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Akudo Abengowe-Adebayo: Before You Hire that Help…



Akudo AbenogweIt’s almost Christmas and my current nanny will travel to her hometown. I feel so relieved that her days in our house is numbered. I know she won’t come back and I definitely don’t want her back. If anything, her exit will be a welcome change. She drives me crazy and I mean it.

Having lived with over six nannies in the past two and a half years, I can safely say I have acquired more than enough experience when it comes to hired helps. Hubby and I lived alone until I had my daughter. Then it dawned on us that we needed help with the baby and the home – because I am not disposed to the idea of crèche for a little child.

So I confidently asked my mum to bring any available extended family member from the East when coming for omugwo. So, the search for a help started. After few unsuccessful tries, we asked her to look elsewhere for someone that we would train in school. We were honest enough to tell the parents of the would-be-help that their daughter would mind our baby at home until the next year and then start her schooling the next year along with our child. BIG mistake.

They refused to give out their daughters; either because the education would be delayed or that, ‘Lagos is too far’ – as some of them put it. Almost becoming frustrated with the process, we turned to ‘agents’ who provide hired helps, who could either live in your house or come daily.

So we finally got a nanny, a smallish fair girl called Patience. She lived in our house for 9 months until December when she had to go home to her family. Being so impressed with her fast improvement to our training and her strong bond with our daughter, I expressed my gratitude through gifts for herself and her mother, and hubby gave her an extra five thousand for her transport after paying her off for December. Another BIG mistake.

So January came and Patience delayed her comeback. When she finally arrived Lagos she went straight to her brother’s house. I called repeatedly, without getting a coherent response, and then called the agent – who promised to get back to me soon.

“Madam” the agent said the next day. “Patience’s brother said that you people should increase her salary before she comes back to your house” I was so furious at their insensitivity and craftiness (I had stayed off work for so many days too soon after the Xmas holidays).

“Please tell her not to bother coming back” I told him

“Are you saying you won’t increase her money?” he asked me

“Even if she wants to work for us for free, I don’t need her services again” I responded and proceeded to get another nanny through another agent. I am fortunate to have a friend who seems to stock agent’s numbers. I felt betrayed by Patience attitude, I wanted to believe we already had a bond. She could have come back to the house and asked for a raise, instead of staying back and giving us conditions.

“I told you not to buy all those items for her, but you wouldn’t listen” my friend told me. “Now her parents think you people are rich, which is why they are asking for a raise” and she was right. In the few years I have had to stay with hired helps, I have seen and experienced all sorts of help.

Now I want to share some useful tips for anyone looking to hire a nanny or help in the coming year.

  1. Take them for medicals before they settle into your house
  2. Read some laid down rules to them in front of the agent to ensure they understand how your house functions
  3. They never tell you their real ages, a 35 year old can claim to be 21 to fit your required age
  4. Their agents pre-train them, telling them the likely questions you would ask and the adequate responses from them
  5. They always lie about their work experience, but you will discover soon enough that they have little or no experience and so you have to patiently train them to your taste
  6. They will accept any condition when they are about to be hired, only to start exhibiting another behaviour once they are settled into the house.
  7. Ensure your bedroom locks are in place and be security conscious
  8. Occasionally ask them about their family and home, it will help you understand them better
  9. They always have one uncle somewhere who controls them through phone calls and tells them what to do per time
  10. They get grumpy once their salary is delayed even for a day, so ensure you pay them as and when due
  11. Their relations suddenly love them because they are making money and monitor them through the phone
  12. Ask your kids to recount their day with the nanny each day and stop any suspicious attitudes or relationships with your kids
  13. They always want to travel on or before the 15th day of December and please don’t expect them back no matter how good you are to them, except in rare cases
  14. Scare them by telling them you have a secret CCTV which monitors their activities once you are out of the house
  15. Don’t ever think they care about you and your family, all they are after is their money
  16. Above all, show them love irrespective of their faults, they are human after all

Though they are exceptions, what I have shared are my experiences and those around me. Do share your own experience as well.

Akudo Abengowe-Adebayo is a multiple award winner, with over 8 years in the media industry. She also hosts (Love Moments With Akudo) and is CEO of SATT Media, a content and media marketing company. She blogs at Akudosworld. She is married with two adorable kids and loves Jesus with all her being. She is a TV addict, loves dancing and traveling, and a lil gossip now and then. Follow her on [email protected] or [email protected]


  1. Dora

    December 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    I don’t think it was wrong to have given her things to go home with. I think it was the right thing to do. And even if it wasn’t appreciated or taken for granted, it shouldn’t change who u are as a person. She would have done what she did anyway, I can tell u from personal experience. However, I will continue to do what my conscience tells me is right no matter what. Some people will never change and I also choose to never change!!!

