A maid, house maid or a maid servant is a female person employed in domestic service. Although now usually found in the most wealthy of households. This person is fond of doing almost or all the domestic works like sweeping, mopping, doing the laundry, washing dishes, taking care of children, etc.
Once part of an elaborate hierarchy in great houses, today a single maid may be the only domestic worker that upper and even middle income households can afford as was the case for many households. In contemporary western world, comparatively few households can afford live-in-domestic help usually compromising on periodic cleaners. Maid perform typically domestic chores such as cooking, ironing, washing, grocery shopping, etc. In some poor countries, maid often take on the role of a nurse in taking care of the elderly and people with disabilities.
In today’s busy world, people consider hiring a domestic helper is probably the best way to reduce workloads and to regain some time for rest not paying attention to the negative side of the maid employment. Out of ten working mothers and even the permanent housewives eight of the have a domestic helpers at home. The major challenge is to find a competent, reliable and trustworthy helpers which is not easy at all. A good house help ease the responsibilities at home, but if treated properly, she can be a time bomb too. Having said that bringing a complete stranger into the house is not a simple task. Besides the lack of privacy, there is the need to know what to expect from each other and to deal with the daily conflicts.
As a responsible employer, all working class people need sick and vacation leave, the same applies to domestic helpers. Here when a maid is on vacation, all the chores must be done by the employer unless there is an extra maid in the house. In some cases, maids are fond of stealing their employer’s belongings ranging from money, cloths and even food items. Maids are also capable of beating children who are left under their care.
One of the employers of these maids, Aisha Aminu shares her experience with a maid in an interview. Aisha disclosed that her maid went an extra mile to date her husband. ”
I employed this lady few months after I got married due to the fact that i work with a multinational company here in Kano. Whenever I go out for work, this so called maid will have a free space to do whatever she like without my knowledge in my house. As time goes on, I now notice the way these people exchange looks and that was when i started to suspect them. I was not sure of what I have been suspecting until one afternoon when I came back home to pick some documents (sighs) I couldn’t believe what I saw, I had to send that maid away that very afternoon because I cannot stay with a person that is not loyal and truthful” . She added that her husband begs her to bring the lady back but she refused.
On the side of these maids, Lauratu Isa disclosed how she has been deceiving and cheating on her employer without the employers’ knowledge. She disclosed that whenever her mistress is out or sleeping, she sneaks into her room and steals items ranging from money, clothes etc and sends it to her people in the village because according to her the monthly salary is not pretty enough for her and her parents. She added that whenever her employer treats her unfairly, her children will be the ones to suffer the consequences by beating them mercilessly.
Hiring or employing a maid is something that has to be done with extra care so as to know who you are bringing into your house. There are so many reported cases of maids been cruel and wicked in their various places of work especially towards children they take care of as in the case of a Ugandan maid who tortured a baby. There was also a case of a maid in Kenya who cooks her employers’ food with her own urine and many similar cases. Employers should keep eyes on their maids so as to prevent trouble.
Maryam Tijjani Kalarawee is of the Department of Mass Communication Bayero University Kano.
She can be reached on 08097378770