Not many city women are housewives like in the days when Jomo Kenyatta was president and Uhuru Kenyatta was attending Lady Northey Nursery School. This means many homes need a house help. Most of the mboches are considered part of the family, since baba na mama have to go to work, slaving away till late and then getting stuck in the snail pace that is Nairobi’s traffic.
While house girls have taken over most homes - as far as chores are concerned that is - the woman of the house has learnt to become very choosy. And while a majority of city women look for house girls who are humble, motherly, hardworking, reserved and not gossipy loud mouths, few will settle for one with killer looks.
In fact, when they are searching for a house help, or mama nguo, the overriding qualification always seems to be the most average, earthiest and homeliest girl or woman you can come across. Clearly, there is no room for a hot ‘Miss Mboch.’ A very good looking house girl is deemed to be a threat to the status quo.
She can destabilise a young or even old marriage. So, the woman of the house has to weed out house girls with noticeable hips, short skirts, long hair, dimples, shapely legs or sexy diastema. Very ‘yellow yellow’ house girls are out of the question. The Nairobian spoke to women in the city to find out why they have a beef with cute house girls.
Since men are considered to be visual beings, very few women can trust a house girl who swings her hips and flashes seductive smiles around their men, let alone one who sits ovyo ovyo.
Nancy Onyango, a journalist with one of the leading media houses says that, “I’m all about women looking good, but some of them overdo it with ill intentions.” She recalls how one of her house girls seemed bent on taking over her home.
“When I first employed her, she was very naïve and wore loose-fitting clothes. But a few months later, she had changed to tight outfits and even bleached her skin. Every time my husband was in the living room, she would pass in front of him, walking suggestively and pretending to be cleaning. I came up with an excuse and fired her immediately,” explains Nancy, who now prefers older women who have no time or ambitions for sexual favours. Clearly, the #MyDressMyChoice agitation has nothing to do with how housemaids choose to dress!
Too cute for flooring
Hot women, Miss Mboch or not, can always tell that something good is bound to come their way. They are rarely desperate and if they are working as house girls, it’s probably a phase as they wait for something better. Women prefer to engage the not-so-good-looking and desperate mboches, who don’t even mind sleeping on the floor.
Dealing with baby poo and changing diapers is a task that only mothers can stand. It takes special skills, patience and maternal instincts to pull it off. A hot mboch would probably find it challenging and not worth the trouble.
“I prefer employing school dropouts from very humble backgrounds. They are focused and their priority is to raise cash to enable them go back to school or support their relatives in the village. They rarely have time for the man of the house,” Cynthia Wafula, a spa proprietor in Kilimani told The Nairobian. She notes that these type are even cheaper and wouldn’t ask for much, provided accommodation and food is guaranteed.
A hot young woman is ever in demand. Such women are hard to domesticate. The moment you bring her into the house from rural Funyula in Western, the soja at the gate will start hanging around your house, just as that Form Four boy or jobless bugger who will look for every opportunity to katia her. Many have been tricked by fundi wa choo and other idlers in the estate who get spell-bound by the mboch’s beauty and naivety. That beautiful mboch can be such a handful and inconvenience and hardly stays on the job...at least that’s what Nai’s working mums want us to believe.
A hot mboch can make the mama of the house look like Pierre Nkurunziza, trying to stamp authority on her domestic government after an attempted coup. With a hot mboch, you don’t snooze, lest you loose. Women claim that the possibility of such hot ‘aunties’ becoming second or third wives are not far-fetched.
Compe roho safi
Competition is something women are incapable of handling, especially from a woman they consider to be beneath them. The mere thought of losing your man to a mboch can give one a heart attack.
Boys in the hood
A hot mboch will be too distracted to work, so we are told. She will be spending more time in front of the mirror or bathroom preening herself rather than fulfilling what is spelt out in her job description. Besides, lustful neighbours and boys in the hood would be flocking all over her. As the excuse goes, no woman wants the mboch idling with boys in the hood while the child is left unattended.
A hot woman who is self-conscious of her looks is impossible to control. And a house help who cannot be controlled is not worth the trouble. Nai women claim that gorgeous ‘aunties’ have a high turnover, because there will always be someone willing to marry them or get them a better job. Let’s just say that’s the reason most mboches in Nairobi are not what you can call cover girl material.
A hot woman is unlikely to be desperate and would know what she is worth. Besides, this ‘aunty’ knows that the man of the house is also likely to sneak in a favour or two behind the wifey’s back. Either way, maintaining a hot mboch is costlier than an average looking one. That’s according to our city women.
Hot mboches and indeed any hot girl, will be curious to advance herself in life. Somehow, they know that their station in life is not to be house helps. As soon as you employ them, they start looking for an exit strategy. They hardly settle. Like a rolling stone, they scarcely gather any moss.
Our women have spoken. Is this true, or these mamas are just insecure and probably not easy on the eyes like their hired help? Let us know.
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The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke