An increasing number of men are now considering taking up jobs as househelps following an acute shortage of jobs in Kenya.
With a declining job market, an economy that is growing only on paper, inflation that is faster than Eliud Kipchoge and taxes that feel like armed robbery, Kenya men have found themselves with little or no option. Many are now finding solace in house help jobs.
What has caused the shift? Several factors.
Mechanized Construction Industry
Since the Chinese landed in Kenya, opportunities in the construction industry have continued to decline. This is despite the fact that there more constructions going on at this time than at any other point in history.
Thousands of men expected to line up along Waiyaki Way, Uhuru Highway and Mombasa Road ready to mix concrete and build the Nairobi Expressway. This has turn out different. Instead, the Chinese contractors have come with concrete pumps and gantry cranes that have reduced men to excited spectators. Bread winners are forced to watch buildings go up while expectations at home are rising.
This leaves men with little options but to explore the previously uncharted waters of being a househelp.
The government has also contributed to the shift.
Affirmative action plans have disadvantaged men in some sectors, and have forced some to take up jobs that were predominantly reserved for women. Men continue to miss out on opportunities even when they have the same qualifications with women.
To create a balance, men now have to venture into some female dominated occupations. Househelp is one of these.
A Win for Feminists
Another factor to blame is the changing face of masculinity, where men have infiltrated salons – as customers. They have also adopted a wide range of beauty products and a few of them carry handbags. They often walk around with plaited hair and talk of manicure and pedicure in the same sentence with beards and testosterone.
Feminists’ campaigns to equate women with men have also aided this. Some men have gone ahead to return the favor. As long as men continue to visit beauty palours, they have little option but to follow through and take up jobs as househelps.
Benefits of Househelp Job
While the position of a househelp is loathed, it comes with immense benefits that men could also enjoy.
Instead of working as a security guard and being paid KShs 7,000, a person working as a househelp earns up to KShs 6,000 plus other benefits. This includes free housing and food, which means that they have more money to save.
In some good cases, a househelp could enjoy vacation with the family, although their main role will be to watch over the children during the vacation. This is something that men could benefit from.
The revolution has just began.