The story of Samuel Mawato, a garbage collector in Kilifi is worth a handkerchief and a pillow when told. For 15 years, he lived and worked in the United States of America (USA) as a pilot before returning to Kenya with the hope of furthering his success.
The 58-year-old expected to continue with his career back home but that was not the case. Instead, he ended up as a garbage collector in Mtwapa, Kilifi County.
Before heading to the US, Mawato worked as a cabin crew attendant at Wilson Airport in Nairobi for four years before he was dismissed.
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In 1990, the former pilot bagged a scholarship to go study in the US under the East Coast Methodist Church. While abroad, Mawato learnt to fly various planes.
Majorly, he did recreational flying where he flew aviation students.
Mwawato came back to Kenya in 2005 after 15 years in the US. Upon his return, he needed to convert his commercial license so that he could work in Kenya. As a result, he was required 10 hours of day and 10 of night flying.
During an interview with KTN, he revealed that he needed Ksh500,000 to finance the course and so he took a loan. Unfortunately, things did not work out as planned. He only managed 10 hours of daytime flying.
From being a pilot, Mwawato found himself working for a community-based organisation called Responsible Citizen Initiative a garbage collector.
His life took a turn for the worst when his American wife with whom he had two children and his Kenya wife deserted him. His American wife remained in the US when he came back to Kenya.
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The former pilot has never communicated with his wife and two children who are now 26 and 24 years old ever since he returned.
Mwawato is still optimistic his life will change for the better soon.