    • mel

      December 9, 2016 at 7:04 pm


    • Gwen

      December 9, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      There are a lot of deceitful people in the world. I was a nanny for 4 roadie,misbehaved kids. The parents were so busy working they had no time for the kids.I had the second oldest pull a TV off a dresser and it was my fault . I tried to lay down the law but the parents never listened and agreed with me. I lasted a month, and they let me go.( no loss there). So it’s not just the nannies. The people who want there services should also have back ground check too.

  2. jayh

    December 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Wait, just wait for the criricisms. Especially from our kindred abroad who don’t understand how we are forced to operate in naija.

    • Nannypalaver

      December 14, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      No my dear,you are so wrong. Nigerians abroad do employ nannies via Nigerian/ghanian agencies cos they are affordable and they are actually older people in their 30s to 50s(from young adults looking for greener pastures and thinking ‘obodo oyinbo’ is easy and grannies who came to make money all in the name of visiting their kids).I have had a fair share of both including my colleagues at work. The thing is when they need that job they act all holy and like they are really interested in the best interest of your family until they settle they start showing their true colour. Unfortunately sometimes you have to put up with them cos you are so desperately in need of someone to watch your kids while away at work. I have had one left and now trying to lure her way back .They usually have people on the outside teaching them what to do ,they tell all your business to the whole world, they eat all ur food in the house(I had one who would finish all my food and will never even assist in cooking),then they remind you of how rich they are in Nigeria,how they have house girls answering to them and how they have people saying ‘yes ma’ for them in Nigeria. They try to turn your spouse against you.And they are the ones that spend 100hours on prayer lines ..No matter the respect you show them,they still become so envious and also bitter.They don’t like it when you tell them what to do cos they want to run the house for you.They forget you are the boss paying their salary.(mind you they get paid as much as 1000 dollars-1200dollars at least) not to talk about day off,free rent,free wifi,free ride,free electricity and power. Ask them why they cant do this type of job in Nigeria. Lol,t hey become dumb…
      Very few people are lucky to have found good ones ,so if u are one of those luck ones, be thankful.

  3. Sakura

    December 9, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    We were honest enough to tell the parents of the would-be-help that their daughter would mind our baby at home until the next year and then start her schooling the next year along with our child. BIG mistake.

    They refused to give out their daughters; either because the education would be delayed or that, ‘Lagos is too far’ – as some of them put it. Almost becoming frustrated with the process,

    I don’t know you but I feel you think these so called helps are sub-human, inferior to you and your family. What is wrong with parents wanting the best for daughter given the circumstances? How is being truthful a BIG mistake? If you need a nanny, or help then PAY for it and quit complaining about doing “good”.
    2 years, 6 nannies, 1 constant YOU. Your are the one with the problem, if they’re aren’t good enough for you buckle up and manage your household all by your superior self.

    • Tamales

      December 9, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Abi o….. I did a double take with that sentence. Who no want better thing for their child.??

    • Ola

      December 9, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      True, that sentence rubbed me the wrong way. And if I was a parent who was going to send my child to Lagos as a house help, I definitely wouldn’t send them to this lady’s house.

    • wear the shoe first......

      December 9, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      errmmm please bear in mind that she is not working for free o. she is paid for the service she renders so saying education will be paid for is an added benefit. and yea the constant being ‘YOU’ as you put it can only be said by someone who has never had to go through the hassle of looking for a help. When you start, you will remember this statement. I hope you will be honest with yourself when that day comes.

    • cece

      December 10, 2016 at 5:39 am

      Forget these naive people. growing up we went through so many helps. They were given everything including air conditioners in their rooms even though my brother and I had to ask for permission to put ours on. My parents never treated them any less than they treated us. But guess what we went through more than 12 until we found that one person who was hardworking and appreciated the love, care and respect my family gave her. She stayed until she finished training college and a decent young man came to ask my parents and hers for her hand in marriage. SHe stayed with us for more than 15 years. She is still family.

      My friend on the other hand had a help who used to sleep in the kitchen, eat gari every day and got beaten with a wooden spoon. But guess what since the age of 8years my friend now 30 has only known that one help. She stayed and is so loyal. In conclusion I would say it’s mainly luck, to get a good and trusting help. Just treat them well and pray for the best!

