On Monday I asked my sister to give my daughter Tamara a mandazi to eat, my sister has a food joint she said I should pay her we shouldn't joke with her business, I took my children to the house I fell far away from the baby, I was unconscious I could hear him crying but with a faint voice my son took the baby placed him in my arms and at the same time tried to place my legs together while covering me I cried my heart out I was holding the baby not knowing what to do, so he took the knife and cut it off I did not have the baby's clothes except this sheet, so he rolled the baby in it and placed him on bed I love my child so much, it is sad that I have stayed for too long without seeing him I spoke to my mum recently and she told me my child keeps staring at the wall, all he says is he keeps seeing my picture, he does not even eat my son has refused to eat all he wants is to either come to me or I go visiting but I am unable Every expectant mother is hopeful that when her time to deliver comes, everything will run smoothly but things turned out opposite for Benedicta, welcome to this episode of My Story and this is her story My name is Benedicta Nthonki Muinde, I come from Machakos, but at the moment I live here in Kayole, Mihango I moved to this place after I secured a job in a certain hotel in Kayole One, although I lost that job, I was living with my sister So I had to use my savings to figure out on how to survive I am a mother of 3 children but at the moment I stay with 2 My father died while I was 3 years old and my mother was sent away by his family when she went to her home, her brothers too chased her away, so we just lived a miserable life My mother was forced into that marriage because the man was way older than her, she was actually sent away because she could not give the family a male child my dad was like a bread winner to my mothers siblings so when he died it contributed into her brothers sending her away the family felt that she is useless because she did not have a male child to inherit property we had a miserable life until one day mum met a a good Samaritan who offered to help her get a job in a coffee farm he said workers are given a house and so all she needed was to work and earn money to take care of us she secured the job while living with us, she also begun working in peoples homes but life was so hard, she decided to take us back to the village, at my father's home and she disappeared it wasn't easy back in the village, we ended up living with neighbors, so my mum would send some money for food and upkeep but that would be once in a while when she gets the money, we never went to school, I ended up working as a maid I am the 3rd born in my family My 2 sisters and I would work hard to keep my 2 small siblings in school I even worked in a bar but I had to quit because I was still young, 16 years and most clients would despise me and want to use me in a not so good manner I ended up getting married at that young age because of how miserable life was where did you meet your husband? In the same club I was working in, he took me in although he was way older than me I got pregnant with our first child, a son.
it was not all smooth, the man used to beat me saying I am so young not of his age and class that I was born in a poor family one day he told me to pack and leave because his family was coming over to the house, he was a married man he had never mentioned to you that he was married? no, he just told me his wife was late and the children were taken away by the wifes family I believed him because when I reached his compound it seemed like a lonely place, no sign of a woman the wife appeared one day while I was 8 months pregnant she told me to leave and even threatened to burn the entire house with me in it because it was her house the husband calmed her down and asked her to be patient he will get a solution once I deliver the baby immediately after giving birth she drove me and the baby out complete with our belongings I had to go back to the village because now my life was a mess how old is your son? He turned 10 years in June 17 I asked my mom to stay with my child as I go looking for house work, I secured one in Ruiru where I worked for 3 months I left because we were not in good terms with the mother of the house The money I was getting was of great help because I would do shopping for my mom, Visit her and the baby once in a while and give her money for upkeep I went back home and told mum I was still going out to look for another place because she was good with the baby I got a job as a waitress once more, I saved enough money and even bought my mom households she was taking care of my child after working for sometime that club was closed down I begun hustling again, then I met another man and we fell in love I gave him the story of my life and the man took me in with my child he used to work as a long distance driver From Nairobi? he worked in a company called DM We looked for a house here in Mihang'o and moved in together, then I got pregnant with my second born I was only 2 months pregnant when he had an accident just around Bypass he was not supposed to be on duty on that day he was sitting in for a friend he lost his job because of that incident, life went back to being tough he begun working in construction sites but it was not a guarantee he would get money on daily basis things were tough and in fact we had to move out of the house we were living in rent became a problem but all in all I managed to give birth safely he met someone who taught him about roofing where he secured a job and life went back to normal we had a peaceful marriage, he was a good man In 2018 December I got pregnant for our last born I had no idea I was pregnant, I discovered