A few weeks ago, the media reported about Ruth Khaecha, an ex-househelp accused of stealing Sh1.35 million from her employer. Ruth denied the allegations, claiming she earned the money with Sh800,000 being a reward for providing “good sex”.
Maybe when Ruth is done with her court issues, she can share with other women what “good sex” looks and feels like. The media images of Ruth portray the image of a girl-next-door and not of a sultry sexual provider. The Ruth drama points to the fact that househelps still remain a real and menacing threat for women who want to keep their men and families on the straight and narrow.
Since December is the househelp transfer and changeover season, I would like to provide some tips for potential employers.
Before any woman embarks on any mission to hire, she needs to take a realistic check on the male/female ratio in her house and use that to determine whether she will hire a male or female househelp.
If she has more than three boys in her house (hubby included), then she should consider hiring a male domestic worker or an elderly matronly lady who is way past her sexual prime.
Hiring any young woman under 30 years is tantamount to providing in-house sexual services to the menfolk in her house. Some women in a quest to save coins like to go young and hire very young househelps who sometimes fall in the teenage bracket.
Rights to feed
The illegality of this notwithstanding, these hires often end up creating very awkward family situations. It is only natural that one or more of the ‘boys’ in the house will venture to sample from the fruits of blossoming femininity. This is how many women become reluctant co-wives or mothers to step-children.
Of late, we also hear that male domestic househelps also come with other baggage and issues – but for now female househelps are the ones to watch for.
Once the househelp has been hired, the woman of the house should procure some uniform for everyday use; the more shapeless and ill-fitting it is, the better. Uniforms are not about professionalism, they are garments to cover up any curves and protuberances that might lead to a Ruth-situation. We also know that even this approach has not been completely foolproof for there are men who find uniforms of all kinds super sexy.
Women today are super busy and so often opt to delegate some duties to the househelp. For the sake of their families, women should ring fence some duties and create boundaries about what the househelp must never do.
One of the “sacred” areas that needs serious boundaries is the one of provision of food and nourishment for the husband. Most African men have an irrational emotional attachment to what they eat, how it is cooked and who serves their food – must be something they learnt from our animal ancestors.
We know of men who have made major love and life decisions based on the texture of chapos or the consistency of the ugali. It therefore follows that if the man of the house gets accustomed to good meals and five-star service from the househelp, he will explore avenues to turn her from a culinary expert to a twa twa expert.
The move from kitchen to bedroom is often expedited in situations when the said househelp provides additional services like waking up super early to cook and serve him breakfast or staying up late to serve him dinner.
Giving the househelp rights to feed your man at whatever time is just as good as giving her permission to take your man, especially if she falls under the 30 age bracket. Once the feeding programme begins, even the uniform cannot prevent the inevitable from happening.
There is also that contentious issue of car washing, where women of the house include car washing in the to-do list.
Once again, many men have emotional attachments to their cars and to those who keep them functioning – be it the mechanic or the car wash guys.
The more the househelp washes the master’s car, the more she worms her way into his heart and into the inner workings of his life.
It is amazing how many secrets one can pick from washing a man’s car – be it the lingering scent of another woman, receipts of secret rendezvous and in some cases misplaced condoms.
This motor familiarity can lead to interesting conversations that can lead to interesting intimate destinations.
There are also men who find the sight of women cleaning cars and getting all-soaped-up very tantalising.
Car duties must never be left to househelps especially when we have an abundance of overeager watchmen always quick to make a quick buck. When all is said and done, househelps are necessary for the survival of modern-day career women, but they too come with some serious potential hazards that must be managed.
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Our wizards saw the Brave New World, but none saw coronavirus
Last year in December, Nation Media Group held its first Kusi Ideas Festival in Kigali. The festival tried to peer ahead the next 60 years in Africa.
There were many Brave New World ideas about how that future might look like, and also the perils that progress almost always brings. Needless to say, no one saw Covid-19 coming.
A futurist curtain-raiser in The EastAfrican, titled Africa in 2079, came close to outlining a mirror universe to the one Covid-19 is bequeathing us.
Between London, Zimbabwe, and the corners of Africa where Econet’s fibre optic network reaches, Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of Econet Wireless and former chair of the board of AGRA wrote:
“I recently invested in a tech start-up that has created an Uber-like platform for tractors, enabling farmers to link up with a central database and order a tractor via SMS…freeing the farmer from the drudgery of the hoe. This service is particularly valued by women farmers, enabling them to circumvent social norms that might otherwise hamper their ability to hire a tractor.” From wherever we are hiding from the virus, unable to roam the farm, Uber farming could be the new way a lot of our food is produced.
From Tanzania, Aidan Eyakuze, who is executive director of Twaweza East Africa and has been confined in-country as an elegant prisoner for nearly two years because of his love of inconvenient data, painted an intoxicating but strange utopian-dystopian picture of Africa at the end the century.
