She would sit with me as I ate, chatting me up and encouraging me. To be honest, Jessica helped keep all of us sane during that difficult time.

The day my husband went for surgery, he was supposed to be out by 3pm. But when that time came, there was no sign of him. 4pm, 5pm….and I was still waiting anxiously. Finally, at 6pm he got out.

Since I was still at the hospital waiting for him, I had forgotten to pick my children up from school! When Jessica learned what was happening, she organized everything and ensured my children got home well from school. That day Jessica left my house at 9pm when I arrived from the hospital. I was living in Ridgeways and she was living in Kibera. Staying late was a sacrifice she had made, and I was so grateful to her for that. The following day, she was in my house at 6am. She was coming to work in our house thrice a week.

Jessica worked for us for three years, all of them great years with her. She left when our family relocated to Europe. In fact, she was the last person to lock the house as she saw us off on the day we left for the airport. Before I left, I ensured she had gotten another job, and she’s been okay since.

It has been three years since we left the country and my son remembers ‘Kika’ her every so often. He has great memories of her. My other children were also fond of her. My daughter (who was 4 years-old when she started working in our home) enjoyed washing dishes with Jessica. My older son also talks about how she taught him how to clean his shoes and some of his clothes.

To date, Jessica still checks up on us. There is no amount of money that I can repay her with, but I appreciate her and love her to the moon and back. We always wait for angels from heaven but angels are amongst us. Jessica is an angel that was sent to me and my children. God bless Jessica, and may wherever she goes and whatever she touches have a print of her love and big heart.

Jessica was more than a nanny. May God bless her and her generations.”

Thank you Shiku for sharing your story, and may blessings overflow for both you and Jessica. If you’d like to share your story too, email me on maryanne@mummytales.com

Mummy Tales is a platform dedicated to empowering its readers on different aspects of womanhood and motherhood. Read more motherhood experiences of Kenyan moms here. Connect with Mummy Tales on: FACEBOOK l YOU TUBEINSTAGRAM l TWITTER



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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.


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