CREATING A NIGERIA WITH GOOD MAIDS
Hi Mama, hope your weekend is going well? This past week was a huge one for me for me (insert dance). I wrote an article that was featured on Bella Naija.( Does that make me a celebrity? LOL). If you haven’t seen it, click here. It is the start of a new conversation, and I am so grateful for the platform that enables me to reach a larger audience. I will be writing more articles aimed at encouraging the right people to take up housekeeping jobs.
By now, can you tell that I am so passionate about seeing women and mothers eased of their stress, because they have been able to get and keep excellent help at home? I believe with my whole heart that having a good maid will cause your productivity to improve in every way. Just recently, I have felt strongly the need to take this message directly to our maids. Housekeeping is not as easy a job as many employers think it is. I have walked in a maid’s shoes before and I understand what it means to not just clean a house, but to depend on the approval of someone after doing it.
You know how we can create excuses when we or our children do the cleaning, but when it is someone who is being paid, we expect nothing but the best. I think the most devastating part for maids is not just the work but the fact that it is in a totally new environment, and with new and different people. It is not like a new job when you go to work in the morning and come back home at night to an environment you are familiar with . That is the reason why maid employers have less complaint about live-out maids.
I have been trying to look out for successful maid stories, locally or abroad that I could push through employers to their maids, to make them see that they are not alone. There are people who have done this job and come out mega successful. In my search, I discovered that many of the people who we look up to today as perfect examples, passed through a “maid phase” or what looked closely like a maid experience. Amazingly, the successes of these people were not dependent on whether their bosses treated them well, or the number of gifts that were given to them. In fact, in most cases, the circumstances never favored them.
To list a few examples I was amazed to discover, that I am sure even non-Christians would have heard about; Jacob, Joseph, Daniel, David and so on. Because I see all things maids, what stands out to me is not the whole “Grass to Grace” lesson that everyone is quick to point out whenever their stories are being told, but who they were before entering into that phase. It was the integrity of their character that sustained them throughout the period, even when their situation depreciated. So a maid is not bad because of where she is coming from, but because she has not learned the right things.
God prospered their bosses because of them! Can you imagine? Because they had an excellent character and the fear of God, because they didn’t compromise on integrity even if it would have cost them their lives, God blessed whatever they were put in charge of even if it was their bosses’ work. See what was said about Joseph ” ...Soon he was put in charge of the administration of Potiphar’s household, and all of his business affairs. At once the Lord began blessing Potiphar for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs began to run smoothly, his crops flourished and his flocks multiplied.”
I do not think that maid-employers now, are aware of how much of a blessing their maids can be to them when she has the right character. It goes beyond just being able to do chores well.
For a second, can you imagine that when you get a maid, you suddenly begin to do well in your businesses, your children never fall ill again and everything just seems to be going well for you? When your maid leaves, maybe on holiday, things slow down? Do you know how much you’ll cherish her? Now imagine if we had maids like these flood the housekeeping market space. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to say every maid will bring automatically make your business boom, but even the satisfaction you will get knowing that your home is in order is good fortune on its own.
As the saying goes “The only way to overcome evil, is to introduce good.” “The only way to dispel darkness is to turn on the light.” This means that it is not by complaining that evil leaves, neither is it by ignoring that it exists. So what can be done to change the narrative that Nigerian/African maids are bad? What can be done to avert the maid tragedies that occur every other day? It is by grooming the good ones till they drive out the bad ones.
I am determined to give reaching out to our maids and prospective maids my best shot. I will be creating resources that would aim at developing a sound character in them as well as training them for the job. True transformation has to start from the inside. I also appeal to you, to start to see your maid/ a maid as someone who is supposed to and can bring ease. If you have this mindset, it would guide the way you hire and who you hire. It’s not everybody that you should allow to be you maid. There is only so far packaging can go. You may say to yourself “Why must I be the one to bear the burden of training?” I’d rather you think of it as a profitable investment rather than a burden. A well trained staff will always be an addition to the organization.
I am beyond convinced that as our maids come in contact with the right information, through the right means, we will see tangible results in our homes. My catch phrase is this: “One maid at a time; One home at a time, till we give the housekeeping industry a total makeover.” Look out for these resources as I roll them out.
In the words of singer, Common “One day, when the glory comes,it will be ours”.
Your Maid Whisperer.