that in late January Everything was going on well but when I reached 4 months, things were not working well for him, he would go for a week without a job every time the agent would come for rent, he would hide under the bed if the agent happens to bump into him, the guy would tell him to come back in the afternoon, that he was expecting some money when the agent comes in the afternoon, the guy would sneak out using the back door I had to use my small savings to settle for rent then ask the agent to make sure he asks for rent from my husband if he manages to pay that would mean one month extra was settled but the guy would not spend in the house, he used to come back after 2 days suddenly he just changed, he never wanted to see the agent and would often talk ill of him at 6 months pregnant the man spent the night out, in the morning when I asked him, he just changed his clothes and walked out never to be seen again he even changed his contacts I went to the land lady and explained to her my problems, she understood me and told me to ask the agent to call her when they come to collect rent she even asked the agent not to come knocking on my door until I delivered my baby so they never came knocking At 8 months pregnant I could no longer go to work, I was completely tired and I had never even gone to the clinic I did not have the money, I had not even bought a single dress for the baby My son would go collecting scrap metals, there's a place he would sell and come home with some money even KSh 20 he would then come home with 2 donuts and tell me to share God will see us through some day that particular Sunday everything went on well during the day but when I went to bed I wasn't feeling too well on Monday my son went out as usual but he was not lucky on that day because he had met his teacher who warned him against collecting scraps I asked my sister who has a food joint to give my small daughter a mandazi to eat because we had not eaten anything she asked me to give her money because that was a her business on the same day she saw another lady who was pregnant too, she was just coming from the clinic when the lady came to that joint my sister told her she was wondering why I had never gone to the clinic he lady told my sister not to blame me because I did not have money and if not for my son then food is even a problem in my house but my sister would hear non of that she even said that she will not come to help me on delivery day because I had never gone to the clinic whose words were those? my sister and in fact she is our first born the lady told me not to expect any assistance from my sister especially when I am about to have a child I said okay and left everything in the hands of God When we got to the house, my daughter Tamara told me mum because I am so hungry let me just go to bed and die of hunger those words were so painful, I could not hold back tears I took a plate and went to a neighbors house, a lady, to ask for food for the my daughter because life was becoming unbearable she was so generous, she gave me pilau, maize flour, kales and some boiled beans she then asked me to send my son in a nearby shop my children were so happy to see food, my son said we should even celebrate we ate the food then I sent him to the shop the lady had asked me to my son was given KSh which was supposed to be used perhaps to buy paraffin for the stove I was so excited I even took a shower that day then come back to the house and have my meal peacefully I showered then went back to the house but when I was about to light the stove to cook ugali, I felt something warm between my legs and it was like something was crawling downwards then I saw blood, I asked my son to go outside for a while, my daughter was a sleep, it was around 7 pm I wiped off the blood then went back to shower for the 2nd time I sat down and asked God not to bring the baby on earth yet because I did not have anything on me, what was I going to feed them on? I begun experiencing labour pains, I could not cook, I just turned off the stove and sat there waiting for whatever happens I told God, you understand I have no one to help me now that my sister had warned earlier, I can't go to the clinic either because I had not gone before I asked my son to come in, he showered then went to bed I took a cushion placed it on the floor, covered it with a piece of cloth then put on a dress and sat still I begun to take a walk during the night as the pains kept fluctuating, I kept asking God to bring the baby in the night before people wake up and laugh at my problems I kept walking in the dead of the night, it was only the dogs and donkeys that were outside when I went back to the house at 3 am I found my son sitting on the bed while crying I realized that he was actually peeping at me through the window, he knew I was in pain I asked him why he was crying and he said he wanted to ask me something I told him okay I am listening he asked me if I went through the same pain while giving birth to him I told him yes he asked me again if he could help me in any way it told him to warm some water for me to drink he warmed the water, put some in a flask and another in a cup then he sat there with me I asked him to sleep but he refused, I had to cane him and force him to sleep when I took a cup of water I felt the baby rolling in the womb, I knew what that meant because I already had experience I asked God to do something before morning comes Immediately I felt the baby kick so hard and I knew it was time to push, I screamed in the process and my son woke up he asked me what was happening before I could even reach the cushion, I felt another more painful kick and I saw death shortly after, the baby was already popping out, it was around 6 