Being the house-help isn’t the best job one can have but trust me, they are real life savers. “I wake up in the wee hours of the morning and make tea for my employers. I also boil some water in case hot water isn’t running,” says Veneste Mbarushimana. It is not easy getting out of bed that early, especially when you earn peanuts.
Most employers believe that their helpers aren’t underpaid because all the facilities like food, water and accommodation are free. Some helpers don’t need accommodation they only come during the day to wash clothes or clean the house.
Veneste is a house boy to one of the middle class families in Kanombe, a Kigali suburb. “I came from Cyangugu to look for work in Kigali as my mother couldn’t afford paying for my secondary education. I do my chores to the best of my ability because maybe one day, my employer will pay for my education,” he narrates.
“I polish my boss’ shoes every morning before they go to work.” Since the children baby sits are old enough, his job isn’t that hectic. “I only make sure the house is clean, clothes are washed and food is cooked.