Ailing Mother Makes 100 Chapatis to Pay Hospital Bills [VIDEO]

  • Some of Jackline Watahi's chapatis
    Some of Jackline Watahi's chapatis
  • Jackie Watahi couldn't sleep on Thursday, September 12.

    Diagnosed with peptic ulcers four years ago, the pain had become unbearable yet again. 

    The 29-year old told on Sunday, September 13, that a visit to the doctor revealed that aside from a concoction of medications, she needed an endoscopy among other checks.

    The mother of two decided to appeal to Kenyans on social media for help, but instead of sharing a paybill number, she offered to make and deliver chapatis.

    The viral response was overwhelming, so much so that Watahi had to reschedule several orders to the following week to cope with the demand. Coming less than a year after she left an abusive marriage to become the main guardian to her children, it was one of her proudest moments yet.

    File image of Jackie Watahi
    File image of Jackie Watahi

    In the days that followed, she made over 100 chapatis with countless orders pending.

    "I was happy and thankful because now I'll be able to afford the endoscopy, medication and also other opportunities emerged from the response.

    "I didn't want to ask for handout, even though I was in a lot of pain," she revealed.

    Her determination inspired a flood of responses from a section of Kenyans, many of whom placed orders and praised her fighting spirit.

    On social media, she is known as Chapati Mistress, using Twitter to sell chapatis and vegetables from her new farming venture.

    "In September last year I had a suicide attempt, I was in a bad place," she revealed.

    Married at 21, Watahi left a conflict-ridden marriage in 2019 and became solely responsible for providing for her children.

    It was only with the support of long-time friends that she was able to move out and rent her own place in Kayole, Nairobi.

    She thought of a business to engage in, and settled on making chapatis.

    "I don't know how to sit still, so I had to do something," she explained.

    She started by hawking chapatis in Kayole, but it wasn't until she shared photos on social media that interest in her business exploded.

    "I'd just started, and I think I got over 4,000 likes on Twitter. I'd made 34 chapos, put them in a hotpot and shared something like 'can't wait to get these to my customers'.

    "It was like calling something to existence because from there, I started getting orders for delivery all around the city," she stated.

    At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya in March, Watahi was visiting in Murang'a County when the partial lockdown was announced.

    Stuck, Watahi took up farming as well, planting kale, capsicum and cabbage among others, all while documenting it.

    She also added some of the produce from her farm to her usual chapati deliveries, further boosting her business.

    Watch her prepare chapatis below:

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