am and people were already going to work I gave it one hard push, the baby came out and I fainted the umbilical cord was still intact and I could hear the baby screaming but the voice was faint my son took the baby and brought it to where I was and at the same time pulling my legs together so that he could cover me I regained consciousness when my son was trying to cover me, I cried my heart out it was so painful to watch him do that he kept telling me to wake up and save the baby's life, he was asking God to give me strength God gave me the strength, I woke up and he came and placed the baby on my arms I asked him to take a thread that we use for sewing from the drawer and and have it cut into two we tied the umbilical cord blindly we had no idea on where exactly, then he used a knife to cut it off I did not have the baby's clothes except this sheet, so he rolled the baby in it and placed her on bed the baby felt the warmth and slept off shortly after I felt the placenta was now beginning to swell in me at that time I was feeling so hungry, weak, my whole body was shaking and there was no one to help me my son had rushed to inform my sister immediately after putting the baby to bed both my sisters were living together so because one of them was preparing to go to work, she told my son she will be coming to see me later so he rushed to the roof top and started shouting for help, he was calling mom Sam and mom Amos to come help me they both came there was a lady from Congo whom I used to share my story with and she would tell the husband so together they were buying clothes for my baby and keeping them I actually received this blanket from them when they heard what had happened, they rushed to my house and assisted in having the placenta removed they had to even place a cooking stick in my mouth to have me push the placenta out it came out but part of it remained in me I used to experience a lot of pain in my lower abdomen they cleaned the house, the lady went to her house and prepared some porridge and food for me My sisters came later, and told me we can see you have received a blessing, I told them dad had resurrected one of them looked at the baby said congratulations and left she did not do anything else the elder one took the baby and washed him then she left also I was at the mercy of my neighbours, they would cook food and share with me another one would come and wash my baby's clothes, because the Congo lady brought me a lot of them Life was hard my son went back to collecting scrap metals he would come home with 2 donuts, give one to me and share the other with the sister so then the landlady came knocking, she said it was time for me to pay rent I was still weak how much were you paying? KSh 2500 I went to plead with her once again but this time round she was adamant and insisted rent must be paid I tried to plead with the caretaker but he told me I have to leave, and he even said I will still have to settle the arrears before leaving I thought of a fundraiser and so I moved from door to door especially among the women I used to help in washing of clothes they were so generous, the least amount I was getting per person was KSh 400 I was supposed to pay KSh 4200, I collected close to KSh 5800.
I settled the arrears and remained with some cash for food On Sunday, it was raining so heavily, the agent and caretaker came and threw me out with all my items I still had some money from the contributions so I went and fetched someone who came to help me assisted me in carrying my items I moved into a another house before I could even meet the management I managed to arrange the items the new house and at that time my child was with a neighbour after arranging the house then I rushed to go so the agent of that particular plot I told him I had moved in one of the rooms so I was there to pay, he told me it's okay I should deposit the money direct into the account the following day I went and took the baby, actually he had been rained on, this shawl was soaking wet when we reached the house I changed him immediately and put him to sleep My nephew, my elder sister has a son who is supposed to be in Form 3 but he is in Class 8 he came and informed me that he had been sent to tell me to prepare Lawrence my mum was coming to pick him I thought God had finally opened the door because my son had never gone back to school since his dad left, it was already 26th of Jan I went and bought rice and some beef to prepare after learning that mum was coming before I even cooked, mum arrived and told me he came to pick his grandson she took my son and left then I remained with these 2 After a while things were a little okay because I was getting a few jobs here and there after 2 months corona happened, there was no job and any place I tried to look for one I was turned away in the name of corona life became miserable once again, I could not even pay rent because the little I was getting during my daily hustle was just enough for food My sister's children have sponsors who pay for their school fees, they got to a school called Obit One day she asked me visit her and I went to spend the day just where her food joint is on that day, she was informed that parents are needed in school she requested me to represent her at school because I could not manage clients at her eatery I was given a donation of food in a sack of about 90kg which I had to drop at her place, the moment I dropped that sack I fainted because it was too heavy that food was given to the parents by sponsors I then begged my sister to just give me a packet of milk to drink because I was feeling weak she told me she was really mad at me because apparently I was talking ill of them telling people they had abandoned me I asked her Lucy, where