For many campus students, university life is often meant for making memories through social life but not for this young girl who prefers to work instead of engaging in prostitution or other activities that will tarnish her image or that of her family.
This is Mary Kinuthia, a student of Murang’a University of Technology in Kenya, who said that she works as a night guard and is devoid of any social life.
She disclosed that she began picking up side jobs while in her second year of studies to alleviate some of the financial hardships she experienced.
“I came to Murang’a in 2017, I was joining the first year. In 2018, due to financial constraints, that is when I began doing some (side) jobs. It was my own business. I hawked cosmetics to students in their hostels as well as outside,” stated Kinuthia.
She added that her business collapsed after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country in 2020, leading to the closure of the institution.
In order to survive, she had to contact security firms where she landed a job as a night guard at Murang’a Referral Hospital.
“When the university opened, I opted to move my shift to night time in order to be able to attend classes during the day.
“That was when I was posted at Murang’a Level 5 working at the gate,” she added.
She also noted that to balance her school and work life, she catches 3-hour sleep periods between daytime classed and night duty.
She hails from a family of eight siblings, three of which are attending tertiary institutions while two are in secondary school.
“The challenge about this job is managing my study time and when working but I find myself studying while at the gate (during work). When it is not busy, I study.
“I don’t have a social life because my schedule is really tight,” she noted.
She further explained that she chose to work part-time jobs in order to support her father who is experiencing financial struggles.
“When I do not have classes during the day, I always do laundry and make KSh 300 (about N1,122.29) and on days when I do not have clients I do cleaning in plots and make the same amount of money,” she said.
She said though juggling her different menial jobs can be challenging, she remains upbeat because she does not use unorthodox means to get money for survival.