Guard by day, parent by night

Guard by day, parent by night

With Grace Wangechi @yaa_grace

Parenting is a hurdle that few jump over and land safely on the other side. Security guard, Pamela Akinyi brings us up to speed with her run-in along the corridors of parenting. Her husband passed on in 2008 making her the sole bread winner of her family by default.

The now single mother of four says that it has not been easy. She has had to juggle between fending for her family and being present as a parent. “I have been working since my husband passed on,” she says. “I have done casual jobs so that my children have something to eat.”

Pamela has also been a half-day house-help so that she would go back home and prepare supper for her children. As time went by, she was forced to take up a second job. Between 2010 and 2012, she worked in two different cleaning firms. The working hours were between 6am and 6pm.

After her night shifts, she would head straight to her casual jobs. “I avoided going back home because I knew once I got into the house, sleep would overwhelm me and I would do nothing that day,” she explains. She has done quite a number of casual jobs like cleaning houses and washing clothes for people.

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And at some point, she was a sales person at the famous Gikomba market. Pamela says that even while working two jobs and trying her level best to make ends meet, challenges still came knocking.

Putting food on the table on a daily basis was not so much a problem as she had the casual every day jobs that provided the much-needed cash. School fees, however, was not easy to come by as the fatigue caused by the jobs was immensely intense.

Born and raised in a family of 10, school fees was scarce and so she did not see the inside of a secondary classroom after completing her primary education, something she did not want her children to go through. Her job at night serves her well as she has managed to educate all her children.

In fact, her oldest son, 23 years of age, is now a cook at a learning institution and is now reaping the benefits of being a chef. “It was not until February 2013 that I started working as a security guard, a job I love.

I am working with my second firm, Diplomatic Protective Service and I must say it’s going on well,” says Pamela. The Kariobangi North resident says that she is grateful to be a parent.

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When asked about how she managed to bring up all her children even through their teenage years, the devout Christian confidently says that it has been God who has been her guiding light.

“My daughters, 20 and 18 are doing well and are both in secondary school while my youngest son, 12, is in primary school. I am proud of myself,” Akinyi adds. “She is excellent at what she does and is very hard working,” her supervisor John Thuo says.

He adds that he saw her work and was impressed with her performance and instantly hired her. Pamela likes her job. The way she handles her garret is a clear indication of how much she enjoys working. “I like my job because it puts food on my table and now, I can comfortably report to work at 7am and leave at 6pm and spend quality time with my children.

Any parent out there, especially if single, should never give up. The benefits that come much later are worth it,” she says. She adds that she would gladly continue to do what it takes to take care of her children and even much so, at her security job.

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