- Wanjiru says that she was working at a hotel in Nairobi when the opportunity for better pay in Riyadh came.
- At first, she was treated well and received her full pay in May and June.
In August 2021, a video of a helpless Kenyan lady in Saudi Arabia went viral. In the video, the woman identified as Mary Wanjiru was in bed at a medical facility in Riyadh, looking frail.
Back then, Wanjiru said that she had been in the hospital for two weeks after her employer pushed her down from the second floor.
The family of the 32-year-old can now breathe a sigh of relief after they were reunited with her, months after being hospitalized in the Gulf state.
Wanjiru, speaking at her mother’s home in Njoro, Nakuru County, counts herself lucky after escaping death by a whisker.
Wanjiru says that she was working at a hotel in Nairobi when the opportunity for better pay in Riyadh came. An agent facilitated her travel and she arrived at her employer’s house on April 22, 2021.
At first, she was treated well and received her full pay in May and June.
But she sensed something was amiss when on July 15, her employer’s wife asked her to cook food that will last for two days. The next day, she spotted suspicious activities in the house.
Wanjiru notices suspicious events
She spotted the family moving an object wrapped in a carpet.
“The carpet was wrapped around what appeared to be a human body. I was shaken and rushed back to the house. I had earlier noticed bloodstains on the lower side of my mattress,” Wanjiru is quoted by Standard as saying.
Wanjiru suspects that the family was planning for a ritual. “Earlier in the day in rather unusual behaviour, the wife placed a dustbin on the cooker. Knives had been arranged around the sink. I moved the items to the appropriate places. Then I found candles placed in a pattern on the floor of the toilet,” she narrates.
Hours later, Wanjiru claims, she was doing house chores at a balcony when she was pushed to the ground. “I saw him behind me. He pushed me without saying a word. I was in freefall from the second floor before I landed on the roof of a low-height store.”
Luckily for her, she landed on her back and managed to drag herself to the edge of the roof, attracting neighbours’ attention.
“The police came and rushed me to hospital. They brought my employer to the hospital and told me that they would investigate the matter after speaking with him, which they did but in a language, I didn’t understand. However, the police officers who had rescued me took away my phone and never returned to the hospital, eventually cutting off communication between my family and friends,” she says.
90-second video literally saves her
She reveals that an imaging procedure was done on her back, with doctors telling her that she had suffered a spinal injury that paralysed her legs. While at the hospital, she says she made friends with an Arab woman who offered to record the 90-second video that literally saved her life.
“The woman recorded a video of me in bed pleading for help and asking to be repatriated. She shared it on an internet platform that had Kenyans. I prayed that someone would identify me and come to my rescue.”
Wanjiru’s aunt, Mumbi Matheri, bumped into the video in one of her WhatsApp groups. “I saw the video on August 28. I couldn’t believe it was her. I showed it to my sister who confirmed that it was her daughter. We began the process of tracing its origin.”
With the help of three Kenyans working in Dubai, the family was able to trace their daughter to the hospital and started the process of facilitating her return home.
One of the residents says that with the help of the community, the family managed to organise for her repatriation to Kenya.
Wanjiru arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on the 4th of November, 2021, where he was received by family members.
Although confined to a wheelchair, Wanjiru insists that she still harbours the dream of getting her family a decent home.
“I still believe I can walk again if I get the right treatment which I was denied in a foreign country. I believe in working hard to provide for myself and my family. I don’t want to be stuck on this chair all my life.”