    • A

      December 9, 2016 at 5:02 pm

      At Sakura, I completely agree. These are people’s children as well. If you ask the writer for the ages of these girls she intended to watch her own child, I am almost certain none of them would have been 18 and above.why are we so self-centred???madam writer, next time, you put yourself in the parents’ shoes, and your own new baby in the children’s shoes….feel so sad by your utterances

    • Ememobong

      December 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      Wow! Judge much??!! Truth is that even though I agree that there are some really tough and extremely demanding madams out there, sometimes these housemaids can be something else especially when they feel they are indispensable or when they start to have designs on oga and if oga happens to be the extremely randy inconsiderate type then all hell really breaks loose.

    • Nteni

      December 9, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Thank you! I was reading the article and wondering what kind of modern day slavery is this woman engaging in? Going through 6 helps in less than three years says a lot more about her than it does the helps. If she was in a civilized country, she wouldn’t have this nasty attitude she has towards helps. This woman needs to change her mindset and overall attitude.

    • Ada

      December 9, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      I concur. That the writer is not even aware of how insensitive and conceited she sounds is a problem. Madam, pay for professional help and stop using underage girls. I am being a total hypocrite as I type this because I too have used underage girls and delayed schooling because of my totally selfish reasons, all the while knowing that what I was doing was very wrong. I prayGod forgives me.

    • Peaches77

      December 9, 2016 at 10:08 pm

      You know nothing Jane/Jon Snow ?

    • I can't shout o

      December 9, 2016 at 11:29 pm

      ???????! Your comment had me rolling! They know nothing o. I was of similiar mindset with some of these judge Judys until I relocated to 9ja. Oh boy, If I open my mouth na only spit go droll. I see someone mentioning professional nannies. My dear bone that thing jare, all join o.
      #3,9,11 are so on point!

      Recent story.
      Got a nanny who I was managing with. They were not willing to take any money from me for her services, same village tins, (except one or two things I was asked to assist them with) but I insisted otherwise. I put the nanny on a monthly payment (cash). I started making plans to improve this girl’so life o. Correct 5-7yrs plans. Train her, set her up a business, travels to the abroad, get residency if and when possible, fill her passport with stamps etc.
      Until my dear girl went home for a relations burial. With her few months of savings of course. Came back and told me her mother (who i never met as she was raised and given to me by her uncle) said she should stay for just one year and instead learn the training in the village! Osaloboa?! Obviously, they had calculated how much she will bring back after the said year.
      I said no wahala. Soon they started running out of patient as she wasn’t coming home monthly to offload money to them. Young 18yr old girl (as per what I was told) who is very naive ( I am beginning to notice). Recently, a cousin and her sister decided to use her mother’s sickness (which we later gathered wasn’t severe. But we were led to believe otherwise) to lure the poor girl home because they wanted money from her. She was crying, becoming blatantly disrespectful and we were all sleepless that night. They refuse us speaking to the mother or someone older as we were more worried about the mother’s health and trying to get her help than shipping the girl home asap. Finally spoke with the guardian and he asked we send them something as he is sure that is what they are after. We did as told and that was when they stopped tormenting this girl and peace returned to her/us.
      So bone matter men. I have seen family members intentionally sabotage a nanny’s prospect! But I have not given up on the matter sha. I like the girl. She isn’t as good as I would like but she tries, she genuinely likes my kids. I have come to learn (dealing with nannies in Naija), that’s as good as gold. I will go and have a meeting with her loafing family members next year sha and warn all those destiny blockers and 8ayters!

    • Ladybird

      December 9, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      Exactly! I felt that this woman was so condescending in her write up. Who the heck does she think she is..mtchww

    • Ellena

      December 9, 2016 at 11:21 pm

      Thank you Sakura!
      Your comment is on a ?

    • "changing moniker"

      December 14, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      i knew all these self righteous people would come here to rant!!
      She DIDN’T have to train the nanny through school. The fact that she wanted to was a plus, so she was reasonable telling them that she wouldn’t train the girl till her own child was starting school.
      How many people train their nannies???

      Let me tell you sef, i was surprised Akudo didn’t mention this. Most parents of the nannies would cancel any deal once they hear you want to send their child to school.
      Here’s their reason.
      Sending that child to school means that she can decide not to continue to be a “help” or “nanny”. she can understand sums and decide not to send the money back home. She can decide that it is to her benefit to continue with the family training her instead of going back home to be sent to yet another family (another reason they don’t let them go back to the same place is so they don’t get formal education)…
      And so on….
      So stop with the judgement!!

