Imagine living on a piece of land that has been under dispute for thirteen (13) years, with no job, no electricity, no water and no guaranteed food on the table for you and your family. Imagine when a time comes and one of the parties claiming the so-called land passes on, yet he was the good Samaritan who let you stay on, rent free. This is an excerpt from Margaret Nagilae Namoni’s life.

35-year-old Margaret Nagilae Namoni

She has had her fair share of hardships and challenges. From losing her husband, her brother, and her sister to road accidents and illnesses respectively, to have to quit her job to raise her last born daughter because there was no one else to assist her. Her joblessness has forced her kids to drop out of school as well because of lack of financial support. The little she has, i.e. food and clothing,  she has managed to acquire from well-wishers and friends.

The one-room iron sheet shack houses four children and three adults. This is where they sleep, share meals and play. At the back of the shack is where Nagilae prepares whatever little food she can afford on any given day, using firewood and chunks of old worn-out mattresses.

Nagilae's shack-01
The temporary structure Nagilae and her family call home.
Lodome, one of Nagilae’s cousins who lives with her and her family. He had just returned home from an unsuccessful morning looking for a job.
Nagilae’s children. From left: Kevin (9 yrs), Sharon (10 yrs), Blessing (1.5 yrs) and KunuKunu (3 yrs).
Nagilae at her kitchen area preparing black tea for her children.


Nagilae points to where water gets into her house when it rains.

There was a time First Lady Margaret Kenyatta was visiting the College of Insurance some years back. Nagilae’s house was demolished as a result, leaving her and her family stranded. This forced them to seek shelter at her sister’s house in Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum in South B.

Nagilae's demolished house-01
A photo of Nagilae’s house that was demolished during First Lady Margaret Kenyatta’s visit to the College of Insurance.

Nagilae would like to relocate her family to another place but is unable to do so for now. She wrote a letter to the college asking to be paid her dues but the school sent her to the area chief for guidance on the way forward pertaining the same. As it stands, the case of this land is yet to be heard by the court. A date for the hearing is set for March 2018.



A family portrait of Nagilae with her 4 children.



2 thoughts on “NAGILAE’S WOES

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