House Maid Stories , Our housemaid is an always agonizing multi year old Togolese named Joy. I call her NE. Everlastingly diverted, continually watching out the window and never hearing when she’s called.

When I ask her: — NE, what’s at the forefront of your thoughts?

She answers: — Nothing.

When I ask her: — NE, what’s great?

She answers: — Everything.

Euphoria works like a donkey. She wakes at six a.m. what’s more, washes both my mom and her significant other’s vehicle. She at that point clears the house—the two stories—after which she clears the compound, evacuating just not litter but rather sand, as well, from the interlocked stones (my mom and stepfather would be out by at that point, taking their autos with them). At that point she returns to clean the first floor tiles to a glossy darker, and upstairs to a similarly gleaming dark. She does the wiping each other day. She likewise cleans the kitchen, washing the pots and container my mom likes to utilize too much when she cooks, and cleaning the gas cooker, ice chest and profound cooler consistently.

I inquired as to whether she suspected the errands were excessively troublesome. She chuckled, her smooth dark colored teeth peeping out her lips.

— Where I work previously, the lady have three youngsters. Two are infant. One is three. The lady like gathering. I deal with the kids and clean the entire house. I clean infant when child crap. I answer child when infant cry, in some cases, two of them a similar time. This spot, I rest each evening. The work isn’t excessively hard by any means.

There is a ton of taking care of the of her left ear as she says this; something she completes a great deal whenever she talks. Now and then, I’m apprehensive about her skin chips finding their way into the soup.


The day after our Military President executed his third spouse was the day I discovered Joy’s name isn’t generally Joy. My mom’s closest companion, scandalous Aunt Fatimah had gone to our home with her infant Bolu, whose patrolling not even Aunt Fatimah was sure of. She brought along her young Togolese housemaid Faith. Happiness was all grins, hauling Faith by the hands into the kitchen and murmuring in a language that was strange to me. The smothered chuckling originating from the kitchen was sufficient to vex Aunt Fatimah, who yelled for Faith.

— Aunt Fatimah shouted when Faith ventured into the living room.

The young lady looked befuddled, standing, her eyes dashing between Aunt Fatimah and my mom.

— She said you ought to plunk down there, my mom trained in that spur of the moment quiet voice of hers.

Confidence’s outward appearance did not change.

— What’s off with her, I asked, culling my eyes from the trashy ladies battling on The Jerry Springier Show on the TV and giving my Aunt Fatimah and her servant my complete consideration.

— She doesn’t comprehend anything besides Togolese. It’s taking her too long to even consider understanding English. I believe she’s somewhat delayed in the head. Auntie Fatimah chuckled as she said this, her wavy twists moving on top her head.

— Sit, I stated, indicating the seat, and the young lady at long last regarded, the cowhide of the seat making a flagellating commotion as she roosted into it, her eyes established to the kitchen entryway. My eyes and consideration moved concentration back to the TV, Jerry Sp-ringer’s bouncers breaking the battle.

It was a lot later in the day, while toweling myself after a shower, that I understood it was strange for somebody from a French talking nation to be named Faith. Or on the other hand Joy. I advanced toward the kitchen subsequent to wearing shorts and a tank top, my flip-flops making a sound as I dashed down the stairs, and asked my mom for what valid reason individuals dedicated their youngsters with English names in a French nation.

— Where did you hear that one? She stood asking, her hands weaving here and there as she expelled stones from elbow in a pink sifter. Amalia was for supper. I at times pondered whose head the plan to dry yam in the sun, pound it into fine flour, and after that make it into a glue with high temp water crashed into first. Maybe, his was the head that likewise thought to treat Cassava so.

— Joy’s name is Joy. Delight is an English name. I stated, taking a gander at my mom like how might she miss the self-evident?

— Joy, bong, for what reason did they give you English name? My mom said to Joy in a tone that unmistakably seemed like she was simply humoring me.

— My genuine name Tinou. I exposed Joy when I enter to Nigeria to work, Joy answered, as she uncovered her correct hand for us to see the names inked just underneath her elbow.

— Who transformed it to Joy? Mother had her back gone to the sifter currently, watching Joy talk.

— The lady that we pursue inside Nigeria. She disclose to us that our name is unreasonably hard for our new togas to articulate, so she give us new name. She give me Joy. She give my companion Mercy, and another of us Peace. She is giving us English name that way. She had this melancholic and review look as she talked, until my mom slapped her deserted hand from her left ear.


