My mother’s house is best, say young professionals

For some men from rich families, moving out of home would compromise the quality of life they are used to.

What you need to know:

  • Men, some in late twenties, thirties and sometimes forties are opting to live with parents despite landing white collar jobs with relatively high salaries.
  • For those from rich families, moving out would compromise the quality of life they are used to.

Over a decade ago, the typical young man fresh from college would immediately move out of his parents’ home to start a life of his own as soon as he earned his first or second salary.

He would move into a single room in a low or middle income estate or a tiny servants’ quarters in the more upmarket areas from where he would work his way up.

The young man would save his money to buy a few household items; a mattress for starters, a small gas cooker, a sofa set after several months, a television set six months later and probably a small refrigerator and music system after a year of hard work, sacrifice and saving.

A car would come much later when one’s salary was enough to finance a car loan. Those who did not get the instant gratification itch would wait a little longer to save up for the car.


Today, it doesn’t work like that any more.

It is not uncommon to find men — some well into their thirties or forties — still living with their parents. And not only that. Like the man in the “Utahama Lini?” advertisement, they are afraid to go out into the world and start life on their own.

They want to remain in the nest, where the bills are paid and they can count on their mothers to worry about where the next meal will come from. Although some of them have well-paying jobs, they are simply happy living with their parents.

On the other hand, girls are more aggressive. As soon as they get their first jobs, they are out of their parents’ homes. Most don’t mind moving into servants’ quarters and struggling their way from “The East Side” of Nairobi to the leafy suburbs on “The West Side”.


The Nation spoke to a few young men who, in their late twenties, are still living with their parents, despite having well-paying jobs.

Brian (not his real name) works in the finance department of a big company and he earns an average of Sh50,000 a month.

He is 28 years old and still lives with his parents in Lavington, alongside two younger siblings. Although Brian’s job is stable, with high prospects of promotion, he is not about to move out of his parent’s house.

“Moving out of home is not exactly the smartest thing to do now. I can save up the money I will use to pay rent and invest it to make more money in the future. I don’t believe that independence comes from staying alone in my own house,” he says.

His reluctance to move could be attributed to the fact that his parents live in Lavington, a posh area of the city.

For him, moving out would mean renting a smaller, one-bedroom apartment in a less prestigious neighbourhood. According to him, that would be a downgrade and he prefers to maintain the status quo. Lavington is a good address.

Interestingly, Brian also says that his parents had worked hard to provide him a cushioned lifestyle and moving out and into a smaller house would simply amount to being unfair to himself.

Like Brian, Martin is still living in his parents’ house at 27, despite earning a net of Sh60,000 from his corporate finance job.

His parents have gifted him a small car. His responsibility, aside from buying his own clothes, is ensuring that the car is fuelled and serviced. In short, he lives a subsidised life.

Naturally, he does not see the point of struggling to pay rent, electricity and water bills because in his mother’s house, all that is catered for.

“Why am I duplicating expenses? Why am I going to pay rent and electricity while my parents own a big house with enough room for everyone. Why can’t I take that Sh30,000 and invest it elsewhere?” he asks.

In his view, moving out would be retrogressive and he has no plans of renting unless he can afford a nice house in a leafy suburb.

“I am trying to go forward. I have been raised in a certain way, with certain standards. I am not about to change my lifestyle in the name of ‘independence’. There is a certain lifestyle that I have keep up,” he says.