Domestic Help In Nigeria

Thank goodness the Orekoya Boys have been found. Now lets speak honestly on domestic help in Nigeria. Very few people are willing to admit that domestic help in Nigeria aren’t doing it out of their own freewill rather are working these jobs due to poverty.  Everyone has cast blame on the parents of the kidnapped children- well they owe protection to their children as they brought them into the world, they are accountable for their safety.

Lets address a few things

1) When hiring for an office, you don’t just employ anyone, talk less of for your children. Do not hire anybody off any website or an agent that you cannot vouch for. Stealing is easier to deal with than the kidnap of your children. You should be able to trace your help somehow.

2) Don’t let desperation drive you into hiring just anybody. We all have relatives – mothers, fathers etc, beg and blackmail to have your family members watch your kids if you have to.

3) if you are married and hell bent on working, please make sure your income or satisfaction justifies leaving those children at home with the help. I am talking to the women in this case. You are the only one that knows first hand how you struggled with your pregnancy and birth of that child. Sit down and tell yourself the truth.

4) Lets be frank, good help is often expensive. Paying someone N25,000 per month to take care of 3 children and clean your house is slavery. Make sure the level of work is commiserate with the pay. Pay a living wage and encourage your help to do more with their lives. You want to create a symbiotic relationship – offer to help the person with a par time degree or something. when you do so, the person will likely stay till the duration of the offer expires – if you have the same help for the first four years of your child’s life, its really a small price to pay. After all, per child for many day cares, you would pay easily anywhere between N30,000 for the extremely low end ones and about N100,000 monthly for the higher end day cares.

5) Do not expose your hep to everything in your house. let me explain this. If you are paying someone N20,000 per month – but you send them to the market to do N15,000 shopping every week, they see all the jewelry you have etc. These things are well worth more than their monthly salary. Try you best to limit exposure and keep your valuables out of plain eyesight.

6) Fortify your home – if it is camera’s, or instructing your security guard to make sure the help doesn’t leave the house with your kids etc.

7) Weigh it all, whatever it is you are leaving your house for on a daily basis, is it worth the risk?

8) There are a plethora of ways to work around help. Sometimes its wiser to just get a cleaning person who comes when you are home and leaves at that same times.

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NESTR – Nothing Else Significant To Report



39 Comments on Domestic Help In Nigeria

  1. Ikoya adewale // April 20, 2015 at 11:24 // Reply

    Well written but do we really need strangers to take care of kids when there are registered daycares around even if we don’t want to involve family members…. To me it’s more like just cutting corners at the expense of the children’s safety


  2. Daniel Onuoha // April 20, 2015 at 11:34 // Reply

    Generally we want the best things of life for free or smaller amount possible. Most families have house helps out of laziness on the part of d woman than out of necessity. But it’s generally and common sense-wise wrong to have someone who will be part of ur household just from anywhere, worst still online portals without a proper back ground check both physically and spiritually. How can u feel safe with a total stranger lurking around ur home?


  3. I beg to disagree with you daniel, most women don’t have domestic helps out of laziness, even full-time mums have too much load, talk more of those working, it isn’t easy taking care of children combined with cleaning and cooking, that being said precautions should be taken. I grew up with a lot of domestic helps, my mum was a banker, we had a relative that stayed with us, she was schooling and supervising the help with her activities, that created a balance and we all turned out very well, I understood that she had to work.


  4. Daniel exactly what do you mean by “laziness on the part of the woman”. It sounds like you think house chores are a woman’s responsibility only. Ermmmm you might want to rethink that.

    I have realized that naija house helps are no longer what they used to be. Everyone in naija seems to be infected with the deadly disease “greed”.

    I know of too many families who treated help like family members and still got burnt. Na by the grace of God oh.

    So thankful my parents are retired and live in the same city as me. By God’s grace they will live long enough to care for my kids (when they come) while i continue paper chasing.


    • peace ogune // April 25, 2015 at 09:30 // Reply

      I think what he meant to say was that women are these days too busy for kids. which I still find as no excuse. women just need to know that child upbringing not house chores oh are their major responsibility.


  5. @ Daniel, I beg to differ on your opinion a zillion times. (please try being a woman for one day). Let’s even ignore the physicality of being a woman. Simply swapping roles with your wife for a full day. (or ur married sisters etc). Let’s hope you/they have kids as well.