  4. Bibi

    December 9, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    My sister Inlaw and a neighbor recently recounted their ordeals in the hands of nannies to me and let me just say for now I will manage the woman that comes to help me clean the house once a week.My Inlaw also said this year alone she’s had up to ten nannies for real.She is a nice person so I don’t really know what to say.

    My neighbor actually found charms in the help’s closet,she said this lady was thoroughly searches when she was hired,that probably one of the ‘uncles’ brought the charms during a visit when she was out.So many sordid details,this is also a woman I think is very nice too,I don’t understand this issue really.

    I am a mother of two,hubby wishes i get someone who would help everyday,but sincerely I cannot deal with the drama that comes with it.

    • tunmi

      December 10, 2016 at 2:44 am

      Who exactly are these “uncles”? They are starting to sound more like pimps and controllers

  5. Amynwa

    December 9, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Nice write up.currently making contacts for a live in help.The one with me told me she will be travelling on 22nd of this month.
    Just can’t wait to get rid of her.plenty stories but God help us.It’s a phase

  6. Peaches

    December 9, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I think if you want the best, you have to be willing to pay. I honestly don’t understand why people aren’t paying helps more – it’s a salary. Be fair. Hire an educated person that does it as a profession, and I believe a lot of the issues you have will be eliminated. It’s common sense… You can’t be hiring small small girls and expecting them to remain there for more than a few months!

  7. Nelo

    December 9, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Well, i know it is difficult to get good paid help. But you should also not let bitter experiences give you a negative mindset. For starters, you are more likely to get the best help from a ‘referral’. This is from experience and there are facts to support it. When you pay this so called ‘agent’ you are trusting a stranger.

    And i am a bit puzzled by point no 15. you have no business hiring someone who cares nothing about your kids or your family. You may as well quit your job and stay at home to care for your kids yourself. I am a mum myself and fortunate to have a live-out nanny, she is a mother herself and although she has her imperfections, i would have sent her packing if i suspected she was only here for the money. My kid is also fond of her. I treat her like an employee and have reviews with her as well and more importantly i pay her well and recently gave her a raise. Afterall ‘country hard no be only you e dey affect’

  8. skyhigh

    December 9, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    i had 2 nannies with for kids from different backgrounds so none held me to ransom..i hv a busy schedule..i suggest you take your baby to a good crèche .granted a lot of them are ungrateful but you have to keep trying till you find one that will stay..and never ever treat them cruelly because the life of your kid is in their hands believe it or not…there are a few good ones out there an not all want to “travel” before 15 december maybe its your experience..goodluck any ways i know its tough to find a good one

  9. mama ovie

    December 9, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    My little take for getting a house help are as follows ( my own done turn my Friend sef)
    (1) Respect Her
    (2) Do not take Underage Girls ( my help was almost 20 when i hired her)
    (3) know her family members
    (4) Enroll Her in school (you do not want an un educated person taking care of your child ,make she no give person child Bleach thinking its stomach cleaner)
    (5) Give room for mistakes ( Most women can shout putting husband frustration on the maid
    (6) Be stern, so she knows where there boundaries
    (7) its not all about you, sometimes let it be about them, me i hardly celebrate my birthday but i buy cake for her once in a while to celebrate hers
    (8) give her time off so she go see anybody she wishes including boyfriend if she has
    (9) Let her have her privacy most madams are nosy
    (10) Get your mind out of the gutter when it come to your Maids and your husband( not every woman is interest in your ugly husbands)
    (11) Constantly put every one including them in your daily prayers (they have issues and challenges like you do)

    • aj

      December 11, 2016 at 8:09 am

      Lmaooooooooo @ not every woman is interested in your ugly husbands!

  10. o

    December 9, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    This article is very one kind…. I understand that majority are ungrateful but that shouldn’t stop you from being you. I always say it’s better to do good to your help without expecting anything in return. If you do that, you’re setting yourself up. Anyway why is giving her extra 5k a mistake??? And tbh we do need to check ourselves too. Too many women are being mean to their helps. They will eat chicken n give the help 100naira to buy food. Some treat them like they are lesser beings. 6 helps in 2.5yrs is a lot, you may need to do some inward reflection.

    • Hey

      December 9, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      As in ehn? The article offers no solution or ‘heads up’ for that matter.

  11. Marlvina

    December 9, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    @the writer, I’m actually baffled at the number of nannies you’ve had over a short period of time. There’s a definite reason why they ain’t staying and until you figure that out and take on a different approach, I’m sorry, but you won’t be getting any good experiences with these house helps.

