KENYA: Maureen Kiwinda, “It was not my desire to sleep with people to get a job”

Posted on 4 March 2009. Filed under: Lifestyle, Public Health |

Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
“It was not my desire to lead a life of sleeping with people to get a job”

NAIROBI, (PlusNews) – Maureen Kiwinda*, 22, came to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, in 2003 to stay with her brother, a casual employee in the industrial area. She has also taken up casual employment, but told IRIN/PlusNews that handing out sexual favours was a regular requirement for getting work.

“I could not proceed with my education due to lack of school fees, so I came here and stayed with my brother for two years, but I left because he was not happy that I became pregnant.

“I later went to stay with a friend and started doing laundry work for people … but whatever I was getting from my work was too little to take care of my child. Also, I could not work most of the time because he was still too small and needed my constant attention.

“A friend of mine used to work at the EPZ [export processing zone – an industrial area established by the government in 1990 to boost Kenya’s export capacity]. I went there with her several times but I could not get a job.

“When I was almost giving up, she told me the truth and advised me to talk to one of the supervisors. She told me it would be difficult for me to get a job without giving something small, which I thought was money, but I later learnt the small thing was my body.

“At first I found it hard to comprehend, but I weighed living without knowing what tomorrow brings and having sex to get a job and I decided to give it a try.

“I have been doing it and I have been getting jobs frequently [but] I have paid the price, because now I am HIV-positive.

“The problem here is that you cannot stick to one partner. Even if you decide to get a job through sex, these supervisors are changed almost on a monthly basis, so you know you have to please each of them to survive.

“At times I feel guilty about what I am doing, knowing that I am HIV-positive, but I cannot tell my colleagues or even those who solicit for sex from me. I need food and I need money – what do I do?

“God knows it was not my desire to lead a life of sleeping with people to get a job. At times I feel sorry for myself and my friends, but that is the society we live in.”

*Not her real name

See also: KENYA: Sex for jobs in export processing zones


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3 Responses to “KENYA: Maureen Kiwinda, “It was not my desire to sleep with people to get a job””

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Is it principled carbon copy ? Already saw the for all that info on this locality


This is really sad. I am a job seeker at times life can be so difficult here in Nairobi I empathize with Maureen she made the most difficult decision any one could make.may God forgive the supervisors coz they also will have to pay the price

Your blog is pretty interesting to me and your topics are very relevant. I was browsing around and came across something you might find interesting. I was guilty of 3 of them with my sites. “99% of blog owners are doing these 5 mistakes”. You will be suprised how simple they are to fix.

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    A blog created to cover environmental and political information in Kenya with a view to promoting POVERTY ALLEVIATION through creating awareness of the Millennium Development Goals


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