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© 2015 by Aleksandra Mirowicz

BBC World Service: Life as a Domestic Worker

October 3, 2016

Tune-in and learn more about the life, experiences and dreams of domestic workers in BBC World Service's 'Conversation'.


Marissa Begonia left her three young children to work overseas. It was a tough decision for her but she couldn't bear to see them going hungry at home in the Philippines. She found work initially in Hong Kong and then Singapore and finally London. Her choice has worked out for her, after years of providing for her children back home, she was finally able to bring them to join her in London. But the separation has taken its toll on all of them, and so has the work. Melissa has seen and heard of so much mistreatment among domestic workers that she decided to set up an organisation to protect the rights and welfare of others in her profession. The organisation is called Justice for Domestic Workers.


Until very recently Siphokazi Mdlankomo was working for a family in Johannesburg, South Africa but she's had to leave her job to focus full time on her new role on television and writing cookery books. She came to fame when she was runner-up in the South African reality TV show Master Chef. Her cooking has come a long way since she started her working life. She looks back fondly at the young Siphokazi, just starting out in her career, back then, she didn't know what garlic was, or fresh herbs or how to make a piece of toast.


Siphokazi and Marissa share their intimate, moving and sometimes funny stories of running someone else's household.


Listen here:




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