    • "changing moniker"

      December 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Marlvina, you aren’t shallow this your comment comes as a surprise.
      Can you quote where she said they weren’t staying??
      have you had nannies before?? Have you had to send a nanny away because they kept maltreating your child, disobeying your instructions?? Would you ask an MD why he’s laid of 6 staff in 2.5 years???
      Stop disappointing me like this..

  12. Hauwa

    December 9, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I am relieved at a lot of comments above. I have 4 children btw age 16 and 3, and work full-time. I notice there can be a bit of hypocrisy when it comes to house help matter. Pple shouting “bring back our girls”, “no to domestic abuse” and “black lives matter” think nothing of using and treating unfortunate under aged girls as slave labour. Well you know what, black house help lives matter too. What is wrong in negotiating a raise especially if as you recount, she did a good job enough for you to shell out bonuses. Stop treating employment of help as a favour. It is A JOB. There is dignity in labour and they have what you probably can hardly do without…. a “helping” hand. So who is really helping who.
    Another thing I find hilarious, lock up your belongings, but leave your most precious gift from ‘at their mercy’!! Pls just as you are free to go work where benefits you the most, they too are free. Pay well (what their service is really worth to you), give good conditions and like any other good employer, you will develop a rep and attract the best in the labour market.

    Sorry about the rant folks!

    • Nitomeya

      December 9, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      I agree with some of the things you said however about the house help that wanted a raise by holding the author to ransom, the house help is wrong and you can’t negotiate with her. She will do same again if you allow it the first time. The approach of the house help for a raise was not right at all and should not be encouraged.

  13. Adolphus

    December 9, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Quit useful and mostly similar across all areas. I’ve also used No. 14 (CCTV), but careful not to tell an outright lie, especially as a confessed born again Christian. I just put it as a statement/question to the maid. I said: “you don’t even know if I have a secret camera in this house?” Remember if she realises you told just one convenient lie after having known you as a Christian, she will now think it’s ok to tell lies and she will lie to you occasionally.

  14. Whatever

    December 9, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    Come on…i don’t understand the comments i am reading. It is obvious none of you have had any experience with house helps. What is wrong with the house-help discussing with you about the raise instead of trying to hold you to ransom?
    Why do they have to lie about what they can do when they obviously cannot even do anything (Will be expecting a fat pay) and then you have to train and retrain? Not to forget how you treat them like your own.
    She has had 4 helps in 2 1/2 years, so??? When you have a house help that never listens, please tell me why you will still want to keep the help.

    It is obvious comments i read are from people who haven’t has any experience with house helps.

    Kudos Akudo for the write up. Some are good while others are just lousy.

    • Darius

      December 9, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Thank you for this. Not all these judgemental hypocrites typing trash. If you’ve never had an ugly experience before, wait until you have one. If you act any better than the writer, then you have the moral authority to criticize her.

    • tunmi

      December 10, 2016 at 2:50 am

      What is wrong with the house-help discussing with you about the raise instead of trying to hold you to ransom?
      –It is troubling when your employee cannot have a conversation about compensation with you but has to do it directly. Let’s me honest. If this job was treated as you did your job, wouldn’t it bother you or bother your boss if you could not have a face to face to discuss salary? Well why? Is the employee scared to discuss salary or is this a pimp at work, one who refuses to release his or her cash cow.

      Why do they have to lie about what they can do when they obviously cannot even do anything (Will be expecting a fat pay) and then you have to train and retrain? Not to forget how you treat them like your own.
      –this happens with employees in nearly every field. People lie about what is on their resume and what they can do in hopes of getting the job. Making it as though it’s particular to maids clouds how we perceive them.

  15. Ememobong

    December 9, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    Househelps and a lot of other domestic help are a necessary evil. Depending on the level of responsibility and load you are dealing with, the fewer, the better. If you are a young and upwardly mobile mother, I think it is better to make use of a crèche in the daytime then you handle things after close of work and ensure your husband really chips in with child care and domestic chores so you don’t burn out. If possible, your mum can live with you for the first one or two years of the child’s life or even longer to help you if she is a widow and is less busy or retired. You and your mum may quarrel about child care methods and training but at least you know she has you and your child’s best interest at heart. It really is not easy.

  16. abim

    December 9, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Well said d writer. For you peeps judging her una doh.Househelps/nannies can be very funny attimes.WE should constantly seek the face of GOd before hiring then.