have you picked all these rumours from yet we were just okay before you sent me to represent you in school she told me some women had just informed her I have been complaining on how I was even chased out of my previous house I told her there was only one lady who witnessed the day I was being driven out and what the agent said, I did not tell her anything I left that place shedding tears of pain and went to the house I felt like life was meaningless, I had actually gone to her eatery so that at least she could give my children some food but she ended up hurting me even more I took my phone and sent a message to our 2nd born sister asking her to take care of my son who was now living with my mum I told her I had given up I asked her to ensure my son goes to school and never find out whatever happened to me, should he ask then they should tell him I am in Nairobi I then switched off the phone and threw it away I mixed some 3 chemicals I was sure I locked the door but I have no idea what happened Just as I was about to give the poison to my children then finally drink it and sleep, I heard the door open when I went to check, it was another Muslim lady friend of mine, she calls me mama Timara She told me my house smells strange like some poison, I told her to shut up there was nothing like that she insisted something was a miss, went straight took the cup that had the poison then stood at the door and begun screaming My mum was informed about the message I had sent and when they asked my elder sister if she had seen me she told them I had left her eatery crying my mum told her to rush to my house to find out what was happening when she arrived I was fighting this lady with a friend of my sister called Caro, I was stopping them from announcing that I wanted to take poison my sister was accompanied by another lady and when she arrived she told them to throw away that cup that had the poison I went back to the house crying asking God just what sort of life was I living My sister followed me to the house and begun shouting at me she told me I was free to take my own life but not that of the children, in fact if I wanted to die the family will not stop me if my time has come I told her it's okay and she left there's a lady, just a neighbour who gave my children and I some food on that day I sat with her and told her about my story, she told me mama Timara do't worry it shall be well she told me I had to go through pain in order to receive my blessings I told her it was too much, but she told me not to give up the following day I went out with my children to look for a job I then received a call that the agent had broken into my house and threw all my items outside the new house? Yes I called my mom and asked her to lend me some KSh 500, I wanted to sell those items and find a means to survive either to travel home or get a more cheaper house for a month as I figure out on the next move she forwarded the message to my sister and asked her to help me find a means to transport those items at her place in the meantime before she comes back mum informed one of her brothers who came with a cart and collected my items the bed and other small items, this mattress here is my sister's this house had a tv, gas cylinder and some shopping but when my sister heard I was now staying here, she collected everything she only left the radio, some clothes and this mattress which she gave a warning that I should not touch in this current house Yes, this particular house I am in before I fell sick, I used to go out there to look for jobs and when I get non I go begging you mean those small jobs you used to do? Yes, offering laundry services One day I came home and found a new padlock on the tap, I called my sister but she did not receive my call I am not sure if she called the landlord, I was just informed I was not going to receive water everyone had access to water on the entire plot except me, in fact the tap is closed every time I wanted to fetch water My sister then begun calling and threatening me saying that she wanted to come back to this house and when she arrives I should be on my way out I was so stressed I called our elder sister and asked if the other one had arrived, but she told me she was on her way when she was asked to go back to work, she works in Kisumu then suddenly I begun falling sick On that day I felt something hit my heart then a sharp pain travelled to my back I held my chest and breathed out, when I breathed in I felt like I was taking in blood when I breathed in and out again, I was oozing some foam then I fainted this lady you found here was the one who rescued me, I have no idea where she came from on that day she called out neighbours, they came and begun giving me milk, some were praying I was so weak, but I would hear their voices from a far I asked God to give me strength I woke up after a while, but I still did not have energy I was even experiencing difficulty in breathing I asked to be given some salty water I had some anointing oil which I mixed with the salty water and begun to drink The moment I took the water, I felt the anointing oil travel right through the heart, and the the pain I was feeling went away immediately Within 5 mins I was okay I then went on my knees because it was now getting late everyone was going back to their house and I was left alone with my children How are you feeling right now? sometimes the sharp pain reappears at times it feels like I had gone on a very long journey on foot sometimes my joints ache so much like I had done some heavy chores You have never gone to seek any medical attention? no, the last time I went to the hospital doctors were on strike so I just came back home so you have been here throughout? Yes, I have been here make