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Woman in JKIA viral Tiktok video attacking agent speaks of Saudi Arabia torture

By Mercy Koskei September 14th, 2022 5 min read

Nelly Jelagat was visibly agitated, accusing an agent of sending her to Saudi Arabia and abandoning her to die.

A video of the confrontation went viral. It shows her attempting to violently grab the agent that she called ‘Salome’ at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Check out the dramatic video on this Tiktok link below.


Surprise landing at Joma Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA). A woman accused another woman alleging that the accused (agent) sold them in Saudi Arabia. #news #saudiarabia #kenyantiktok #eastafricantiktoks #maid #fraudsters

♬ original sound – Baluu Wol Makuach

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In June last year, she said, a neighbour approached her with an offer of a job as a domestic worker in Qatar.

Ms Jelagat grabbed the opportunity because she was jobless.

Her goal was to start saving money early to take her only daughter to high school without straining.

Two months later, Ms Jelagat and three other women girls from Nandi set out on a journey to Nairobi, where they were taken for mandatory training that took one month and two weeks.

At the training centre, a woman told her that all the women there were destined for Saudi Arabia, which was not her choice. Ms Jelagat escaped and returned home without sitting her examinations.

“When the man approached me saying that an opportunity had presented itself in Qatar, I just thought about my daughter, who is in class seven now,” said a single mother from Mosop in Nandi North.

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“I don’t have money and I am from a humble family and even my parents cannot afford to help me educate her.”

She added: “When recruiting people from rural areas, they woo you by lying that you will be taken to Qatar, because they know that the situation is better in Qatar, only for you to be taken to Saudi Arabia.”

Days after Ms Jelagat returned home, her woes started. Her Kenyan agent, Ms Salome Kimani, started threatening her that she would ensure that she rots in jail for escaping after being trained.

Ms Kimani allegedly demanded a refund from her for the training. Because of her poor background, she said, she bowed to the pressure and agreed to travel to Saudi Arabia.

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On November 9, Ms Jelagat and seven other women boarded a plane to Saudi Arabia and upon arrival, she was picked up by her boss. Arar in northern Saudi Arabia became her home for five months.

Her boss treated her well in the first two months and could get time to rest. She used to get up at 7am and go to bed around midnight or 1am.

But this changed in the third month and her boss started overworking her. She said she hardly got time to sleep as she would get up at 7am and go to bed at 5am, with only two hours of rest.

She said sometimes she would go a day without food but was expected to work for more than 12 hours.

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Her boss’ children also started mistreating her and could call her names. The family’s daughter, who was a police officer, would threaten to kill her if she told anyone about how she was treated.

“At the house where I was working, the extended family lived together. I would wash the whole house, which had 38 rooms, daily but it also changed and I would also wash another one with more than 30 rooms. I tried to complain to my boss but nothing changed,” she said

When things became unbearable in May, she asked her boss to be taken back to the office that received her from Kenya. She thought she would be helped but her situation worsened.

After spending two months at a hostel provided by the office, she got a new boss. But she worked there for only 10 days as her boss denied her food and the working hours were too long. The boss accused her of stealing from the family and returned her to the office, which sent her to a holding facility.

The mistreatment escalated as she and others received only one meal a day with no clean water and no communication with their families and sometimes the officers could beat them.

She said she requested the agents to repatriate her back to Kenya but her pleas fell on deaf ears, prompting her to reach out to her Kenyan agent, Ms Kimani, for help.

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Ms Kimani allegedly requested Ms Jelagat’s family to contribute Sh150,000 for her travel back home, forcing them to sell three cows and four sheep that she had bought using her savings. But after Ms Kimani received the money, she went silent.

“I saw people dying at the holding facility, people were sick but no one was taken to the hospital. You are just left on your own. I was beaten like a child but I am happy to be alive,” she said.

“I was in pain when I saw Ms Kimani at the airport to receive me and yet she never bothered to help when I needed it. She blocked me and told the agents I should not be deported back.

“My family went through a lot in her hands. They had to sell the little I had struggled to acquire in order to secure my freedom. I leave everything to God.

“Maybe she saw there was nothing I would do for her. I just want to thank everybody who came to my rescue. I am alive because of them.”

Ms Jelagat was deported to Kenya at the weekend after staying at a hostel for five months.

She said she was angry on seeing her agent at the airport and yet she had kept quiet when she was being mistreated in Saudi Arabia.

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“I was angry because I went through a lot of problems and she did not intervene. Many girls are in Saudi Arabia, going through a lot. Many are dying yet these agents are doing nothing,” she said.

She said most women go to Saudi healthy but return to Kenya disabled because of mistreatment.

Ms Jelagat is staying with a relative in Eldoret as she seeks treatment at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. She hopes to get back on her feet.

“My contract clearly stated that your boss was the one supposed to cater for your needs but I never saw that happening,” she said.

“My undergarments were worn out but I continued using them. I could even go without sanitary towels and look for the means to survive on my own. It was just a painful experience I would not wish anyone to go through.

“The government should bring back the girls in Saudi Arabia and close the [agents’] businesses or else we will continue losing our women there as they have no one to help them.”

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