Dalia Deals: Housemaid Horrors, still necessary?

There is currently a search for baby Annabel who was kidnapped by a housemaid in Kenya.

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The horror stories continue after the shocking footage of the Ugandan nanny, ironically named Jolly Tumuhiirwe, tortured a 18 month old baby girl. The video is too shocking to share. These are the stories we know about, there are more heartbreaking episodes that make me wonder should the era of the housemaid stop??

I was brought up by one ‘aunty’ who has lasted the years. Many people are shocked because it’s unheard of. A household could go through up to 6 maids a year because various reasons mainly to do with their personal lives of the workload.

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Captioned – Modern Day Slavery

My mom tells me this story about how her intuition saved the lives of my brother. One brother got burned by the maid by hot porridge. Mum noticed her baby was different and decided to bath her child only to discover burn marks. That maid got fired and mum then decided to wash her baby everyday when she came from work to inspect her child.

These are typical stories with very young children who can’t defend themselves. There are more from children who can speak up for themselves but few know about. I have heard stories of maids trying on teenage girls clothes including underwear but the most damage is done to our young boys.

A very enlightened young man highlighted the point that teenage boys are being taught about sexuality by our housemaids. They learn unhealthy dynamics of relationships from the young housegirls we let into our houses where they are ultimately the boss. For some boys these are the first sexual experiences that both parties are not in a hurry to tell parents. These stories are shared at school and at times shared with fathers who may express pride in their son “growing up”. Is this right? It is inherently child abuse, or paedophilia but there has been no whistle-blowing to date. Then we wonder why society suffers unhealthy relationships, it starts in our homes. How many households are dealing with extramarital affairs with maids? How many sons have impregnated maids?

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The house girl issue is reaching mainstream media.

The impossible housemaid – Kansiime Anne – watch here

The many stories of maids putting juju in the food of their employers or specifically the mother of the house. That strained relationship between ‘madame’ and ‘sisi’ which I believe spurs the violence and misconduct. Some maids are dehumanised and feel somewhat abused by the activities they are asked to do with the amount they get paid. I am especially interested in this housemaid situation because I wrote my dissertarion on the well being of child domestice workers in Egypt, apart of the Gender lens working groups for the 2011 EADI conference, read more here. There is more to the story to those criminalised in the housemaid world. Was Jolly the Ugandan nanny acting out of frustration? Jolly, dubbed the monster maid, was given a chance to say her side of the story..
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She says she was beaten by the dad till she bled… was that called for? More on the story here

Some maids come from backgrounds of difficult circumsaltances, could they actually need some sort of counselling? Does this house girl culture perpetuate poverty? Does it lead to the destruction of society? Should it stop?

Please share your views about this issue that is so close to home for most of us.

Thank you for reading, lets get a-tweeting (@dali_lamah)

Hashtag Trends: Je Suis Charlie, N’oublions Pas Les Victimes de Boko Haram

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It’s not one of the many #jesuischarlie posts, I attack the news agenda. Montreal Gazette have run the story about the solidarity shown worldwide against the horrific killings of 17 people in Paris. In countries around the world many took to the streets for liberty and defiance against extremism. #jesuischarlie was trending.

This hashtag trend article wants to highlight what should be trending next. #NoublionsPasBaga . Montreal Gazette highlighted that while the world was focussed on Paris, the people in Baga, were mercilessly  culled by the extremist group Boko Haram. 2000 people were butchered in the streets, men, women and children, and others drowned trying to escape the massacre. Nothing was mentioned on the news and still nothing has been said. Subsequently the  group continued to kill villages by sending suicide bombers: young girls aged 15 years and 10 years old. They were sent into crowded places to kill more and more innocent people on separate occasions. This is the sin of the news agenda has allowed the extremist groups to win, especially since the Nigerian Army fled the village leaving Boko Haram free reign with the inhabitants there. It is a given, international attention gives governments pressure to act. Read more about it here.

For those who see the horiffic scenes in Baka on social media, we ask where is the press? Where is the solidarity for the people in Baga? We may not share the views of the publication Charlie Hebdo but we share the views of the people in Baga who were not explicitly provacative, education and life is a human right.

Yes, freedom of speech is a right, responsible journalism is expected.
Jounalistes, #NoublionsPasBaga

I could be wrong, please share your views on the matter on the comments section below.

Thank you for reading, lets get a-tweeting (@dali_lamah)