By FRANCIS ONTOMWA
A daughter’s search for greener pasture in Saudi Arabia has turned a Kakamega mother’s life into a nightmare.
Christine Lichoti just received a heartbreaking call from a stranger who informed her that her daughter, Concepta Atamba had died in the foreign country.
Although Lichoti was excited about the prospect of getting a job in Saudi Arabia, her mother, Lichoti, 45, was not as enthusiastic about the find. She had heard too many not-so-good stories about girls who secure such jobs in that country and was reluctant to let her daughter take up the job.
But after much convincing, Lichoti finally gave in and allowed her daughter to start the process of going abroad, believing the daughter’s new job could help her bring up her other children.
The fact that she was the first and only member of the family to board a plane excited the family.
But Lichoti was tense, that feeling one has when something bad was about to happen.
And it happened, just three months after Atamba left for Saudi Arabia, the disturbing call came last May: her daughter had died after a short illness, the strange voice at the other end announced.
The mother’s last memory of her fourth born child is the cheerful face as she prepared to board the plane in January.
Call out for mama
But since that devastating call, Lichoti sees her daughter’s face with different expressions — pain, agony, fear — and what pierces her heart is imagining the last moments before her daughter died. Did she call out for mama? The answer is in the fresh tears that drench her face.
Then she berates and chides herself; perhaps she should have listened to her instincts.
“I wish I had insisted that my daughter didn’t go. She was so determined to seize the opportunity to assist the family come out of poverty that she wasn’t thinking of anything else.”
She introduced the agent, Rajab Hassan Namasambu, to her mother. The man assured Lichoti that he was going to take care of everything including acquisition of a passport and air ticket. “Rajab assured me that my daughter was going to be safe.”