me understand, why do you feel your sisters hate you this much where is the problem? It's so disturbing, I have even asked my pastor to pray about it, I don't know why they hate me yet I love both of them and mum too I remember one time mum was so sick she would even soil on herself, I used to wash her I keep checking on my sisters because I love them but I don't what spirit entered them My sister never visits, ever since I fell sick she has never even given me a cup of water she even cooks food and throws it away when it goes bad I once asked her why she has never even offered my child just soup and ugali, she did not respond 2 weeks after I fell ill she came here, I was busy making the bed, she startled me and I fell down, then she told me I can see these days you have become rich you barely remember people I could not hold back my tears I asked why she is not even concerned about my poor health she told me off then sat right there, I sat here I narrated to her on what had happened the day I feel sick and how I was assisted by neighbours she told me continue being assisted by passersby then she walked out the following day she came here with her children, she told me our other sister now the owner of this house has said my days in her house are numbered that I should be planning to move out how many days did she give you? it's around 6 days to end month she said that she was no longer going to pay rent and asked her to collect her mattress, clothes and the radio she said all she was doing was to inform me early enough in case I fail to move out my door will be locked I have nothing against my sisters, I don't know why they just hate me what about your husband? I have no idea where he is, he cut communication since he changed his phone number he has never seen this child, he is now 11 months old I have never heard from him, the last time I spoke to his mum who was asking me to visit her I asked her just how possible will that be when the son left, changed contacts and no one not even his family know of his whereabouts perhaps he got married, he might even come home with the wife so there was no need of me visiting I told her right now I am hustling to fend for my children, if we are meant to be some day he will come looking for me he even knows our home, he will call me when that time comes if he is watching this, what message do you have for him? I want him to know I have nothing against him If he left because of my miserable life, then it is well even if he wants to see the baby I cannot stop him I always expected that my marriage would be good If this is the will of God then I am okay but I want him to just visit his son, my children never suffered when we were together my eldest son was going to school but when he left in June, my son was in class 3, he has never stepped in school my son was supposed to sit for an exam, money was needed, but because I did not have any I was unable to pay for him what can you tell Lawrence your son who was there for you in the time of need? I love him with all my heart I feel sad I have not seen him for long I cannot even describe him, he is like an angel my son is a very significant part of my life When he was leaving, he told me to keep him in prayers so that things can work out well for him to go to school and work hard one day he will get me out of this miserable life I told him not to worry and he assured me things will be fine one day recently when we spoke it was the same day I told my mum about how sick I was she told me my son stares at the wall then all he says is he keep seeing my picture and he doesn't eat all he wants is to see me, either I travel or he is brought here but currently I am unable to I am told he is really disturbed when we spoke, I told him yes I was unwell but I assured him I am fine just to give him hope he told me all his clothes are torn, that I should try and get him even just 2 pairs of trousers I told him I will try, I was just seated on this bed I told him God will give me a job and I will be able to buy him clothes You told me that you have no idea when your sister will come and throw you out I was told on Saturday that she is not coming back here, that her belongings be removed from here because she is no longer paying rent how much is rent? I heard she pays KSh 3, 000, at least that is what she said Don't lose hope, it shall be well, God knows why he brought you this far and He will never leave you but you mentioned that you are experiencing a lot of pain and you need medical attention yes, my only food is porridge I cannot eat any other thing there are times I become so weak I cannot even lift a cooking pan it's my young daughter Timira who struggles, pulls a jerican full of water, brings the cooking pan and stove right where I am because I cannot move she lights the stove for me so I struggle to pour the water on the sufuria then prepare porridge she then brings me a basin with water that I use for cooling the porridge then we take it Life is so unbearable, if someone doesn't give me any food, that's it we sometimes run out of cooking flour, the one you are seeing here was given to me by one of the congregants who told me to prepare porridge if someone doesn't visit me with anything we stay hungry even for 2 days Sometimes Timira's friend goes with her to her house when it's time to eat, and when she is given food she comes here to share with the brother Lucky they sit and eat together that is how hard life has been It shall be well we are currently waiting for tea to be ready so that we can at least take a sip but as for Benedicta, her heart is full of sorrow she has no idea where the husband is, she is unwell her neighbours are her only hope Reporting for TUKO News my name is Kevin Philips Momanyi.