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Leah Nyokabi: Dubai Domestic Worker Who Went From Earning Ksh 150 Per Day to Owning a Home, Rental Houses

Leah Nyokabi, who worked menial jobs in Kenya and as a domestic worker in Dubai, is a true definition of grass to grace.

The 36-year-old went from earning Ksh 150 per day as a quarry worker to becoming a house owner and a landlady.

Leah has also been investing in Saccos and buying properties in different parts of the country including Mai Mahiu and Nyahururu.

Here is her story as told by WoK.

Leah who works as a domestic worker in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) has endured numerous challenges to become a house owner and landlady.

She previously worked at a quarry earning Ksh 150 per day before getting a job as a cleaner at the National Assembly, earning Ksh 6,500 per month.

In 2012, Leah got a chance to travel to Saudi Arabia to work as a domestic worker, and earned Ksh 16,000 per month at the time.

However, after working this job for a while, she moved to a different household where they were gracious enough to double her salary.

“I never knew anything about saving, I used to wire cash home to my relatives since I was the sole breadwinner. After mastering survival tricks, I shifted to another employer where I was paid Ksh 36,000 per month,” she said.

In an interview with Nation, Leah also mentioned that it was around this time when she fell in love and later got married to her husband, Ibrahim Maina.

Their union meant good for the both of them as they would put together resources and invest in properties and projects back home.

“Meeting Ibrahim was a blessing to me as we pooled resources and bought two plots of one-eighth of an acre at Ksh 400,000 each

“I was able to save money with my husband and I’m happy he’s my pillar because he’s 100% supporting my saving culture, which has seen us construct our first house at a cost of Ksh 800,000,” she said.

To further make the most out of the money she earned while working in Dubai, Leah also joined a Sacco which she says is essential to Kenyan domestic workers abroad.

“I love the idea of the domestic workers’ Sacco. I joined immediately and started saving. I did not want to repeat the same mistake I made of not saving for a rainy day when I first went to Saudi Arabia,” she said.

Years down the line, the Sacco has come in handy in helping Leah realize her dreams which includes being a house owner.

“So far I have borrowed more than Ksh 400,000 to kickstart the projects that I have undertaken including the construction of two one-bedroom rentals houses,” she stated.

Leah also buys shares at the Sacco every month and has invested in properties including two pieces of land Mai Mahiu and Nyahururu.

“If I were to sell the two pieces of land, I would fetch at least Ksh 1 million as each is now going for Ksh 500,000, according to the latest market value,” she said.

In her journey to home ownership, Leah noted that it was not a walk in the park especially because she lives outside the country.

“The construction might not go according to plan because of the lack of strict site supervision. The price of material is inflated, making the project costly,” she said.

Leah states that she is striving to make proper investments to prove that women working as domestic workers can also outsmart men in their own game.

“I have decided to put my young adulthood life to good use by becoming a landlady who works as a domestic worker. I want to prove that women working as domestic workers both at home and abroad can outsmart men with their persistence and hard work,” she said.

Leah also noted that the feeling of owning a home cannot be compared to any other, “having a room over your head is the best feeling ever. It feels warm and comforting because home is full of memory and continuing love.”