  17. Pipi

    December 9, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    For the love of God why would prefer house help taking care of ur baby over a decent crèche! With creche’s you can carry out your investigation, 80% sure none will abuse your child (minders are usually more than 2 in a decent Creche) vs leaving ur child alone with one person and d threat of cctv what’s that! Even if u have cctv u would be watching damage done!…. I get maid for house chores but not for my baby pls. Take other responsibilities of me when am home so I can take care of my child myself. If men pulled thier weight around the house with kids this nanny whala will reduce. Imagine if you picked ur child from creche by 6 when u get home u make n aka while your husband baths the child….. Less wahala

  18. OA

    December 9, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    Yes six house helps in 2.5 years is a lot, but let’s not assume that the author necessarily was responsible for this high turnover. Househelps are a trip! As said above, they are a necessary evil.

    Same with my Mom’s helps. Those ones are even worse…getting fat under your nose, doing minimal work, and stealing. They have stolen her shoes, purses, money, food, etc. This past May, she had one they were even afraid to chase. Can you imagine? She had become their oga in the house. So we told her that my Mom was traveling to the states for a few months and that we would call her when my Mom returned. I had just loaded the house with provisions for my nieces staying with my Mom. Before she left, she took more than half of the provisions. She now said she was leaving her clothes in the BQ since she would be coming back. We allowed her. Like two days later, we packed her load and gave it to the gateman, called her and said you better come and carry your load before the gateman sells it and we instructed the gateman to not allow her enter the compound. Useless girl. She was so wicked and didn’t treat my Mom well at all. We were even afraid to have things like rat poison in the house so she won’t come and poison the people at home. Am telling you some of them are very wicked.

    “Other” Staff:
    My sister runs my deceased father’s business in Naija and it wasn’t until after he died we used to wonder why he used to be soooo frustrated with the staff. We thought it was him. My sister has a very condoning nature and now, after a few years of dealing with them, she shouts more than my father sef whenever she goes to Lagos. I am the one who has to bear the brunt of it. If I call her kperen, she will use “ejo” (venting) to almost kill me on the phone before I say, “eh-hem ,na me call you oh, you are running up my minutes; ahbeg make we talk when you come back!” Ex: just last week she asked one to put 1000 Naira minutes on her phone. When she checked the mins after he returned the phone to her, it was only 750 naira he put. They will be stealing small-small and you will be thinking shebi it’s small money, but it adds up! He used to be a very good employee, but since he got married things have changed.

    Even my Mom’s efiko driver that acts as if he’s Angel Michael…one day he took me to the bank. I asked him to put minutes on my phone and bring it inside the bank while I was doing my transactions. It took me much longer than I anticipated and was waiting for him to come back with the phone oh. No show. So I sha finished and went outside. Lo and behold! I couldn’t believe as I neared the car that the engine was running. I was like “hol’ up! who dey insai moto?” Only to see that driver was sleeping in the car with AC on!!! Chineke mmoooh! I banged on the window and quietly said: “please help me look around….your mates are all standing outside the cars, waiting for their patrons to come out of the bank and open the car door for them upon their return. But you, you are my oga now, you are sleeping inside AC while me I dare not try it sef. Se aye lo nje yii..o je je ki ori e kpe!” (is it life you are enjoying or what? you better let your head be correct!)

    (sorry for the epistle, but this is nothing compared to the hundreds of stories I have)

    • Darius

      December 9, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      Lol….. you are a funny one. Why were you guys scared of a maid? It beats my imagination! The whole thing is just funny. That driver get liver oh. Lolzzzzzz.

    • tunmi

      December 10, 2016 at 2:51 am

      What time does the driver get off work? How many hours does he work where he is unable to get the healthy dose of sleep?

    • "changing moniker"

      December 14, 2016 at 6:05 pm


  19. Moyo

    December 9, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    Im also not a fan of crèche but with the kind of experience the author has had, I don’t think she can benefit from a help. I believe she is already biased against anyone called house help. Even innocent well meaning house help (if she find any) will seem suspicious and the slightest mistake (because they are human) will seem very grave.
    If you are in law school please Check this out
    You won’t regret it ?

  20. mel

    December 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Wow, did you know that the person you were looking for is to take care of your child??regardless you should be thankful that those 9 months your child were safe and happy to be with patient.You counted the thing you give but you never counted the things you get. You have some ugly interest inside of you.First of all if you were a good person God will give you someone wonderful that never even think of money but happy to be working regardless of pay as long you treated them right. I hope you would never find a nanny that will work for you just take care of your own child and be rich, so when you die you die with your money burried with you.

