I once stumbled upon a thread on twitter about abuse of child-maids in Nigeria.
It reminded me of something I saw during the same week that made my stomach churn.
I was walking the short distance between my office and the bus stop when a jeep pulled up some distance from me. A small girl came down, then she brought out two other kids. From her shabby dress, her ashy skin, her uncombed hair you would know she was a maid. The kids she was taking into a building advertising ‘’summer school,’’ (I don’t know when we started observing summer in Nigeria) were fresh, chubby cheeked, with very moisturised skin. They were almost as tall as she was even though she looked years older than them.
She held their hands, crossed the road and took them into the building that was advertising summer lessons.
The jeep drove off then she started walking back.
The disturbing tableau reminded me of my childhood; they were a lot of young families in the area I grew up in and 99% of them had these children called house helps who were not even paid.
While we sauntered off in our kito sandals or Cortina shoes, white cotton socks and our well pressed uniforms the lucky house helps would be wearing rubber sandals and patch-patch uniforms to public schools while the unlucky ones had beans to wash for lunch or vegetables to start plucking.
No matter what these househelps were doing in school, they were to report by the school gates before school closed to take us home. They would bathe us, wash our socks and uniforms then start preparing for dinner.
On Sundays, by their torn and faded dresses and the perpetual look of sadness on their faces you could tell which one was a maid and which madam’s children.
Let us say it was a thing back then but this is a new century, can we as a people stop this child abuse? Can you stop taking poor children to cities and turning them into slaves? As religious as we are in this country we maltreat other people’s kids because they are poor.
Let us not talk about the beatings, punishments, the emotional, physical and sexual abuse (yes, sexual abuse) some of you witches and wizards mete out to other people’s children.
If you are going to get a child to help you with house chores can you make sure they are well paid? Or give them a good education so they can have a better chance in life? Can you treat them well so that people cannot easily differentiate between them and your own children?
Is it that hard to dress them up well and treat them like human beings?
I really do not understand how you maltreat the persons whom you entrust your child to – your child’s life is literally in their hands – but you want to abuse them and when they do same to your child you start posting photos/videos on Instagram screaming blood of Jesus.
Remember, the measure you give will be the measure you get.