By Jeanette Niwabine Atim
My name is Jeanette and I used to work as a housemaid in Dubai. For over a year that I spent in Dubai, I had done all sorts of work. I cleaned houses, washed toilets, mopped floors of tall buildings and at one point I also worked in a mortuary.
During my stay in Dubai, I came in contact with all kinds of bosses. Some treated me well, while others were devils sent from the underworld to destroy me. During my time, I got introduced to all worlds, the good and the bad, the living and the dead.
I met so many people during this stay in Dubai. Some were so glad that they treated me with respect and paid all my salaries on time and well. Others saw me as a rug to be used. They raped me, beat me and at some point I got buried.
In these new series, I will tell you about my escape from Dubai and where I went thereafter. I will narrate the good and the bad, the highs and lows, the awesome and the annoying while also telling you everything there is about Kyeyo (odd jobs abroad).
I could write a book out of my experiences, or maybe direct a movie out of this life, but I will choose to tell my story, such that maybe someone could learn a lesson about perseverance, patience and being optimistic.
Over a year after I had landed in Dubai for Kyeyo (casual work), I hated this city. I hated the people and I hated being called a kadama (local name for housemaid). I had my kind of work and I also hated my body. At this moment, I was willing to do anything to escape. But I surely needed a plan.
For over 4 months, I thought hard for a smart escape plan but to no success. All my plans could land me in trouble. I could not just walk away. One of my friends named Hadija had tried walking away only for her to be arrested two days later and charged with robbery. She was found dead a week later. I wonder if her body ever reached Uganda.
So I could not do the same mistakes. My current bosses were ruthless. Any kind of nonsense could either land me in prison or in the grave. I had already seen so many of my friends disappear in mysterious ways. I could not allow being the next victim. I was surely smarter than that.
I obeyed my bosses, did every work they wanted and I never complained. Even during sickness, I would act a strong girl just to gain their trust. Indeed, they started to stupidly trust me.
Luck befell me when they started to send me to perform errands outside the house. They would send me far and wide to deliver things or to simply make a quick gesture and come back. I was faithful to them to the dot. Despite my earlier bosses who had tortured me and another idiot of men who had raped me, these ones respected me.
My salary had also been increased because I was good. I had mastered my job as a kadama (housemaid) I knew what made my bosses happy and what annoyed them. My one year of experience has taught me how to handle sexual advances and how to gain trust.
By now, I had already been used by 17 Arab men in ways unimaginable. They had carried out all kinds of pleasures on my body and experimented with an African lady, a Ugandan beauty.
Because of this, I badly wanted to start a new life, but this dream had one problem. My contract, which I had signed on my way from Kampala, was that I must work in Dubai for two years in order to get my passport.
I kept working. The trust my current bosses had in me kept increasing which made them send, me far and wide to so many places. Soon, during one of those visits to a certain family is when I met Fazil. Fazil was an engineer who worked at one of the biggest Telecom companies in United Arab Emirates.
Fazil was a family friend to my bosses and he was about 6ft tall. He had nice pink lips, very masculine and a calm voice. Fazil came into my life and he liked me. Would Fazil fall in love with me or would he also be another devil sent to use me…? To be continued in our next series