    • Blackbeauty

      December 10, 2016 at 12:13 am

      You are a bitter soul. May God forgive you for spitting such vile against a total stranger

  21. OA

    December 9, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Wey my post oh, BN?

  22. Stuz

    December 9, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Lol @ no 7. Ensure ur bedroom locks are in place, but then leave ur most priced possessions ie ur kids in their care abi?
    On another note, from experience, it’s possible for one to have a lot of nannies within a short period of time. I think it has something to do with luck. I’ve had 5 nannies in less than 3 yrs and I can assure you I treated all of them like my younger sisters. With the exception of the first one, who had to leave after 7 months cos she got admission into the higher institution and the current one who is so good too, the 3 in between were nothing to write home about

  23. Tonkabelle

    December 9, 2016 at 9:29 pm

    I agree with the author on this subject and must commend her for a well written and practical piece.

  24. hauwa

    December 9, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Househelps r a necessary evil. I can understand with d author. It’s not a question of bn mean to them. I changed 3 maids in 3 months b4 d 3rd one stayed for years. Cos I was pregnant and nanny shopping in advance. The first stayed for 4 days precisely. After shopping for her and getting her settled. She told me she gets bored at home when we go to work so she wants to leave. The 2nd lied abt her education etc, she turned out to be a total village girl who had a more expensive phone than me! She drank my frisomum, wore my bra, took pictures wit her fone on my matrimonial bed, broke plates evry week, snapped all d electronics in my house n whatsapped with a guy but she cldnt speak English or write despite claiming she finished Secondary school. I got worried and returned her.

    • tunmi

      December 10, 2016 at 2:56 am

      After shopping for her and getting her settled. She told me she gets bored at home when we go to work so she wants to leave.
      –I think giving her working hours would have helped. That way she knows when she is on duty and when she is off duty. That way she can do whatever she wants during her off duty hours. It may seem like nothing but being able to actively choose how you spend your time is a big deal.

      The 2nd lied abt her education etc, she turned out to be a total village girl who had a more expensive phone than me! She drank my frisomum, wore my bra, took pictures wit her fone on my matrimonial bed, broke plates evry week, snapped all d electronics in my house n whatsapped with a guy but she cldnt speak English or write despite claiming she finished Secondary school. I got worried and returned her.
      –sounds like she had no boundaries. But… So what if she had a more expensive phone than you? She definitely overstepped her boundaries but you seem to have certain notions about her to begin with. Was the secondary school in another language other than English. Also, “returned her”… She is not an object. Yes she was foul and you also need to reorient how you perceive your nannies.

    • "changing moniker"

      December 14, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      how many times will i have to tell you to sharrap??!

  25. skyhigh

    December 9, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    i do understand how tough it is a lot of people who do domestic work are so dishonest..stories of theft,sexual abuse,laziness etc etc….i believe it gets better the older the child gets especially when they now start school…

  26. Dentale

    December 9, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Having read all the comments, I think I’m the only one who agrees with the writer on almost every point. I’ve noticed people are quick to defend nannies but please don’t be too quick to castigate the madam. Someone even said she must be the problem just because she’s had a number of nannies within the period in question. I strongly disagree. In a country of so many million people, the probability of getting terrible people is statistically significant. We cannot be afraid of being labelled the problem and thereby hanging on to people who are not adding value to your household. Like the writer, I noticed that some nannies simply don’t give a damn about you. It’s all about the money. Obviously it’s not apparent the beginnning. We’ve only used nannies who were 25years and above, minimum secondary school education and we paid all above minimum wage. Yet, we had some bad experiences despite our best intentions. We encountered the ones being controlled by their “fathers” who dictated to them what work they can or cannot do or to using them to get more money, One who we bought so many clothes, shoes etc for yet wanted to be begged to resume work after traveling for holidays, One who spent an eternity on her phone while watching your baby so much that most times you call to check up on them, you get a busy signal. The one who lied that her mother was so ill and she needed to go to the village but when we asked to speak to someone to understand where we could help (hubby has medical background), she changed her story that the mum was suddenly better, One who disappointed us on the very day long planned weekend trip out of town, telling us she couldn’t make it again. So many terrible people out there. They are not housekeepers or nannies and they don’t want to be. They just want to get paid. Could someone recommend a decent agency that actually trains and vets nannies? Not agents who just match buyers with sellers.

    • aj

      December 11, 2016 at 8:34 am is a global site! you can try them.

