“My name is Hellen Nasieki from Kakamega. My family is from deep in Busia, Uganda. My father is called Majengo while my grand father is Sievanda.
The baby I’m carrying will be turning 2 years in January. The other 2 are 10 and 4 years but are in the village with my mum. They are in school. Whatever I get we share by half with mum for their upkeep. This baby is big but I have to carry since there’s nowhere she can sleep. I got used to having her on my back almost entire day. But when awake she walks around and I get relief.
I am a single parent. My husband died when she (the little girl) was young. He was involved in a road accident.
I have been in Nairobi for about 3 years now. My first job I went to Gikomba bought some clothes at wholesale price and would hawk them around. I did it for a while before one day I was accosted by city council askaris who took away my clothes plus the day’s earnings. I was back to zero. I worked as a housemaid for 2 months and quit after saving some little cash for my next venture. I walked to Kariobangi in a shop and bought biro pens at wholesale price. I would hawk them inside buses and matatus. It was not looking bad. Around that time, my husband died. I lost my mind. The world collapsed on me.
I joined SDA Church and they were very helpful to me. I visited Githurai SDA but more often Muthurwa SDA. They would give me food, clothes and lot’s of helpful advice. I started coming back to my senses.
One day I bought oranges for Kshs 50. Within no time, I had cleared my stock at Kshs 100. I went back for more and by the close of the day it was Kshs 200.
With the valuable advice of the church members, I kept going for more. I saved enough to buy this Wheelbarrow. I got it at Kshs 2,500. With my new acquisition, I started moving round town with my baby on the back. I’d sell either oranges or bananas.
But the challenge of selling Fruits is that they go bad quickly. And that’s how I shifted to sweetpotatoes.
I have had several encounters with streetboys who took away my daily earnings as well as city council askaris who help themselves with my stock. I moved here, pleaded with my friends for space because it’s safer.
You’re asking where I stay? There are rooms near muthurwa where you pay Kshs 30 a night and you get a space to lay your tired body. We’re like a school but that’s better than in the street because my baby is in a warmer place. This wheelbarrow contains the only thing I own.
Where I used to stay my room was locked for not being able to pay rent. And that’s how I moved to this Muthurwa option.
I live a day at a time but my kids must feed”.
Such an amazing woman. She’s full of determination.
I feel we need to do something for her, a little support to make life bearable. Perhaps getting an accommodation (fully paid rent for a period of time)? Perhaps getting her a more equipped business? Perhaps getting clothes for her kids? Perhaps paying school fees for her kids? I really don’t know what, but we must do something for our new friend.
Hellen is my new friend. Do you mind being her friend?
The donations can be sent to:
1. Safaricom: Paybill 891300
A/C No 5286
2. Airtel Money: Go to Airtel Money
Business name 891300
M-CHANGA reference 5286
3. Equitel: Go to My money
Enter Business Number 891300
Enter Account 5286
These payment options are available to Kenyans using the mobile payment systems. For our audience outside of Kenya, please contact us at [email protected] to find out how you can help. We can arrange with the organizers to receive your monetary and/or material support. We can provide you with a shipping address.