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The acute angle : Case of the housemaid


Throw them bread crumbs all you want or hurl those “Goretti olikisiru” insults and they will just look away and go about their business slicing through those onions just as you want them without ever saying a word. It’s easy to rubbish them as these semi-illiterate girls you handpicked from some sub county in Kaberamaido that you are only doing a big favour but you clearly have no idea of how much power you hand them when they come to live with you. That timid girl you despise has enough armoury to turn your home into a warm place or a hell cell. You would be shocked at how the harmony of a simple home is upheld in that little girl’s body. They hear everything from the squeaks the rats in your house make to the whispers that echo through the corridors when daddy is speaking to his concubine on phone. Goretti knows when your teenage son is taking a marijuana puff in the boy’s quarters or when your teenage daughter just took a pregnancy test but she will remain forever tightlipped.
She clearly has enough intel to turn a once peaceful home into a Syria or Somalia of sorts but what does she do? She will turn on her radio and hum to Mesach Semakula’s tunes like nothing has ever happened. On a Monday morning when Ms Career Woman is busy preparing a work report, Goretti will be there when your baby walks for the first time and she will be the first to hear your baby speak. She will change your baby’s diapers, feed them and tuck them in bed as you pursue that Masters Degree in the evenings. And who cheers your child at the finish line when work robs you of time to be there? It will certainly be that girl. She will play your role, grow in your role and excel in a role that you could have played.
The role of a house help is more delicate than figuring out how many grammes of salt are ideal for a delicious meal or looking for which corner to comb for dirt. It seems convenient enough to look down on some people who might not have had an education or background as firm as yours but think extensively about how your whole world could come crashing down if they for a second considered messing it up.
It won’t even take her a second for her to connive with anyone to come rob your house clean. It’s just as simple as making a phone call and you are done yet they receive the scorn and abuse as they play dumb to all the politics that surround a simple home. All I am saying is that if you are the kind that forks out a 20k note out of your seven figure salary to give your house help for a month’s work, think again. Take them seriously or you just might get a rude awakening.


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