There is no honor in suffering.
Hi Cyprian, hope you are doing well.
I have been following your slavery series online which made me recall my experience a few years ago working for a muhindi (an Indian) and the eye opening experience I had thereafter. Please hide my identity.
A few years ago, I worked at a muhindi shop. He used to have a temper problem and would shout and curse us. We used to fear his presence but luckily he had many businesses so he would not hang around for long. Of course, this led to depression and anxiety for all of us who were working there. One day he said that I should be transferred to another company of his. I was paid my dues but did not receive a new contract for the new company. After one and a half months, I decided to leave because I was not paid anything and there was no contract. After I left, they hired and lady muhindi whom they paid Ksh 100,000. I used to be paid Ksh 25,000 so you can see the discrimination there. I also found that there were some months that the NHIF and NSSF was not remitted to the respective agencies.
The shocking thing that came out of the above experience was the reaction I got from my family before and after I quit. When I told my mother about what I was going through, she shockingly told me that I must be doing something wrong and that I should ‘vumilia’ persevere. This was really shocking to me as I expected empathy and support. After I left, my family turned against me. One of my cousin said I had ‘Refused Work’. The family generally shunned me and their attitude changed. My grandfather died during this period and I was discouraged from attending the funeral for the simple crime of being jobless. I borrowed money from friends and attended. My mother would quarrel me during that period and stopped people and family from referring to her as mama x (my name) till this day. I don’t hate my family, I understand their value system and respectfully leave. Thankfully I got another job and I’m able to further my studies.
I’m telling you this story not to solicit pity, but to highlight a Kenyan problem called ‘Kuvumilia’. Society expects you to suffer for the sake of image at the expense of your health and well-being. It is not my fault or choice that I was abused by a muhindi to the point of emotional collapse and I should have rightfully gotten support. We, as Africans suffer from low self-esteem and that is why every foreigner mistreats us.
If I was an Indian or mzungu working for an African who abused me, what would the reaction be?
Another point I observed with the older generation is their obsession with the ‘Kenyan Dream’ (go to school and get a good job) which does not work anymore. They believe the lie that education and a job is a good inheritance. Maybe in their time it worked, but the world is saturated with degree holders and our jobs will be wiped out by automation.
All of you reading this have heard stories or know of top students who worked hard and are jobless. They fear telling their parents and grandparents the truth – that what they believe is a lie and their sacrifices are in vain. The truth will set you free. We have to stop the silent ‘Kuvumilia’ culture. There is no honor in suffering.
It’s better to come out and tell the truth even with bitter repercussions then things will change. I saw some guys holding up signs that they are unemployed in the streets and wish all unemployed people would do this so that society realizes that we have a problem. The unemployed should also speak out in social media. Make videos about your suffering and post them online (It will me more interesting that silly reality TV promoting rich thieves, prostitutes and exploiters).
Let your voice be heard so you can get help.
Lastly, our parents and Grandparents are a part of the corruption culture. They took bribes and engaged in corruption from previous regimes thus denying us a future. The youth of today were sold for leso’s and Ksh200 in past elections. I wish my parents and grandparents asked their politicians about my future instead of doing silly dancing when they visited. Now we work hard but can’t make ends meet and are called worthless and lazy. I am worth Ksh 100,000 but it’s being enjoyed by foreigners who through impunity have exploited me.
Slavery: For Kenyans Working With Indians, It Is 1619 Everyday
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