This is the story of Zawadi, a maid in the city. Find out more about her story here part 1 and part 2 and part 3.
Mwemba was called for an interview in the city. He said it was arranged by a friend of his from the university. He told her he would call her. Mwemba went back to the city and gave her a call box number where she could reach him on a certain day and time. The village had one callbox and she knew she would soon receive a phone call from him to go to Nairobi to meet him.
Mwemba didn’t call or write. Susu gave excuses. He must be busy with work. I know he will come for me. Susu didn’t realize until the 3rd month that she was pregnant. She had been busy and tired. It didn’t cross her mind that she could be pregnant. But when she did realize she tried to call Mwemba. The people who answered the phone said Mwemba hadn’t been there for a while.
Susu went to see Mwemba’s mother. She wanted to know how to get in touch with Mwemba. On seeing Susu Mwemba’s mother realized there was trouble. She told Susu Mwemba was ok but he wasn’t coming home anytime soon although he planned to come home in about 3 months.
“Could I get his address?” Susu pleaded with his mother.
“Why do you need his address? Do you not know that Mwemba is getting married?”
“What?” Susu asked.
“Yes Mwemba is getting married to his girlfriend from college. Her father owns a construction firm and he is the one who has given Mwemba the job.”
Susu was heartbroken. Mwemba had lied to her. Mwemba’s mother gave her his address. She wrote to Mwemba telling him she was pregnant. Mwemba did not reply. Her pregnancy soon started showing and there was no word from Mwemba. Everybody in the village knew the baby was Mwemba’s. People had seen the signs. They all felt pity for her but there was nothing they could do.
Mwemba didn’t acknowledge the pregnancy. He came home just after Susu gave birth to Zawadi. He had come to introduce his bride to his family. He didn’t come to see Susu although he sent a cousin of his with some money for the child. Susu was too ashamed to go see Mwemba at his party. She had heard that his girlfriend was not a woman one wanted to cross.
Susu did not make it to campus. She couldn’t go with a small baby depending on her and also her siblings. She started her own tailoring business. The clients were still many. The boys of course now thought her an easier target now that she was ‘fallen”. But she paid them no mind. She had learned her lesson. A lesson she taught Zawadi as soon as she could walk. Men were not to be trusted. They were only interested in one thing.
Susu got pneumonia and died when Zawadi was ten. She had been spending too much time in the shop even in the evenings when it was cold. She had gotten sick but because she didn’t have time to go to the hospital she had collapsed. She was taken to hospital but it was too late.
Susu’s auntie could not take Zawadi in. She already had too many mouths to feed and now that Susu was dead it meant that her other brothers and sisters would need her assistance. Mwemba’s mother on hearing what was happening took Zawadi in. She had no one to stay with her and Zawadi stayed with her as she went to school. Mwemba’s mother made him send some money for school. Madam Asila who found out about Zawadi after she had gotten married was not very happy about it. But Mwemba was doing well so she couldn’t stop Mwemba from sending money to his mother.
Zawadi stayed with her grandmother until she was 18. Her grandmother had a stroke and although she recovered slightly she realized she could not take care of Zawadi. She told Mwemba to make arrangements for Zawadi. Zawadi was talented in design like her mother and she wanted to study design. Mwemba paid for college and brought Zawadi to Nairobi.
Madam Asila was not happy. Zawadi was as beautiful as her mother and she was a reminder to Madam Asila that her husband had been playing the field when he was in the village before they got married. Madam Asila insisted that Zawadi stay with them. She made Zawadi the maid and told her if she told the father she would be out on her own. No college and nowhere to stay. Mwemba was working in another country as a diplomat. He was very rich but Zawadi was just a poor relation.
Madam Asila’s daughters had not known they had a sister. They hated her. She was beautiful and they were rather plain. They made Zawadi’s life a living hell. They treated her badly and told her not to dare mention that she was their step-sister. Thus started the journey of Zawadi, a maid in Nairobi.
Find part 5 here.