A few years ago, a lady asked if her potential new boss could contact me for a reference. Mr Ade, when he called wanted to hire Blessing as a maid, Blessing would be required to look after two children under five, expected to do some house keeping duties as well.
I told Mr Ade all that I knew about Blessing – being an Edo woman who has a son of her own, she is hard-working and cares about her own family. I have known Blessing for a couple of years at the time, she worked as a house keeper for a friend in Victoria Island, Lagos. She is honest.
I could hear Mr Ade’s excitement from the other end that he has finally found a good woman to look after his children. In the end I added that he must do his own personal fact-finding about Blessing because her new role is completely different from the role I knew her from. Working for a single man who is barely home is different from looking after two toddlers.
Two sides to one story:
A resent case of Jolly Tumuhiirwe, a 22-year-old Ugandan maid is a very sad one, however not new. Jolly, was caught on hidden camera torturing the poor toddler in her care. I have over the years heard several horror stories of maids torturing children in their care as well as maids being tortured by their bosses. This one is especially very sad, Jolly’s wickedness towards Aneela is inhumane.
Sometimes when a maid is this sad like Jolly has displayed in the video below, it is not unusual to learn she is being paid next to nothing for the care she provides for the family. She is home all day, her life revolves around looking after a child or two. They barely have any break, and seldom allowed to visit their family in the village. I am not excusing Jolly’s attitude in any way, what she did was horrific and must be punished for it but I always wondered if parents who thought they had a good ‘deal’ with a maid ever thought how important it is that the maid has a break as well as being paid well, going rate at least.
Kamanzi, the toddler’s father did what any loving father would be tempted to do after watching the horror clip – he came down on Jolly a little too hard – Jolly now in a wheelchair from so much beating.
Now this is what we have – Aneela, the toddler in hospital seriously unwell and Jolly, the maid from hell also fighting for her life and on top waiting for her sentence for the offence committed.
Disclaimer: This is a very distressing video clip, only 1.58mins long but took me four attempts to finish, but it is worth seeing.
– I am happy to report that Aneela is well and in her father’s arms.
– Uganda civil right lawyer Ladislaus Rwakafuzi is willing to defend Jolly. This I am happy about because in the process, Jolly has to be completely honest with her lawyer. Maid abusing children in care is too common to just punish the maid without thorough investigation.
– Another interesting perspective to this horrific event.