    The reason our parents could cope back in the days was because they (most of them) had a number of relations (sisters, brothers, aunts) living with them and could provide the required support.

    Things were fairly balanced then, economically and otherwise (at least back in the early 70’s). I don’t recall my folks having a generator, unlike now where I have 2 generators and an inverter as well.

    Who foots the bills?

    Women now have to work not only to support their men, but themselves and their families (immediate extended families)

    If you think it’s that easy for a woman, then I ask that you rethink again.
    Aside for a few cases, most women need. The additional support. How they choose to go about getting that support is very key. This support is not born out of laziness but of necessity.


  6. christabel // April 20, 2015 at 17:54 // Reply

    Hmmm I think its different strokes for different folk cos I can remember staying with a relative in our house, the experience was not interesting at all, she used to lock I and my sister up in the house and go out with her friends and even bring her boyfriend home when my parents are not around.
    I think all these agencies that help with househelp should be able to give a qualitative information(name,address even if it means trailing the person home,blood group, health status, family background, educational qualification, marital status… The list is endless) about any person registered under them cos indeed the heart of man is desperately wicked…


  7. Laziness? Really?

    My mum was a banker and as such, we had a lot of house helps growing up. If anyone thinks its easy to have a good career, be a full time mum and a full time wife then you have another thing coming.

    Thing is I understand the need for a help but OLX is the wrongest place to search for help and then to leave said help alone with your kids barely 24 hours after is just wrong on so many levels. The couple in question could have called a sibling or taken 2 or 3 days off work to watch how the nanny is with their kids and stuff.

    The fourth point about paying them well doesn’t hold true for all of them. For some, no matter how much you pay them or try to help them, after a while they start to misbehave and see whatever help you are rendering to them as a right.

    All in all the points above are very valid.


    • peace ogune // April 25, 2015 at 09:34 // Reply

      I think OLX got greedy and stupid. where trade in human resources anyone should know you need a full time agency for that na. a place where all can be checked including personal history you don’t just trade humans off to be in peoples houses without knowing them.


  8. Your itemised points are pretty exhaustive if I may remark. One critical thing I feel is also creating an environment of love for the help also. If we can understand that having an help in a family is more than professional matters, we might create the right atmosphere and incentive for the help. Be concerned about her whereabouts, her friends, her studies, her financial and non-financial needs, her passion, interests etc. I believe it a matter of creating the help’s buy-in into the family.


  9. I think this issue of househelp or no househelp is overflogged already,someone mentioned laziness as part of hiring one,for real??? If u are married,switch positions with your wife for a day And if you are not married try helping out a relative for a day,then come back and talk about laziness. Someone wakes up by 4am to prepare for the day,go to work and still come back to finish up.
    Miss pynk I like the way you analyized it,one thing I want to add is Tolerance and Respect(that makes two) treat your help the way you will treat your loved ones, they are human too.


    • peace ogune // April 25, 2015 at 09:37 // Reply

      switch positions that the part I don’t concur with. can an eagle be hen or vice versa can a man be a woman? lets face it. a woman who doesn’t bring the cash home is not as guilty as a man who didn’t bring the cash home. we have our roles. though we should help by complementing each other.


  10. RE #3 – Children are the responsibility of both parents. While i understand that some women (and men) choose to stay home and look after thier kids, it should not be (in 2015 at thtat!) and assumption that thats the choice only mothers have to make.


    • Thanks for you comment @ Koko, some men just take a backseat when it comes to raising the kids. That mentality that it’s a woman’s job alone is pretty upsetting.

      I just can’t stand the aloofness of some guys.


      • peace ogune // April 21, 2015 at 13:53 // Reply

        when it comes to caring for infants all a man can do is help- maybe a lot maybe less. but a woman has just to be the forerunner of the project. lol


        • The only thing the woman is the proprietor of is the boob juice. If she is able to pump milk – then really other than nursing the man needs to step up. We live in an age where we are enabling lazy men, who dont do diddly squat at home…because they have a penis! He can cook food so that you have enough milk and rest, he can take the night shift so you get some rest. Yes – it might not be easy because there is still not much equality in offices with the amount of paternity leave. But isn’t it enough that woman carries a child for 9 months; she needs to be sole care giver too?


    • peace ogune // April 22, 2015 at 10:45 // Reply

      I agree totally koko


    • Reminds me of dettols payoff “if I (mother) don’t take care of them, who will???


