So many tales of vicious household workers who unleash mayhem on their employers and in most cases their children abound. These stories are mostly amplified by the employers to highlight the danger of getting household helps without doing background checks.
For instance, the story of a house help, who fed her employer’s 18 months old baby with her own vomit. When asked why she did it, she said that it was because her employers abuse, maltreat and starve her. According to her, she only gets to eat one meal a day, while her employers and their children eat as many times as they are hungry.
What many do not realise is that behind these atrocities committed as reprisals by the house helps are cruel employers who have lost a feeling of humanity.
Recently, a picture surfaced on social media of woman in a restaurant with her children and a boy whom many believe to be her house help. The woman – and her children – were eating and the house help was not. The outcry was so huge on social media that the story made it to the conventional media platforms.
Ruptured intestines and tortured in her privates, Faith Nwanja, a 12-year-old, was a normal pre-teen with all the hopes and aspirations that come with that age when one childless Mrs. Nkechi Bartholomew showed up with the pretext that she wants to adopt Faith, an orphan.
That was the beginning of the journey into the house of horror for Faith. Over time, Faith’s mistress, Nkechi, became her tormentor in chief.
According to reports, Faith was tortured by Nkechi who inserted sticks into Faith’s private parts and would turn it over several times. In the process, her reproductive systems were ruptured leaving Faith needing multiple surgeries.
Faith’s ears were also chopped off, her lips and face badly disfigured by her ‘adopted mother’. According to Faith, it was by sheer luck that one of her eyes was not plucked out as the scare in one of her eyes shows.
Briefing journalists, Godwin Igwe, the head of department, Child Development of the Anambra State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, said that the health condition of Faith has worsened.
“The child was battered, dehumanized and subjected to degrading treatment by Mrs. Nkechi Barth at Onitsha in February. That child has been undergoing medical examination by a team of expert gynecologists, a team of orthopedic doctors, a team of expert pomologists because of serious harm inflicted on her reproductive system, her hand, her ear, her teeth all over.
“The woman inflicted injuries on all parts of her body. Recently, her medical examination was concluded and the hospital management said that the report would be released to the police as soon as it is demanded”, he said.
Tortured, starved and abused for breaking a plate
Handed over by her mother to an agent at the age of 10, Titi was crammed into a truck in the tiny West African nation of Benin and driven across the border into southwest Nigeria.
Titi feared the worst. She recalled how a previous employer in Nigeria had welcomed her with a thin mat and a leather whip.
“Sometimes, she beat us,” said Titi, recounting the businesswoman who had flogged the girls for the smallest mishaps, such as breaking a plate.
“Sometimes, she didn’t give us breakfast till after 1 p.m.,” Titi, now 14, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation from Lagos, where she works for a ‘nicer’ family – cleaning, cooking and caring for children for 18 hours a day.
Horrible injuries on the face
A deep gash on her forehead tells it all. The journey of Abigail Opebiyi, 15, was not such a pleasant one in the hands of her employer, Tolu Ola, a lawayer.
The gash on Abigail’s face generated serious outrage on social media and prompted the Lagos State Police command to arrest Ola for inflicting bodily injury on Abigail. Although Abigail’s offence was not disclosed by the Police, Imohimi Edgal, the Lagos State Police Commissioner said that they swiftly moved to arrest Ola before further damage could be done to Abigail.
‘Imprisoned’ and left to starve
Precious Nwafor was brought to Lagos with the hope of continuing her education, going by the promise made to her parents by Chinye Umunze, her employer.
According to Precious, her employer’s sister always locks her up each time she was going to work. She would eat just a meal until she comes back. Kind-hearted neighbours alerted the police when they saw Precious looking emaciated and peeping through the burglary proof window.
Edgal, the Lagos State police commissioner, said, “Care keepers should treat those placed under their custody in accordance with the constitution. Lagos State makes adequate provision for the right of the child. It is inhuman, wicked and satanic for anybody to lock up a child in a room that is not ventilated, without putting into consideration that there could be a fire outbreak or any other disaster and she would be trapped.”
Burnt with a hot water and pressing iron
Nkeriuka Ngwu, a mother of four, said that she could not stomach the beatings meted out to her children by her 10-year-old house help (names withheld). According to Ngwu, neighbours alerted her to her children’s incessant cries anytime she was not around.
This made her ask her children. It was confirmed that her 10-year-old maid usually beats them. The enraged Ngwu plugged a pressing iron and seriously scalded her maid’s legs.
As if that was not enough, she boiled hot water and poured on the maid. The incident was reported to the police when the girl went to school with the injuries unattended to. She told the school authorities that her employers tortured her.
Forced to drink bleach
Agnes Mancilla was brought from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia to work as a maid. She was subjected to series of inhumane treatment by her employer.
Agnes was recently rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery when her employer forced her to drink household bleach. Doctors also discovered other body injuries on the 35-year-old.
The Saudi authorities have since arrested the employer and would soon charge her to court.
Pilipinos make up the fourth largest group of foreigners in Saudi Araba and the country is the largest employer of oversees Philipino workers in the world.
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