SHOCKING: Kenyan Nurses Decline Saudi ‘Slave Jobs’ Where British Nurses are Offered 10 Times More Pay

February 23, 2024

In what looks like the most transparent form of racism, it has emerged that Saudi Arabia nurse jobs are just another way for the Kingdom to exploit African labor.

If you’ve been living under a rock, let me catch you up.

President Ruto has been signing bilateral labor agreements with various countries. Among them are Germany, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Typically, Kenyans jump on the first opportunity to work abroad, even without government assistance. The government’s entrance into the space was therefore seen by many as a well meaning move to facilitate Kenyans who were already trying to work abroad, but struggling with how to get there.

Western countries are always the first choice, and when it comes to salaries, there are no complaints there. Kenyans working in Europe or in North America tend to earn just as much as the locals, for the same job and qualifications.

In short, discrimination is there, but it is rare.

Enter Saudi Arabia. Here, tables turn.

Salary discrimination is not only the norm, but it is in fact state sanctioned.

The kingdom genuinely believe that Kenyans and Africans in general, are lesser workers, and compensate them accordingly. Remember, these nurses are going to work in Saudi public hospitals, paid salaries by the government.

Last month, the government advertised 2500 nursing jobs in Saudi, but it has emerged that Kenyan nurses are shunning these jobs. They simply don’t want them.

As of last reporting, only 500 or so applications had been made, which is in sharp contrast for a country where a single job advertisement attracts dozens and sometimes hundreds of applications.

When you look at the contract being offered by Saudi to Kenyans, it’s clear why many are choosing to remain unemployed in Kenya than hop on a plane to be disrespected in a desert hellscape.

The salary being offered is insulting on its own, but downright racist when you find out what their British counterparts are being offered for the same position.

A Kenyan nurse with a diploma is being presented with a job offer with a salary of about $800 per month. That’s about Sh116,000 in today’s exchange rate. That amount would be great in Kenya, but this is a foreign land with temperatures that can get to a high of 39°C.

On top of that, the money is not enough to afford a normal lifestyle in Riyadh for example, where the average cost of living is about $1716 according to one analysis.

Of course there are the low income earners in the country, mostly foreigners from India and other Asian countries working menial jobs. The Kingdom values Kenyan professional nurses as much as they value Indian unskilled construction workers, and they think they should live in similar conditions.

Housing conditions awaiting Kenyan nurses in Saudi Arabia

In fact, the salary of a foreign construction worker in Saudi, from say, India or Pakistan, is slightly higher than what they’re offering Kenyan professional nurses.

But you have to see the contract being offered by Saudi to British nurses, for the same jobs, with the same qualifications.

A British nurse gets a salary that is sometimes 10 times more. Of course their rates are quoted in US Dollars, not the Saudi Riyal quoted for Kenyans. $6400 to be exact, based on a job offer we have seen online.

As if that’s not enough, a British nurse is being offered a free furnished apartment. This takes out the entire rent equation from their planning, leaving more money in their pockets. Kenyan nurses have to pay rent from their own rent from their already measly salary.

A British nurse gets a paid 30 day annual leave (some offers have 60 days). And on top of that, an extra return ticket to their country, just in case they want to visit their family during this leave period.

Well, Kenyans get none of that. Not the leave, not the extra ticket.

A British nurse gets free medical and dental care. Kenyans don’t.

Here’s a breakdown.

Kenyan Nurse vs British Nurse Job Offer in Saudi Comparison

Criteria Kenyan nurses British nurses
Salary $800 $6400
Air Ticket – Round Trip Yes Yes
Extra Round Trip Air Ticket per year No Yes
Free Medical/Dental Care No Yes
Free Furnished Accommodation No Yes
30 Days Paid Annual Leave No Yes

Based on that, it makes very little sense to escape unemployment in Kenya to go slave and get disrespected in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

It is clear a majority of Kenyan nurses have realized this, and have opted to remain home.

If the government cannot negotiate reasonable pay and working conditions abroad, perhaps they should just concentrate on other things, and not expose Kenyans to disrespect and ridicule abroad.

Here are the two job offers in case you’re interested.

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