  11. This is simple really. Firstly, if at all you do need a house-help, do your homework. Ensure you know everything about him/her down to their roots. Secondly, carryout tests, medical and psychological if possible. One would definitely not want a virus carrier or pedophile looking after their kids. Lastly, treat your house-help as you would your own child. It is very important that you create no room for envy or jealousy. House-helps are not slaves.


  12. I like to point some key markers regarding the issue.
    Firstly, it is most important to stress that these days both parents have to work jobs to keep family affairs running and this is one of the major cause of resorting to house helps. This resolve of cause is not far fetched if both parents have to leave home early and especially when the kid is still a yearling or before his teen. What is note worthy which the parents must keep in mind is the norms and values, the habits and characters and most importantly the activities and peers they will like their child to inculcate or indulge. These qualities are best asessed by the mother to help her secure such a house help and if need be a relative with such standards to be around the child. This even addresses trust, safety, interest and more reasons unmentioned.

    Secondly, I’m sure we all know how sharp the minds of kids are; always wanting to know what or how, deciphering and inquisitive. This is why it will be most advisable to have some trustworthy helper in your homes. I feel sorry for parents who think money buys a good and dedicated house help only to realise in the end that chores and babysitting were the least of their problems. Nevertheless, a good place to start making a trustworthy choice would be within the family extension.

    Thirdly, i see no reason why anyone will desire something as delicate as house helping will not want to pay adequately for the service, even in kind aswell. Patronising kindergarten is a costlier involvement compared to your house help. @Ibk i completely agree that on a long run they begin to see all your kindness as a right. I think issues like these happen almost in every household with helps the only way around such is discipline.


  13. Am I the only one that feels like punching Daniel in the nose?? How dare u imply it’s laziness on the part of the woman? Maybe u need to spend a week in the shoes of a homemaker before making such judgements. It’s a pity the world of today is now really the definition of wicked. I grew up in a home with househelps. Those days u do b there even pay them. They live with u as a family member. People couldn’t even tell that we had house helps cos of how my mum took care of them. It’s really hard now and pepole like us that are trying to conceive have a lot of challenges ahead especially if working. God dey sha. We will cross that bridge when we get there but it really is sad that no one can be trusted again; even relatives.


  14. peace ogune // April 21, 2015 at 13:51 // Reply

    woman woman woman if you must have kids you must shed some time into taking care of their domestics. pls once again I state, if you must have kids you must make time. whatever the situation even where the man is willing to help a Woman must make time.


  15. Ikoya adewale // April 21, 2015 at 16:11 // Reply

    Loool @daniel as a guy I can only Sympathise with u at the way the women are attacking you… . But frankly if things are done according to importance I’m in support that most women are in fact lazy towards things that actually matter


  16. Ikoya adewale // April 21, 2015 at 16:14 // Reply

    @peace nice conclusion *high five*


  17. Ikoya adewale // April 22, 2015 at 11:42 // Reply

    @peace Abi na, it’s necessary


  18. Ikoya adewale // April 22, 2015 at 11:49 // Reply

    Women are really trying tho…and the best result to show for their life’s struggle is a sensible “child with good fruits and values”


  19. Christian Best // April 23, 2015 at 10:32 // Reply

    Kudos to you for this wonderful write up.
    It’s evident that House help kidnapping kids is getting rampant in Nigeria.
    I also wonder why Parents would hire house help without knowing much about the person, knowing the persons family, residence, former work place etc.

    Imagine hiring someone today, then tomorrow you leave all your kids to the person, haba. . Apply sense na


  20. chukwukadibia // April 23, 2015 at 21:47 // Reply

    As always,a good write up pynk..


  21. Another perspective to look at all this is planning everything to the T even before marriage, all hands must be on deck.
    Even though things don’t always turn out exactly as planned but it does not mean one won’t achieve at least 40% of the plan, this is Africa the onus falls on the woman primarily to take care of her kids and if you are lucky to have a very supportive husband good for u.

    But first you ought to help urself by planning before hand, knowing how many kids u want to have and at what stage of your career ,consider family members close by u can leave them with
    Another way is the role employers can play in this but this is Nigeria most employees dnt demand any kind of welfare package from their employers,considering women in their child bearing age are also the one who are the productive bracket.

    Except in some government organisations where the daycare payment is subsidized, this I later got to learn was an arrangement between the org and the daycare/school.


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