The thought of nearly losing her child to a child trafficker still haunts Faith Wanjiru to date. Her emotions were vivid as she painfully narrated how she temporarily lost her baby to a lady posing as a well-wisher on Facebook.
Speaking during an interview with vlog Metha ya Kagoni, Wanjiru revealed that she had hit rock bottom when she got pregnant and was offered Ksh4,000 to terminate the pregnancy.
However, she declined to abort her child and rather planned to travel to Saudi Arabia in search of greener pastures once her child was born.
In the meantime, she got a job at a wines and spirits shop while living in an empty room in Kiambu County. Due to loneliness and depression, she sought solace online and joined a Facebook group.
A screengrab of Faith Wanjiru during an interview
Here, she shared her tribulations with the online community, and a stranger approached her. Wanjiru revealed that she confided in the stranger, and they talked about her issues in detail, leading to an unusual proposal.
“Instead of getting rid of the baby, you can leave it at the hospital or give it to me,” the stranger requested, puzzling Wanjiru with the offer.
The duo continued with their chat on Facebook, with the strange lady offering help occasionally. She even promised to visit Wanjiru in hospital once the baby was born.
When the delivery date was due, Wanjiru rushed to a facility in Gatundu but with less than Ksh1,000 in her pockets. She thus informed the stranger that she lacked enough funds for the procedure since she was required to get a scan.
The accused rushed to the hospital, where the two met for the first time. She also brought clothes for the newborn and helped the mother to be discharged.
Wanjiru handed the baby to the stranger, who assured her that she could visit any time to check on her newborn.
“I was guaranteed that I could see the baby any time, and she was only helping me out since I was in a bad financial situation. I did not know her name or other personal details except her Facebook profile,” she narrated.
The new mother alighted at Kenyatta Road, and the matatu headed towards Limuru with the stranger and the baby.
Realisation dawned on her that she had lost her child after the vehicle was out of sight. Wanjiru collapsed to her knees, confused and heartbroken.
A newborn baby grips a mother’s hand
Search for the Newborn
As days went by, the mother called the woman from Limuru to enquire about the health of the baby. She also contemplated taking her child back. However, when Wanjiru informed the stranger of her plans, she hung up and blocked her.
The mother of two was left in a dilemma and was forced to seek help from local authorities, friends, and family, who helped trace the lady to Limuru.
According to the authorities, the stranger had told her husband that she bought the baby from the new mother.
“In her statement, she claimed that I sold the baby to her and that we would meet in town where she gave me the money. These were lies she only gave me Ksh900, Ksh100 for a boda boda, and Ksh800 for medicine at the hospital,” Wanjiru recalled while fighting tears.
As the case progressed, the baby was taken to a children’s home, where the mother would frequently visit her.
Wanjiru was also asked to get her life together for her to be entrusted with the newborn. Eventually, was granted custody and lived with both her children while still working at the shop. The owner also offered her a place to live with her children.
After Getting the Child
Hopeful that her days of misery were over, Wanjiru suffered a setback when a fire broke out in her house while her children were sleeping.
According to the young mother, she had gone to the shop to buy home supplies when the voice of a wailing neighbour alerted her of the accident.
The mother of two rushed to the house to rescue her children but only managed to get the youngest one out. She also sustained major burn injuries while attempting to rescue the other child.
To her delight, firefighters arrived on time and pulled out the eldest one before extinguishing the fire. Emergency service providers also rushed the family to the hospital, where they received medical attention.
Despite her troubles, Wanjiru is thankful to her employer, who has stood by her throughout. She also reached out to well-wishers, seeking assistance to raise her children and establish a business.
“I used to sell second-hand shoes, and I was able to sustain myself. if I could get someone to help me set it up again I would raise my family,” she stated.
A photo of a trader selling shoes at Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).