WACHA TU! The different faces of Caretakers in Kenyan Households


Caretakers are very common among Kenyan households especially those who come from a middle or lower class estate. If you live in in any Kenyan town, your residential plot probably has one.

These are the guys employed by landlords to make sure everything in the plot runs smoothly. But they are rarely cool. In fact, they are the major cause of discontentment among tenants. Here are the types of caretakers you will find in estates.

1.  The ‘knock’ master.

This one has knocked on your door so much that it’s almost falling off. Funny enough. he never has anything important to say when you open. He only utters a statement like “Uko sawa? Nilikua napitia tu.” As a result, you end up getting the feeling that he’s just spying on you. All he’s doing is trying to see if you’ve messed up anything in your house or if whether you are doing some fishy business. You wish you could tell him to keep off but you can’t.

2. The player.

This type of caretaker is obsessed with women in the plot. He does numerous favors for them and never mistreats them. As a man is being harassed due to his rent being late by a day, the girl next door hasn’t paid for three months but she’s being treated like royalty. The player-caretaker frequently gets into conflict with male tenants too due to power struggles over the hottest females in the plot. If he sees a guy talking to a girl he likes, he’s gonna initiate an Israeli vs Palestinian kind of beef. Some caretakers are actually good seducers. They can steal someone’s girl in a heartbeat. But some just try to punch above their weight and thirst around aimlessly.

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3. The idler.

He’s just there. It’s like he never even gets out of the compound. Most of his days are spent reading a newspaper or just talking. He can talk from dusk to dawn. And his voice is usually loud and annoying. Most likely, he’s a relative of the landlord from ocha who was blessed with the job to take care of tenants.

4. Mr.Moses.

Why do I call him Moses? He’s full of commandments. Don’t do this? Don’t do that? Don’t come after midnight. Don’t play loud music. This is the type of caretaker that made me flee from Eastlands like I was a jew in the movie ‘Escape From Sobibor.’ I am glad I now live in a place with no caretaker or annoying landlord.

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5. The goodfella.

This one is a rare breed. He’s super friendly and rarely has an issue with anyone. When there’s a problem, he turns into superman and makes efforts to fix it real quick. Tenants love him more than Khaligraph loves caps.

6. The ‘I hate you for no reason’ caretaker.

There’s that caretaker who just has a problem with you specifically. In other words, he enjoys kukutafuta maneno. He seems to be cool with everyone else, but when it comes to you, he’s evil. You have no idea what you did to him. He just doesn’t like you at all and no matter how much you try to be friendly to him, it doesn’t work.

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7. The one that can’t just do his job.

Everything in the plot or flat is a mess. You wonder why the guy gets paid in the first place. Whenever you issue a complaint, you are promised that it will be addressed but three weeks later, nothing will have changed. In the end, you are left with no option but to move out.

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Which caretaker do you have?

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