How well do you treat your house help or maid?
On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, a Mrs Motunrayo Ayadi made the news for allegedly throwing her 13-year-old housemaid from the second floor of the house.
Mrs Ayadi allegedly did this because she suspected her housemaid Deborah Matthew of stealing her jewellery.
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The incident occurred on Saturday, November 11, 2017, and little Deborah was left with a gash on her forehead as well as other injuries. The case is currently being investigated by the Nigerian Police.
This incident sadly is not isolated. Violence against house helps or domestic maids is quite common.
In March 2016, a woman was arrested for allegedly burning her house help with a hot piece of iron.
In the same year, a woman got into trouble for allegedly torturing her 12-year-old house help for reportedly stealing pieces of meat.
These and much more are all sad cases. They are sad because most of the victims are minors who have been yanked away from school to become domestic servants.
These kids who look after the homes of much middle-class Nigerians go through a lot of hardship and physical abuse, sometimes mental.
It might be a common trope in Nollywood home videos but there is a great truth in many scenes where house helps are beaten, starved and raped.
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The portrait of many Nigerian families looks picture perfect until you take a look at their domestic servants. From the way they dress to their uneasy public countenance, you know they are not part of the family.
House helps are seen as second-class citizens, kids or teenagers basically sold into servitude because their parents couldn't afford to take care of them.
They hardly eat the same food the family eats. They are given leftovers to munch on. They are given rags to wear. We should all do better. There are child laws in Nigeria but like most laws here no one enforces them.
House helps are suffering in many homes but who will speak up for them.