My mom says that I enjoy Joy excessively. She said when one gets excessively acquainted with house helps, they start to overlook their place and begin to develop wings. She said this on an especially hot evening—the power holding organization choosing to hold light for themselves.

— You should resemble your sibling, obliging however not very well disposed. I grinned and revealed to her I had heard.

— Why did you come to Nigeria, NE? I asked Joy on that day.

Satisfaction went to give me her complete consideration.

— Because is Nigeria or wed.

— Marry? How old would you say you were the point at which you left for Nigeria? What was she discussing, I pondered.

— Ehn?

— Your age when you entered Nigeria, I snapped.

— Oh. Twelve. She grinned.

— Marriage at twelve?

— No, however where I originate from, I wed by sixteen or seventeen. Brace yourself for what I’m about to tell you. My companion, extremely dear companion, her senior sister, they advise her to wed when she, erm, sixteen. The accentuation lying on the word sixteen, as though an inquiry. She proceeded, Is then me and my companion say we should simply come to Nigeria and work as opposed to coming to wed.

— What occurred? She wedded a Nigerian?

She leaves the lounge area to come remain behind me by the open entryway.

— They advise her to wed one Nigeria man. The man, what you call it, his extremely moderate. Exceptionally moderate, spit tumble from him mouth when he talk even. When she wed him, he beat her since his extremely old and no get work. After she pregnant for him, his still beat her, and she give him two kid. Twins. He generally beat her, and she have sweetheart she like before her dad advise her to wed this man, fine kid that we all like and he like her. So the beau is in Nigeria now, he come in view of her, and she go to meet the sweetheart. When she see the beau, he give her toxic substance to give her significant other. She give the man and he bite the dust and his family carry police to convey her to jail. Me and my companion simply state, cause we to go to Nigeria to work jor. Superior to wed elderly person in Nigeria that beat us. At any rate this one, there’s cash.

That is all she said before my mom strolled in to chide me.


Happiness did in reality begin to develop wings. It started with her instructing me to quit aggravating her whenever I endeavored posing her an inquiry, at that point her murmuring whenever she believed she was being called time after time, at that point her arguing at my mom. I inquired as to whether he had seen her adjustment in conduct, yet he basically murmured something and said he didn’t relate with her much. Genuine. He was an inappropriate individual to inquire.

Mother came to me soon enough, inquiring as to whether I had seen what my over nature had caused. She whined about how great housemaids were extremely hard to discover, inquiring as to whether I recalled our previous housemaid, Bose, who used to take her make-up, or the one preceding her, Nkechi, who had fled with our ice chest fix fellow (we had no clue both of them were dating) from down the road, taking with her a piece of Mummy’s gold, every last bit of her better half’s cash, and a ton of my sibling’s garments with a portion of his clothing. (Fortunately for me, my room was bolted the day Nkechi made her incredible getaway). She said on the off chance that I didn’t fix things quick, she would need to sack the young lady and every last bit of her obligations would fall on me. I didn’t need that, so I was sorry and advised mother I would have been increasingly abrupt and proficient with Joy. Washing two autos each morning was not something I moved toward regularly doing again in my life.

Be that as it may, being terse and expert did not change things much. Euphoria remained impolite and pompous, despite the fact that completing her obligations industriously. Mother said she could live with that. A persevering and discourteous house girl is superior to a courteous yet lethargic one, she said. I was happy.

It was amusing, seeing her demonstration like that. A similar young lady who on the day she touched base at our home, subsequent to demonstrating her to her new room and her very own restroom, had panted, inquiring as to whether she would have been remaining in such a huge room herself, and in the event that she was required to shower in ‘that pool’ regular. It was a bath.

I frequently pondered what rolled out her improvement in this way, if my inquiries and mentality towards her were extremely the reason, or if something different had impelled her resistance. That was until the day I left church a bit too soon to return home.

That day, the minister jabbered me into a profound rest, and I woke with a shock, not on the grounds that an attendant came to wake me—there were an excessive number of us dozing for them to endeavor to wake every one of us—but since I expected to poop so severely. I thought about holding it, however ruled against that when it appeared as though I was going to poop myself in the event that I didn’t search for an exit plan soon. The congregation can wasn’t a choice: I utilized it once previously and needed to go get water at the tap to both tidy up and flush. That wouldn’t have been an issue, aside from the main tap in the congregation is situated behind the special raised area. That would likewise not have been an issue, then again, actually there are two enormous window sheets sitting at either side of the special stepped area for everybody with a perspective on the minister lecturing see you conveying a pail of water; for everybody to k