Of Maids

One of the things i am grateful for and never take for granted in my life is that i was fortunate enough to choose my profession, which i truly love . I know a lot of people who are not as fortunate. People who go to work for the sole reason to get some bucks to pay rent, bills, fees etc. People who if they had an option would choose a different job all together.  People who hate what they do, get very little money for their efforts, though most of them are more than noble but are a source of ridicule in society.

Two groups of such people come to mind :house maids and security guards. In Zimbabwe where i come from most of the maids are very young girls mostly teenagers. A snap survey will reveal that most of these girls are orphans who had to migrate to the city to find money to feed their siblings. Having left school at an early stage or having failed in school altogether the only thing they know is household chores. Evidently most of them had no choice of a career vocation but had to settle for the “nobler” career of taking care of other people’s kids and domestic chores. Am sure you will agree with me that this is a “nobler” cause if you compare with those semi-naked women at street corners calling you for a short stint or “chigwishu” as they say in Zimbabwe.

We who have had a choice to chose our careers often “justifiably” mistreat these directionless servants of ours. The minimum wage does not apply to these desperate people, after all they eat our food, they live in our nice house or well-equipped staff quarters. They even have the audacity to steal our food, sending it to their families. Not even Apple or Google Inc(voted the most desirable company to work for in the whole world) is generous enough to give employees nice food and accommodation, people who have no qualifications and have an empty resume. These people should be generous! After all some of them are the ones who used to laugh at us at school and would call us nerds, geeks etc when we focused on study. They deserve such demeaning treatment! If they feel we mistreat them they have an option to find another household to work for because this is the easiest type of employees to find they are not as scarce as Actuarians or computer network engineers. Maids are all over we just send a relative to find us one the next time they go back to the rural areas.

I have a vision of mine, ambitious, maybe, but still very much possible in the not so distant future.  A vision in which everyone takes care of their own kids and household chores. One feasible option is Robotics. Yes robots cooking your supper, washing and ironing your clothes, collecting your kids from school etc. Its because i believe every human soul deserves a chance to choose a job that fulfills them. A job in which you demand compensation commensurate with the skill and passion you put in your efforts. A job one can be proud off. A job you look forward to every morning; because we spend most of our time at work. With some social investment into the education of most orphans and several of these underprivileged sects of community this dream can be become real just as Martin Luther-King’s dream of blacks and white kids hanging out together as it is now part of our life as seen by acceptance of a black man Barack Obama as a possible leader of the world’s largest economy.  You see its possible! Dont get me wrong i am totally against affirmative action or “100% empowerment” as we have it in  Zimbabwe. Am not talking of affirmative action here; I am talking of investing in people to help them discover themselves, investing in vocational areas like education, sports, music, art etc and not “putting money in people’s pockets”. Am talking of helping others help themselves.

Every day of my life  i draw inspiration from the fact that the person who bore me and raised me, the person who has had the greatest influence in my life, at some point did this demeaning job out of love to care of her future family. One day I will make this special woman proud of herself.


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