Evicted from her Kenyan house over rent arrears, Britain gave her new beginnings during pandemic

Soumaya Ettouji
Soumaya Ettouji. [Photo: Courtesy]

Picture this, you are in the middle of a messy divorce case with a child looking up to you and as if this is not enough, you lose your job and get kicked out of your house over rent arrears.

Incomprehensible as it is, this the predicament that 7-year-old Soumaya Ettouji found herself in.

It was in December 2019 when she lost her plum job as a regional sales and marketing manager headquartered in Nairobi. What followed was an ugly eviction since she could not afford to pay her rent.

In an interview with UK’s UNILAD, Ettouji said she left Kenya for Morocco to stay with her family but it was hectic because she never enjoyed a cordial relationship with them. 

She became a club hopper and binge drinking was her thing. Before long, she sunk into depression.

This is when she decided to fly to the UK but then, the COVID-19 pandemic happened.

“At first it was horribly uncomfortable to be at home and alone with my thoughts. I had to face everything that was holding me back: past traumas, abandonment wound, anger and resentment for the men in my life,” she narrated.

It was not easy for her then because she had to battle the urge to drink and smoke just when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Reports that smokers were more prone to contracting the virus made her apprehensive and she managed to quit smoking.

With no job, Ettouji who now lives in Coventry, UK started talking to friends and a life coach in her was borne. Her friends referred more people to her although she lacked any formal training as a life coach.

“I had no source of income at all so I dug out an online course I took four years ago about starting a profitable business online. The first module was about finding what I was good at, was passionate about and could make money from. That’s when I realised what I did for myself these past few months, I could help others do too! I had always been a great listener, people would come to me for advice and a non-judgmental opinion,” she recalls.

She said that though 2020 was a difficult year for many people across the world, it turned out to be an amazing year for her.

“I feel grateful for what I have even if it is not perfection, it’s perfect for now,” she remarked adding she has a better outlook on life now.