A Kenyan female engineer says she sacrificed herself to build her mother a Sh30 million mansion in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
Michelle Boit studied chemical engineering at Texas Tech University in the US and graduated in 2008. She had hoped her parents would travel to the US to witness their daughter being granted the power to read and write.
Her dad missed the big occasion after he was denied a visa but they agreed he would visit her in the US once she settled at work. Unfortunately, the man passed away before the dream came true.
Being the first-born, Michelle had sworn to take care of her parents and siblings and the passing of her father did not change that.
“I had told myself that as soon as I finish school and find a job, I would take care of my parents. I didn’t want them to suffer in their old age,” she said in an interview with People Daily.
In 2014, Michelle moved back to Kenya after securing a job at Tallow Oil in Kenya, becoming the first African Petroleum engineer. She did not waste time as she immediately began making plans to build her mother a house.
Michelle asked her mother to sketch the kind of house she wanted and she only upgraded the draft to be a modern style.
“She wanted a closed verandah, but since it was supposed to be a big house and was in her own compound, I did an open patio. I also made the rooms bigger,” she said.
As expected, Michelle admits the construction of the house was not easy as it cost her both money and time. She struggled to find a legit contractor and was also forced to make frequent trips to Eldoret to monitor construction works.
“Being an engineer, I held my mother’s hands and told her that we would build the house together,” said Michelle.
“The arrangement was hectic as I would travel to and from Eldoret to ensure that everything went just right,” she added.
At some point, contractors disappointed Michelle and she opted to buy materials and only pay them for labor.
In 2018, the construction was temporarily stopped after the family traveled to the US to attend Michelle’s graduation ceremony for her master’s degree. It was further delayed after Michelle’s mother got sick soon after they returned from the US and was admitted ICU for four weeks.
“I stopped everything to look care of her. It was mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially draining,” Michelle said.
The construction resumed seven months later as Michelle had to first recover financially and emotionally. The family finally moved in on August 1st this year after holding a thanksgiving ceremony where they invited a priest to bless the home.
“I built it as a legacy, for memories and for generations to come. I am also teaching my children to be independent as I don’t want to extremely rely on them financially when I’m old— maybe just their emotional support.”
“I want to break that cycle where the children have to take care of their parents as an obligation,” said Michelle.