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HomeWealthCatherine Maina: UK-Based Kenyan Living Hand-To-Mouth, Pays Ksh 104K Rent For A...

Catherine Maina: UK-Based Kenyan Living Hand-To-Mouth, Pays Ksh 104K Rent For A Small Room

Catherine Maina popularly known as Cate Mimi is a renal nurse currently working in London. She has over 5 years of experience and immigrated to the UK in search of better opportunities but as she recently narrated, life in London is not a bed of roses as imagined.

Here is the story as told by WoK.

Pursuit of better pay 

Just like many nurses, she left Kenya for the UK because she wanted a better pay that would in turn support her siblings and family.

One of the reasons why I left Kenya to the UK was to make enough money to support my family. I have siblings that I educate and parents that look up to me,” she wrote on LinkedIn.

Cate says that while in Kenya, she believed that life was better in the United Kingdom because it is a world class economy. Shockingly, she now opines that there isn’t much difference due to the high cost of living in UK.

Rent Hike

Cate lives in a shared flat that accommodates 4 people. She has recently received a letter indicating that there will  be a 7% increase in rent due to inflation. And the letter says the hike is in fact less than the overall Retail Price Index of 13.4%.

As from April, she will have to part with at least £681 (Ksh 104000) as rent for a space she describes as ‘the size of a big coffin.’

My room is the size of a big coffin. If I ever invited a friend for a sleepover, we would have to create a makeshift roundabout lest we keep bumping into each other.”

“For all these luxuries (sic) that I obviously do not deserve, the rent is increasing, my salary is not,” she says.


The nurse says she’s currently transfixed and leaving her job for the private sector could be an option but job security is not guaranteed. Her working hours are also rigid and this means she can’t take on agency shifts.

I could reduce my NHS hours to make time for agency work but I am in the UK under a skilled worker’s Visa which means I am tied by its regulations. So until I one day manage to be independent as far as my immigration status goes, I’m stuck,” she says.

Lives hand-to-mouth

In a past Youtube video, Catherine Maina opined that the UK pays nurses less as compared to other developed countries. She also lamented on the high taxation rates in UK.

Cate now says that she left Kenya due to a hand-to-mouth life yet she still is in the same predicament in the UK.

“I asked myself a rather funny question last night: Did I leave a hand-to-mouth way of life at home to have a hand-to-mouth way of life abroad?” she posed.