After 23 years, barmaid retires a content woman
Colleta Nasirumbi’s face beams with confidence and the creases on her face melt away when she starts talking about her career spanning two decades.
As she prepares to close that chapter of her life, Nasirumbi, 64, who has worked as a bar attendant in Bungoma for 23 years, prides herself with having achieved a lot during that period.
She started her career at Prime Bar when beer was retailing at Sh80. After five years she was transferred to Chewai Bar and Restaurant, which is owned by the same person as the service girl.
“Since I was transferred here in 2002, I haven’t left or been sacked by my boss, I have seen a number of my colleagues being sent home due to indiscipline cases while others succumbed to HIV/Aids because of promiscuity, but I thank God He had a purpose for me and I understood what brought me here,” she narrated.
Among the prominent people she served include the late Vice-President Michael Wamalwa Kijana, senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka and all former and current Members of Parliament in Bungoma County.
“I became the darling of majority of the customers because I served them with dedication. They would always ask for me to serve them having taken my job as a lifetime work,” said Nasirumbi.
She said she knocked on the door of Prime Bar located at the heart of Bungoma town looking for a job in 1997.
“I knew I had no formal education and needed to educate my siblings and children, that is how I confidently walked to the bar and asked for a job. This job calls for self-discipline and determination,” she recalled.
She added: “Sadly those days, bar maids were thought of as people of lose morals who were willing to sleep with their clients for money but I demystified the notion by sticking to my principles and doing exactly what I had gone there to do.
Last week, her boss hosted a retirement party for her to thank her.
]The mother of four, was born 1956 in Chemche village; Bukembe West ward in Kanduyi constituency.
During her tenure, she said her biggest accomplishment was being able to buy a piece of land in Mashambani Estate where she stays with her children and grand children.
“This work has helped me a lot, despite earning a meager salary, I managed to buy a piece of land in Siaka village, West Sang’alo ward where I am engaged in sugar cane farming,” she said.
She advised other bar service girls to understand their mission for working in bars; maintain discipline and they will reap big.
“I am walking away shoulders held up high understanding that I have job that had cost majority of women their lives due to greedy and carelessness,” she said.
Among key people who organised for her retirement send off were Bungoma county Attorney Cyril Wayong’o and the political advisor to governor Wycliffe Wangamati, Leonard Mayende, who she served for many years.
Wayong’o saidNasirumbi used to serve him during his days in the university and would often advised them to concentrate in their studies instead of indulging too much in alcoholism.
“She is a nice woman, she couldn’t see a student the age of her children engaging in alcoholism and keep quiet, she would walk to you and question you then advise you on the disadvantages of alcohol to students,” narrated Wayong’o.
The Attorney wished her well in her retirement.
Mayende praised Nasirumbi for working diligently and with dedication that saw her receive and attract such a wonderful celebration.
Chewai patron Stephen Wambilianga said it was sad for losing such a dedicated employee who had worked for him for over 20 years.
“As she retires, I am proud of her as one of the best workers I have ever met, Nasirumbi would concentrate on her work like there is no tomorrow, she would attract many customers who are there up to date, hence increasing our sales,” said Wambilianga.
During the event, her boss and the customers gifted Nasirumbi with many goodies.