Building a Future: Preparing to Go “Home”

  • Gerda Kuiper


This chapter describes how migrant workers in the Kenyan cut flower industry prepare for a future elsewhere by maintaining existing contacts and even by establishing new contacts outside Naivasha. The chapter problematizes the idea that all migrant workers move “home” upon retirement by showing that “home” can have very different meanings. Nevertheless, most migrant workers can be considered to be “translocal” and aim to leave Naivasha again at some point in time. These imagined futures shape workers’ everyday life as tenants and farm workers in Naivasha.


  1. AEA, & KPAWU. (2011). Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Agricultural Employers’ Association and the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers’ Union 2011–2013. Retrieved from
  2. Alila, P. O., & Obado, P. O. (1990). Co-operative credit: The Kenyan SACCOs in a historical and development perspective (Working Paper No. 474). Nairobi: Institute for Development Studies.Google Scholar
  3. Appadurai, A. (2013). The future as cultural fact: Essays on the global condition. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  4. Borgatti, S., Everett, M., & Freeman, L. (2002). UCINET 6 for Windows: Software for social network analysis. Harvard, MA: Analytic Technologies.Google Scholar
  5. Brickell, K., & Datta, A. (2011). Introduction: Translocal geographies. In K. Brickell & A. Datta (Eds.), Translocal geographies: Space, places, connections (pp. 3–22). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  6. Cohen, D. W., & Atieno Odhiambo, E. S. (1989). Siaya: The historical anthropology of an African landscape. London: James Currey.Google Scholar
  7. Coquery-Vidrovitch, C. (1997). Women in Africa: A modern history. Westview Press.Google Scholar
  8. Ferguson, J. (1999). Expectations of modernity: Myths and meanings of urban life on the Zambian Copperbelt. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  9. Kihoto Farmers Co. Ltd. v Mary Wanjiku Ndichu (High Court of Kenya at Nakuru) (2003). Retrieved from
  10. Kusimba, S., Chaggar, H., Gross, E., & Kunyu, G. (2013). Social networks of mobile money in Kenya (Working Paper No. 1) (pp. 1–33). N.p.: Institute of Mobile Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion.Google Scholar
  11. McGarrigle, J., & Ascensão, E. (2017). Emplaced mobilities: Lisbon as a translocality in the migration journeys of Punjabi Sikhs to Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1–20. Scholar
  12. Moore, H. L., & Vaughan, M. (1994). Cutting down trees: Gender, nutrition, and agricultural change in the Northern Province of Zambia, 1890–1990. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  13. Nelson, N. (1992). The women who have left and those who have stayed behind: Rural-urban migration in central and western Kenya. In S. Chant (Ed.), Gender and migration in developing countries (pp. 109–138). London: Belhaven Press.Google Scholar
  14. Oucho, J. O. (1996). Urban migrants and rural development in Kenya. Nairobi: Nairobi University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Owuor, S. O. (2003). Rural livelihood sources for urban households: A study of Nakuru Town, Kenya (ASC Working Paper No. 51). Leiden: African Studies Centre.Google Scholar
  16. Ross, M. H., & Weisner, T. S. (1977). The rural-urban migrant network in Kenya: Some general implications. American Ethnologist, 4(2), 359–375. Scholar
  17. Staelens, L., Desiere, S., Louche, C., & D’Haese, M. (2018). Predicting job satisfaction and workers’ intentions to leave at the bottom of the high value agricultural chain: Evidence from the Ethiopian cut flower industry. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(9), 1609–1635. Scholar
  18. Warouw, N. (2007). Industrial workers in transition: Women’s experience of factory work in Tangerang. In M. Ford & L. Parker (Eds.), Women and work in Indonesia (pp. 104–119). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Wurster, G., & Ludwar-Ene, G. (1994). Commitment to urban versus rural life among professional women in African towns. In R. Mechtild & G. Ludwar-Ene (Eds.), Gender and identity in Africa. Münster: LIT.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerda Kuiper
    • 1
  1. 1.Global South Studies CentreUniversity of CologneKölnGermany

Personalised recommendations