NAME ::: Ntaiya Naoroi COUNTRY ::: Kenya
My name is Ntaiya Naoroi. I’m 37 years old and I’m a farmer. I have six children, three boys and three girls, but I have no husband. The oldest one is 16 years old and the youngest one is three years old. I got married in 1999, but my husband died. My husband was killed by the neighbors. One day he went to the market and he got drunk. They thought he was a burglar as he went the wrong way home in the darkness and came to their house. And apparently he did not realize that it was the wrong house, so he tried to get in and they got afraid. The next day I found out that they killed him and they told me so. They offered me three cows to make up for it. I felt really bad and I had no one to help me back then. The cows were a compensation and I also have forgiven them for what they did. I have never talked with them tough since it happened. But I was running into a lot of problems since my husband died, but I accepted it. And when I see my children I am happy. I think the problem started when the brother of my husband came and took the house. He also took the cows and sold them, but I never saw any money from it. It was the widows group that helped me at the end to kick the brother out again and live for myself with my children. Today I always look for work that I can pay the school fees for my children. It’s quite difficult, but I’m at least free.
I grew up with my parents. When I was ten years they got a small farm like this. At age 15 I got circumcised and at 16 I got married. I had to stay the whole year after I got circumcised in the house. I was not going to school or anything. After that I got married. Luckily I have no problems with it today.
What is most important to you?
What is most important to me is that I can earn enough that my children can go to school and I can pay for their school fees. What is also important to me is that I’m in good health and that I can trust in god.
What has influenced you the most in your life?
I think the biggest influence for me were my parents. They told me to be strong, whatever happens in your life. And when my husband died that also had a big impact on me. I realized that you should not do what others tell you to do, but to do your own things. At that time I did not want another husband, but a lot of people told me that I should get another husband to have the support. But I refused that and I think it was good for me. It made me also realize that I should not take the brother how it is often custom in my culture. The brother just came and he also is the father of the other children, but he was bad and I had to kick him out again.
What has been an important turning point in your life?
In the past I had a lot of difficulties, but when I moved to his house here, that made a big different both for myself and for my children. This place is much better. I think when I got here that was maybe the biggest turning point in my life.
What makes you happy?
What makes me happy is the land that god has given me and that I have the chance that my children can go to school. I really feel grateful for that. In everyday life, I feel happy, when I can do farming and when I can make clothes myself and paint the house. That is great.
What are you personally proud of?
I’m proud of my children, because seeing them grow up and getting education is great. And I’m very proud that they do so well. This is a big gift for me.
What have been the biggest struggles in your life?
I have encountered many problems. Sometimes I got beaten by the brother of my husband when he moved in here after my husband died. He always was beating me when he felt that I did not want to stay with him. At the end I got away from him, with the help of the group of women that I’m meeting. They made me take all my energy and chase him away. He was here for four years, but then I got him to leave. That was a big moment for me.
What would you change in your life, if you could change something?
If I could change some thing I think I would take my children to boarding school that they have an easier life and get a good education. I think for myself I would not change much.
What do you wish for your own future?
I wish that in ten years time my son will have a good job and he will help us to support the family. When I get older I think it is important to have a family that can support you. I guess when I’m getting older I will still be here and take care of my crops and my cattle.