OFFICE GIST: Househelp palava in Nigeria

Office Gist
Office Gist

So, this year, I’ll be dropping random gist my colleagues and I have on topics ranging from social issues to relationships, sports, politics and just… well, anything interesting!

So, today, we’re talking about househelps and the wahala they come with.

I’ll obviously be keeping their names anonymous, but you can be rest assured you’ll get all of the gist, sha.

Now, on to today’s gist….

My colleague is currently tired and complaining about the girl he brought to his home to help him and his wife take care of his newborn.

He was initially excited when the girl was brought to him because, according to him, his wife would have more time for his other son, and time to attend to other pressing issues at home.

But, at this point, she’s been with them barely two months, and my guy is already tired. First of all, he feels like she is too lazy, sleeps too much and makes unnecessary demands.

“Imagine, we go de serve food and na drumsticks wey dem de give me she de request for,” he said angrily today.

Another colleague of ours -call her colleague #2- replies, “But you know, she’s a kid, ba? They’re impressionable.”

Colleague 1#’s biggest issue appears to be the fact that she sleeps a lot, doesn’t like to partake in household chores, and doesn’t seem to heed simple instructions. It clearly bugs him a lot.

“I wan put her for school. I been de happy say I don get foster daughter. The mama been even say she dash us the girl, but right now, I no want,” he said and we all laughed. His expressions and exclamations are hilarious.

“And we no de stress this girl o! We even pay someone else to do the more tedious house chores, so there’s no excuse for her behaviour! She de stubborn, and she no de like say sorry. This girl no humble! She bed wets every night, and she doesn’t even say thank you when I buy her things,” he lamented.

“She go piss for bed, and na normal level! You send her to bed, and in less than one minute, she don dey snore!” he continued.

Will Patience Fix It?

Now the question is, how patient should guardians be with children they bring into their homes?

I know a lot of Nigerian homes are having similar experiences, and this post shouldn’t be alien to you as you read this. I’m also quite interested in this conversation, ‘cos my mom is also having her own drama at home with a girl she brought from Taraba to stay with her as she’s growing older, and is no longer able to keep up with housekeeping alone.

This girl (also 12-14 years old) came to live with my mother sometime in 2019, and seemed to be one of the happiest children to live with my parents. Fast forward to December 2021 when she went home to see her folks, and she’s come back a different person! – I might have to drop this gist another day, so let’s not deviate too much from today’s gist.

So, back to this 12-year-old girl in question, there’s usually a lot of work to be done with children that age. They tend to have already become accustomed to a certain way of life, and unlearning some of these (bad) behaviours will require time and patience.

It’s like colleague #3 wades in and says, “It’s been her way of life for over ten years, so changing that in a very short time is almost impossible.”

He argues that adapting to a new environment takes time, and other colleagues are now interested in the discussion at this point and are backing the argument in the little girl’s defence. According to them, she should be given more time to learn and to adapt to her new environment.

“First of all, an underaged child shouldn’t be leaving their house to live with someone else, unless under special circumstances. like if their parents are late and grandparents are too old…,” #2 says.

So is my guy overreacting?

So while everyone has here has an opinion on the subject matter, now let me ask you, the reader. Is the man in question (Colleague #1) overreacting?

Let’s not forget that this child is a minor and still very impressionable like someone pointed out during the conversation – should the said child, for instance, put ALL of her old clothes in a bag to be disposed of as soon as they bought her new ones, and sits at home in her outing outfits now?

Should he give her some time to unlearn over a decade of ‘bad behaviour’? Or should he just send her straight back to her mother?

I’ll be posting what experts think in my next post, but do let us know what you think about the situation!

Till then, cheers!


  1. I am a disciplinarian to an extent and I have a toddler and infant to train, I think during pregnancy. be it in or out of wedlock, parent should be counselled and be prepared to train the child in the way that he/she should grow. Like the Bible says spare the rod and spoil the child. At this point correctional slap and punishment must be involved in training such child. I admonish parent to put in conscious efforts in the child up bring so as to have a decent society in the future.

  2. This is a very good one. Like I always say, train up godly children that will not disgrace you when they are not with you. A lot of parents neglect things that should be taken seriously. Teach children how to say thank you, I’m sorry, and most importantly to greet. Little things that matter.
    It takes patience to train another persons child o. I’ve seen some that learn easily and some need so much bending to learn.
    Time should be given because some of them are ready to learn. It might take time but it surely will come while some go home and come back worse.
    May God help us to raise good children.

  3. Give her time, observe her and if she refuses to change send her back because they can give one hypertension


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