Domestic helps: Unnecessary evils?

A security man opposite my house had approached me yesterday

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“Abeg, if you get anybody wey dey look for house help, you fit let me know. E get one of my sisters wey dey live with me. She dey find job”

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I said OK. But inside me i was saying

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“So i look like a human trafficker abi? Or like a househelp agent? Have you ever seen me in Niger Republic? Or you’ve ever met me on my way from Togo trying to ship girls in?”

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But i walked away calmly and it left me wondering why he would come to me for such request.

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OK well, he sometimes help me to put on my generator. But for the past two weeks, I have surprisingly mastered the art of pulling. So I stopped calling him. He only helped me twice.

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Its not that the generator is new but I have just been like this for almost two years, looking for abokis or security men to help me pull my gen. Because of ‘dem abokis’ and the task of ‘gen pulling’, I even learnt how to greet them in Hausa

 

 

Saying ‘inna unni and nagode’ with my head bobbing ‘upandan’ like my life depended on it

So, guy thinks I need a house help for that? That’s hilarious!!!

 

Life didn’t just get busier in this present age, it has always been busy as far back as I can remember. Growing up in a family where both parents worked and there were little kids to raise, there was an urgent need for assistance in form of domestic help.

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I grew up knowing so many aunties who came from the village to live with us. Not because they had to, but because they were needed or summoned. They were gotten from parents who could not adequately cater to their needs and so, they needed to move to the city to live with anyone who would gladly help make their lives better.

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They had one thing in common: they weren’t interested in schooling. They always wanted to learn a trade after a while.
In our present age, the need for domestic help has risen so much. With parents having to make ends meet in order to have food on the table, domestic helps must fill the gap.

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There is something in me that rejects the idea of having domestic helps. There is something in me that feels I shouldn’t subject another human being to a form of servanthood in exchange for a better life. But even in bible history, there were slaves and servants. Is it that there will be people who will always be servants? Who would need to depend on other people to get a better life?

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How many people can treat their help like their own? I remember a particular incident when I was young. A particular ‘aunty’ was brought from the village to stay with us kids at home when our parents went to work. This aunty soon began to show us pepper when she told us to submit our meat to her each time we were served food. We dared not tell anyone. She kept on with it until the day my younger sister refused to submit hers. Aunty beat her and she spilled the beans. That marked the end of her stay.

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That occurrence brought many secrets to the open. How she had put incisions on the face of one of us in a process of initiation. She had to undergo rounds of prayer to be free.
These days, it seems evil domestic helps abound more than the good ones. We have heard and seen cases of kidnapping, child molestation and abuse perpetrated by them. Still, the domestic help market is still booming. Some people still can’t do without them. Some say they are a necessary evil and they can’t do without them.

Even single girls now have househelps too,lol. I mean single girls who live in nice flats and earn a decent living.

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They don’t mind changing them every six months or thereabout. But how safe is it to leave one’s child in the hands of a help whose family or spiritual background you are not aware of.

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Some are lucky to have good ones who have even become more like families. Some have travelled abroad as domestic helps and their life changed for good.

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I don’t mind the idea of a housekeeper who comes weekly to tidy the house and leaves same day. It truly isnt easy to be a woman in this age.

But with the recent rise in kidnappings across the country, househelps dey always fear me. A woman had gone to work and left her baby with  the house help. Only for the girl to run away after her madam left and left the baby alone inside the house thankfully.

Thankfully because she didn’t abscond with the poor baby.

There are still some girls who would never be happy to live with you no matter what you do for them. They are just too used to a wayward lifestyle. How honestly do people cope with them?

My mum had quite an experience with these types so much after we had all left home and she was alone. They scaled the fence at night or dawn and simply disappeared into thin air.

We had to look for one on a particular day. After combing the whole Lagos/ibadan expressway and mamaputs looking for her, we found her locked up in the visitor’s toilet outside. She locked herself in. And while we were yelling her name and looking for her, she kept mute. Until we came back and someone wanted to use the loo and found out it was locked. We peeped through the window and saw her.

How about you? How do you juggle home activities? If you have a help, has it been rosy?

Author

nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com
She has won many awards in writing and poetry amongst which are CLO essay competition (1st Prize Southwest) NDIC essay competition(5th Prize in the southwest) and a World Bank Essay Certificate of Participation She has worked with woman.ng as a content editor and a host of sites as a ghost writer. She has written great inspirational content for fashion brands/blogs. She has been featured on radio and recently added public speaking to her portfolio. You can hire her to write a professional/business profile for you, online content editing, book editing, guest blogging, ghostwriting, content creation or if you need copies of her book, contact her via nikeolasiyan@yahoo.com Facebook.com/Yetunde Olasiyan instagram.com/Yetunde Olasiyan Follow her business page on Instagram @officialladywriter

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