I Googled “Househelps in Nigeria and their Madams” and Found 99% Images of Mutilated Kids

by Uche Onegeria 25 May , 2016  

Househelps (Nannies and Housekeepers) are not our Slaves

Definition: A domestic worker (originally a servant); a home help. (Source: Oxford Dictionaries)

Warning: Some pictures on this page might be too Graphic for your eyes. (Header image Guardian Nigeria)
When I was working on a blog post, I searched Google for pictures of Nigerian nannies who we popularly call “Househelps” and I was shocked at some of the images that my search came up with. Can you guess? I expected to see images like this (below).
Image Source: mobofree
However, I saw a lot of utterly horrific pictures depicting inhumane treatment that human beings like you and myself met out on others who we employ to help us with chores. I agree that everyone needs help, especially growing families. But they are called Helps not Slaves. What I find strange is that some of us bring people into our homes (our homes for crying out Loud!!) to help us with our children and other tasks but we treat them worse than lepers. In fact, some House Helps get discharged from their duties with their “once normal bodies” deformed or marred by all sorts of unspeakable acts that you will not even wish on your enemy.

Some of the “real life” assaults and body injuries inflicted on House Helps:
– broken bones or several forms of body deformations
– 2nd to 3rd degree burns after the woman of the house pours hot water on them or uses electric iron on their bodies.
– various forms of lacerations
– blindness from being struck with all manner of weapons.
The world continually speaks for women who are fleeing domestic violence from their husbands but sometimes, we forget these people (House Helps, Nannies, Housekeepers) who are holding on to their dear lives and are defenseless. Some of these “hired helps” also get repeatedly raped by some male members of the households especially the “man of the house”.
We think “slavery” is a thing of the past however, it can still be found within most of our households and our relationships with others. Your House Help is also your Ward (someone under your care, who you should guard and protect)!
A big shame on anyone (woman or man) who brings another into their homes to help but end up treating them less that their own children or family members. Shame on you!! If they are terrible, let them go! You do not have to keep them around then treat them like dogs till they are left for dead.

If you have any hired help living with you and assisting you with chores, remember this;

1. If he/she came from the “village”: She will not be like you and I. They will definitely make mistakes. Yes! We all make mistakes so you should not treat them like you are running a Nazi camp.
2. They will probably be uneducated: Do not expect them to be as civilized as your own children.

3. You either treat them like your own children or at least, do not treat them like animals.
4. If he/she comes with their own “demons”, send them back!

I do not know if it is cultural or just personal..but when you walk into some Nigerian households and see a nanny, you will know (by their wretched looks). 
What nannies overseas look like Overseas
Source: waihekenannies.co.nz

From the image above, the disparity between nannies overseas and in Nigeria could easily be because most nannies overseas come from similar households as whoever they are going to help. So, they are neither hungry nor coming from some “village”, wearing ill-fitting or tattered clothes and depending on their “madams” for even the air they breathe. Here we go again; Leadership issues in Nigeria which has created a huge social divide among people, which affects us more than we know.

Corporate House Help Service/s
The good news is that there are now “controlled” House help service companies that match families with their ideal nanny candidates. I do not know anyone who has used their service/s but I think such measure is a start towards curbing crazy situations like those shown in most of the pictures on this page.
In all, we are all humans and we need to see each other as same and do the RIGHT thing!

2 Comments

  1. Omg you spoke my mind. I was thinking of writing a newspaper article!!! So here's the thing,I have a nanny training and placement company in Abuja. But for some reason the people want a trained nanny for less. I'm here fighting my a** off to have them fairly remunerated but the employers just wouldn't do that. For heavens sake these nannies need to protest at some point. I'm not gonna sit here and train my people and have them underpaid…..what are they??? Dogs??? Slaves??? ������ we need to communicate my dear Uche

  2. Thank you Mrs Zakari for reading.

    The situation you presented is really interesting. I think what you can do is to actually let them know these nannies are human beings. And also to let them know the benefits of getting a nanny through an agency and not through some uncertified lady who picks off children with various issues (mental, psychological, behavioural etc) from villages and hands off to unsuspecting families.

    Highlight the benefits: Proper screening, proper personal & family background check, HIV screened, etc. You need to present the perks to attract people so they know the Value they are getting for their money.

    All the best, Mrs Zakari. Thanks again for reading.

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