- Now 34, Ms Wahu was 19 when she got her first bar attendant job.
- Today, she demands respect from her customers in return for the professionalism she serves them with.
- Additionally, she has educated two of her siblings and supported them until they got jobs.
Jecinta Wahu has worked as a barmaid for 15 years. This job, she says, is like any other. “True, it has its challenges, but with time and experience, it gets easier,” she says.
Now 34, Ms Wahu was 19 when she got her first bar attendant job. It’s an experience she would like to erase from her memory.
“On my first day at work, I was asked to wear a short dress, which was so uncomfortable. Seeing my naivety, a customer grabbed my breasts as I served him. Thankfully, co-workers came to my rescue. I was so scared that day, I cried the whole night,” Ms Wahu recalls.
That was then. Today, she demands respect from her customers in return for the professionalism she serves them with. This job, she points out, enabled her build her mother, who has since died, a house back in Nakuru, where she comes from, and buy cows for her farm.
Additionally, she has educated two of her siblings and supported them until they got jobs. She has also solely raised her son, who is a Form Two student. Moreover, she has taken herself through college, and now holds a diploma in business management.
She also has certificates in public relations and crisis management and owns a retail liquor store in Nairobi. “Would you then say that this is a dishonourable job?” she poses, adding that this profession has countless morally upright women whose sole aim is to earn a decent living.
Raised by a single mother of eight, life was not easy for Wahu. With such a big family, money was never enough as she grew. Her mother was also uncompromising.
“My mother, a staunch Christian, was very strict on us. I feared her and couldn’t seek her help when I needed guidance,” she says.
With no understanding adult to guide her as a teen, she resorted to taking advice from peers. With pressure from friends, the little freedom she got when she visited a sister in Nairobi during the April holidays while in Form Four ended up in pregnancy.
She says: “I met a man who offered me attention which I didn’t resist as I wanted to emulate my peers.”