Written by Phanice Chepkemoi
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As people continue choosing jobs and waiting for that ‘good’ job to come by, Martin Tikoi, 53 years old from Nomorio village, Kapsokwony Division, Mt. Elgon District is earning a living through trapping moles and he is proud of the job.
Coming from a poor family of eight children, of Mr. Benjamin Ngeywo and Mrs. Leah Chepkuyot, Mr Tikoi said that his parents could not afford to pay his school fees which was by then Ksh.20 per term at that time.
"I used to be send home each time that’s why I decided to join my father in trapping moles,” said Tikoi.
He reiterates that his father showed him how to trap moles (pung’ungwet in Sabaot language) which he learnt very fast.
“I used to help my father so that I can get money to buy school uniform and pay school fees,” he said
His life in school was full of ups and downs which made him drop out of school at standard five in order to take care of other siblings as he was the first born child.
In 1986 he was employed at Nyayo Tea Zone in Mt.Elgon to trap moles which were destroying the tea plantation. He worked there for ten years then later employed at Dreamland school for four months.
“They were paying me Ksh.3000 per month which I used to take care of my family and I managed it very well.”
He says that that job helps him a lot because at the end of the day he knows he will go home with something.
“It’s better instead of going to steal, I have also been working in other villages and neighboring communities which have made my work easier because those who know me just call me,” he says.
Martin Tikoi demonstrating how to lay a mole trap. [PHOTOS | Phanice Chepkemboi | West Fm]
I asked him to show me how to trap the moles and he was quick to demonstrate.
“All you need to have is a small branch of tree, a rope, a wire and a potato or maize that can attract the mole to the trap, then you dig a hole where the mole has raised the soil and then you put the branch beside the hole, bent it using the wire then tie the food on the rope directly to the hole, after all that wait for the trap to do the work,” Tikoi explains.
Tikoi says that he charges Ksh.50 per trap and also sells them to other people who eat them at Ksh.50. “It’s a good delicacy because it treats Kwashiorkor in children and others use them in cleansing instead of a goat especially when a man has been found with someone’s wife and also in ceremonies instead of a cow,” he narrates.
He now urges other people not to discriminate other people because of the work they are doing because he is better off than somebody who just stays a home doing nothing and those who steal.
“I have managed to educate my ten children through this job and they are proud of me because they know how I have struggled to see them in school.”
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