On TikTok, Kenyan woman shares experience of ‘modern slavery’ in Saudi Arabia


“It’s modern slavery. That’s what we go through, I can’t lie about the way they manipulate us in some houses.” Our observer Brenda Dama doesn’t mince words about the reality of her job as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia.

But in her videos on TikTok, the Kenyan woman uses irreverent humor to give a different perspective on the daily lives of domestic workers, who she hopes will find comfort in her posts.

On TikTok, there are many videos of foreign domestic workers talking about their daily life in Saudi Arabia. “So many domestic workers post videos about the suffering they suffer in Saudi Arabia. I said to myself: What if I can think of some videos that could motivate them, make them feel like they are not alone when going through such situations?” . explained.

The young woman uses the language of TikTok -short videos and dynamic editing- to relate and denounce the endless working hours, insults and the “kafala” system, by which domestic workers must deliver all their identity documents to their employer, which prevents them from fleeing. “I’ve seen people go crazy. Obviously that’s what they’re going through here. Even if you’re mentally strong, someone who comes here can go crazy after a while,” Dama said.

Her comments could have gotten her into serious trouble with her employers, but that’s not the case, says Dama, who also hopes other employers will view her TikToks and realize the difficulties her workers are experiencing.