By 2079, he foresaw the “vast majority of Africans earn their living through multiple micro-tasking (MMTs) ever since every ”job” was unbundled into its component tasks…leaving only those unbundled micro-tasks needing social intelligence, creativity or dexterity to be done by people. All ”taskers” are always-on private contractors who bid relentlessly for the privilege of tasking.
Incomes are kept low by the relative scarcity of tasks requiring the human touch.
“The unrelenting competition for tasks is both stressful and socially divisive — you are competing against everyone all the time…even marriages have renewable term limits, ‘in case someone better comes along.’” With work-from-home regimes, the former has come 78 years earlier.
Indeed, even for the latter, more people now probably think being cooped up with the same man or woman in the house “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part,” is a very archaic model.
Between Italy and Kenya, the Society for International Development’s Arthur Muliro, peered into a what a truly borderless Africa might look. Among others, his gaze settled on, of all places, Libya.
“Libya…was now welcoming other Africans and allowing them to settle. The peace deal that had come after a decade of civil war was holding and there was new optimism, in part boosted by the arrival and expansion of new migrant groups who had settled there and were helping rebuild their adopted country.”
On a close re-reading, turns out Aidan hinted that Turkey, which jumped in the Libyan fray as the coronavirus made its way out of Wuhan, might have something to do with it.
Stadiums progress welcome – Daily Nation
Last week, the Sports ministry’s top officials, led by Chief Administrative Secretary Hassan Noor Hassan and Principal Secretary Joe Okudo traversed the country to access the ongoing construction of stadiums.
President Uhuru Kenyatta also made an impromptu tour of the Nyayo National Stadium to ensure that all is well besides giving Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed full support. That has made sure that renovation works resume at all the stadiums — including Kasarani, Nyayo, Kipchoge Keino, Kamariny and Wote — and that everything is running on schedule.
Upon completion of some of these arenas, the country will have positioned itself to host major world events, especially in football, athletics and basketball. The ministry must, therefore, ensure that, while it has given contractors an ultimatum to finish their work, it also insists on quality delivery.
But there are concerns about work at county stadiums, especially in Mombasa, where those who redesigned the arena have done away with the internationally approved running track.
The new stadium has been designed for football only hence won’t host any track and field events. The four lane track will only be for warm up and this has raised eyebrows.
Mombasa County Chief Sports Officer Innocent Mugabe said Bububu grounds in Likoni and Kenya Ports Authority’s Mbaraki Sports Club will be upgraded for sports use. Mombasa being at low altitude, it is suitable for staging major World Athletics events, having staged the 2007 World Cross Country Championships.
Kenya is bidding to host the 2025 World Championships in Athletics and Mombasa can easily be the venue with a good stadium in place. There is still time to build a county stadium.
Ensure reopening of schools runs smoothly
When Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced a fortnight ago the postponement of school reopening to January next year, he gave an exception. Universities, teacher training colleges and technical training institutions were directed to be ready to reopen in September.
Consequently, they were asked to put in place safety measures prescribed by the Health ministry, including reorganising classrooms and hostels to ensure social distancing. Just a month to the planned reopening, are those institutions really prepared?
In the past few days, Prof Magoha has convened meetings with the heads of the institutions to plan for the reopening and visiting the colleges to assess their preparedness. Preliminary reports from these engagements indicate that just a few institutions are ready.
At the university level, so far, only Strathmore has been declared ready for reopening. Ensure reopening of schools runs smoothly
For teachers’ colleges, three — Murang’a, Kibabii and Kericho — have met the threshold. Assessment is ongoing for the technical training institutions.
But the broad observation is that most of the institutions are not ready. Though not surprising, most of them are ordinarily in poor state and Covid-19 has just exposed them. Beyond the situation, long-term actions are required to revamp and revitalise them.
Reopening the colleges in September will be the starting point for relaxing restrictions in the education sector. The reason for beginning with colleges is that they have mature students who understand the health protocols and can, therefore, take care of themselves and minimise infections. Their experience would then inform plans for reopening primary and secondary schools.
Closure of schools and colleges has dealt a huge blow to education. Learners in schools have lost a whole year and have to repeat classes next year. This comes with high social, economic and psychological. Indeed, this is the first time in history that schools are being closed for a year.
The last time the education sector suffered most was in 1982, when, following an abortive coup, the University of Nairobi and then-Kenyatta University College were closed for nine months. That created a major backlog and that took five years to clear. This is the reason steps should be taken at the earliest opportunity to mitigate the damage.
The challenge, therefore, is for the colleges to work on those health protocols to prepare for reopening. All other sectors, such as transport and tourism, are reopening and, therefore, colleges have no reason to lag behind. We ask the management of the institutions to expedite the required processes and get ready for reopening in September as directed.