HomeSMART BUSINESSCAREERSThe worst jobs in Kenya are actually the most popular

The worst jobs in Kenya are actually the most popular

You say that your boss/job is the worst on earth, but people are going through hell to make ends meet. Being in certain jobs can’t be compensated through money, but appreciation and respect too. Below are some of the jobs perceived to be the worst in Kenya. Note that prostitution is not listed, as it is not considered to be a profession in Kenya.

Sewerage maintenance

It is one of the most annoying tasks of the times, especially when sewage lines block. Kenyan will complain of the bad oduor as if it is not their poop. Worst of it all is when they know you are responsible for maintenance and they pay for it, they’ll insult you for the blockage, yet it is their mistake.

They don’t care what you go through and the dangers you are exposed to. They care less when you lose your appetite for working on the sewer lines. Some even block the lines immediately you leave just to see you back. This is a job not for the faint hearted, most will leave it immediately they get it.

Embalmer/mortuary attendant

Most people cannot come face-to-face with a dead body. They have the fear of unkown within them. But the embalmers and mortuary attendants interact with such bodies, different sizes, age, gender killed by different causes. They have to wash them (bodies) and preserve them well.

SEE ALSO: High-paying jobs that require no experience

Embalmers will in most times ‘operate’ the bodies to remove any fluid and sometimes the internal organs then preserve the body as if nothing was removed. You might say they are trained and used to that, but death will ever be feared by all. Interacting  with the bodies reminds him/her of death daily, and that one day his body will lay there lifeless. Imagine seeing death on daily basis. It is frightening, yet you are still complaining that you have the worst job on earth.

House help

Yes, it is a simple job that you do not incur rent, food and other basic expenses, but still one of the worst jobs. How did you feel in your first form when a form four bully forced you to brush his/her smelly shoes, bring him/her breakfast on bed, wash his/her undergarments  and worst of all do his punishments. House helps go through harder situations, though not in all households.

They wake up first, let’s say around 4am to prepare breakfast, prepare the man of the house to go to work, prepare the kids to go to school, clean the house and go for some parcel somewhere before coming back to the house to find madam has just woken up in bad moods after being left no money for salon by her husband. This is the genesis of a hectic day full of insults, just to pay for the pain.

S/he will undertake chores s/he’s not supposed to, like washing the undergarment of the couple, cleaning a clean loo, rearranging a house that was arranged yesterday, massage madam, sing for her. S/he will later be sent to buy chips for madam for lunch, and you know what that means, s/he skips lunch. At night the same goes on and she eats last, of course what remains, and s/he’s the last to sleep. You still tell me it’s a good job? Why are you not doing it then?


People Daily reporter Sarah Ndung’u suffered a deep cut on her head while covering Dr Evans Kidero.

Many young  people want to be journalists, just to get famous. For those who do it right in Kenya, they don’t last long in the field. Ask Mohammed Ali, a person I believe did his best in being a member of the fourth estate. The heat was too much for him. Most people do not enjoy journalism. For those who endure to retirement, they may not have done the core business of being a journo.

Since you have to be at the centre of action, a journalist will find himself in the line of fire at a shootout, clan fights and even in disease outbreak areas as well as accidents scenes. Their ethics means they just report and can’t even help a mother struggling in labour.

ALSO READ: Ten best-paying jobs in Kenya and their salaries

Editors will kill your stories, employers will manipulate true journalism and the market and advertisers will determine your fate. If your try to go against the ‘system’ you might be eliminated. If someone mad at your stories doesn’t hire people to beat you or even kill you, the government can easily arrest you. At the end you also get retrenched at short notice.


It is a job marred with integrity issues. No one thinks that a bartender can be a good person, or may be religious. Dealing with stubborn drunkards especially in the low-end bars. Most of them order without paying and the bartenders end up paying their bill using their ‘tips’ which sometimes extends to their salaries. Then the noise, mockery and fights, and you expect them to be normal. Women are pawed by male patrons and they aren’t supposed to complain. It can’t be any worse.

Security guards

Imagine waiting for a thug you do not know, unarmed. The most risky job. This is all they have to give, their lives, to ensure our safety. We should be grateful for them all the time.


From recruitment to the job itself, it is a job full of hardships and curses from the general public. They associate it with ‘kitu kidogo’ (bribes) as their side-hustle. Recruitment to  the police service is believed to be for the people who know somebody in the system, or maybe those who can buy a place there. Its integrity is killed at the entry level.

NEXT: The coffin maker who mourns with her clients

Training kills the human value in the young souls. They have no relative, friend or even parents. To them, they remain ordinary people who should obey the law, or buy their way out of justice. The worst part of a police job is when they have to face the bullet in case of an attack by armed gangsters. They either kill or die, and that’s what defines their line of duty. Their residential quarters  and salaries depict the true picture of undesirable job.

Council askari

For the city council askaris (kanjus) no one even knows how, when and where they are recruited. Most people prefer to be arrested by the police to being arrested by the kanjus. They have no mercy, even to a 70-year-old hawker. If s/he does not ‘cooperate’ the ‘law’ takes its course. The pleas fall on deaf ears as they destroy the hawker’s business or arrest him/her. Tears and curses is the only revenge the helpless hawker can get. What a cursed job!

Do you have any job to add on the list or comments? Scroll down to the comments section.


latest articles

explore more


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here