Patricia Wanja is a City Hoppa tout, who has played Lotto since 2015. She could not believe it when she was called and told that she has won. She assumed it was the usual cons, switched off her phone and slept!
The next day, while at work (plying the Ngong route), she received a call that confirmed her win of KES 600,000. The 37-year-old mother of four says that she was so confused that she could not continue working. She looked for another tout to take over and just sat in the shuttle.
“I told the driver that I had won from Lotto and he dismissed me stating that Lotto was not real. And if it indeed was true that I had won, I should attempt withdrawing the money I purported was in my Lotto account. I did, and that somehow convinced them about my win,” she says
Wanja did not have peace playing the game. Her husband and their first-born son a student at Kenya Medical Training College kept mocking her. Her last-born daughter encouraged her and she could even remind her to play.
“When I won, I had to rub it in the faces of my husband and my son. We laughed about it. My husband has started playing the game in secret. He knows I will also mock him. In my house right now, the joy and the love has increased. We are a close-knit family,” she points out
“I am happy that these school fees issues will no longer be an issue. Part of the money will be used to take care of that. I will also buy a piece of land and build my own house because I have paid rent enough times and I need a break. I have had enough with caretakers,” she says with delight
Wanja has been a tout for five years, a job she says she loves for it has been able to take care of her family needs including school fees for the children. The job she notes, also has its own challenges.
“At times I meet passengers who respond to me rudely but my solution has always been silence which ends up embarrassing them. At times also, there is normally a mix-up in the fares collected and I end up paying. And then there is also the harassment from the police. I have learnt to handle them though,” she notes
Men looked down on her because she joined their field. She almost quit. Her friend advised her not to worry about people but to focus on her work. She was also advised that for as long as she respected herself, things would work out for her.
Wanja also notes that in her line of duty, temptations ensue. Passengers forget their valuables in the shuttle. Valuables that include laptops and money. Huge sums of money. She remembers a particular incident where, a passenger forgot KES 1,000,000 which had properly been placed in an envelope and sealed. This particular passenger was lucky because he had sat with the driver and he found the envelop where he had left it.
Lotto unites Kenyans because the money won is celebrated by friends and relatives from all over. She also feels very much favored and appreciated to be among the over 4 million Lotto winners, and states that she will continue playing so that she can win up to KES 100,000,000 and she will also continue with her tout job.
“Lotto helps the destitute in the society through the Lotto Foundation and I am happy that even though I did not win after several attempts, someone in need got help. I urge other Kenyans and women to participate in this uplifting game for they might just get a turnaround in their lives,” she concludes