  27. D

    December 9, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    So I opened these hoping to read some good advice before I ask the maid to start(My 1st) and am feeling somehow.I will be going back to work soon,there is a creche around my area but, my husband and I have exams to write though at different points .so, we feel having a help around would be the best. Am confuse I hope I make the right choice.

    In another news, I have a friend who is more like the writer her child is not up to 2years yet but she has gone through close to 10 househelps. I remember her bragging about beating 1 and Kai my body was doing me somehow like just let them go why beat them and have your husband join in the fun.Am not judging her but she is always talking of how they don’t deserve a place at your table and all .I wasn’t raised like that cause my parents treated everyone from the Driver to family members with care so I feel uneasy with her gist.

    Am use to running my errands by myself so I feel somehow when people do it for me, which is why am still divided about it and I wouldn’t mind sponsoring the child in school cause I feel iran meji ko gbodo tosi(poverty should not be passed down to the next generation) hope I got that right.

  28. Peaches77

    December 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    All of you running your mouths, time will tell ?.

    • I can't shout o

      December 9, 2016 at 11:58 pm

      ????????abeg no finish me tonight! I am laughing because time has told me o. I have a couple of friends that have gone through 4 nannies in 6 months minimum! Some of them left not because they did anything wrong to then. I think they find it difficult living under instructions which is understandable. This our generation and the ones after us do not understand the honour, dignity and reward in hard/work. Today i caught my day nanny (who i had to keep to supplement the shortcoming of my live in nanny) in a lie. She kept waiting for me to reprimand her after I called her out and she admitted. I can imagine the kin hot shit she shit when she was exposed. But I no gree talk. Let her conscience judge her. I can’t shout! So it’s so easy to run through helps. Very easy! I have heard cases of helps leaving because they employer was too nice. True story!

  29. Jeanna

    December 10, 2016 at 2:08 am

    As a nanny. How I wish you were standing in front of me, the words that would come out of my mouth.

    Maybe look at yourself though. 6 nannies over 2.5 yrs. Are you kidding me?!?!?! What’s wrong with YOU!

  30. tunmi

    December 10, 2016 at 2:41 am

    I know I’m not in Naija, but sad is sad. The way some of you speak about maids are as though they are inferior. If we can get rid of that status mentality, some of these problems can be fixed. For one, it sounds like many of them have “controllers” or even pimps to begin with.

    If it’s truly an employee employer relationship, many of these issues can be resolved.

    • Lol in latin

      December 10, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      As you said you live abroad, you definitely don’t understand. So shift….

    • "changing moniker"

      December 14, 2016 at 6:09 pm


  31. Marian

    December 10, 2016 at 4:47 am

    I think it’s important to have a heart to heart with a nanny before they start. Find out what their goals, dreams and aspirations are. I think some of them are depressed. I know of one who was tricked into coming to lagos to be a nanny. Her brother told her they were visting family members, dropped her off and she was expected to start work the next day. I wanted to cry when she was telling me her story. last born, has zero experience and the people she was with had all these expectations. Her bro must have exaggerated her skills. Most of them are underage with no experience so they are learning on the go.

  32. yes ke

    December 10, 2016 at 5:16 am

    employee – employer relationship?!?!?!?!?!?! how many of you talking don’t show up at work and expect to be paid? or go and turn on company generator when its only u there so u can chill?!?!?! how many of you sit in your CEOs office to take selfies??? or wear the CEOs clothes..??? or eat the CEOs special food that she specially cooked for herself and her husband!?!?? biko PARK very well!!!! domestic help in nigeria is a different ballgame. I’ve had like 5 gatemen in 6 months. FIVE! the first thought he was my landlord and refused to turn on the generator, he would bring his friends into the compound for Tea time! The other was a small boy we used out of desperation (big mistake), we also had plans to send him to school, he had NO INTENTION of going! He would turn on the gen and iron his clothes when we leave home (I don’t even use the gen to iron my own clothes)!!!! The third was OK and we were managing cause we didnt want to switch again he had a baby, we bought gifts, all was well, then suddenly he had to travel…never came back …no explanation (where did i go wrong biko!)!!!! The 4th didnt get along with our neighbor and had to leave. Please these are GATEMEN! people outside the home. Talkless about Nannies! I have not gathered the liver to hire one. Biko in nigeria the road to hell is paved with good intentions. so please….judgers of the madam and defenders of the househelps…unless you have small children or have actually hired/worked with domestic staff in nigeria….PARK well and have several seats please!!!!!! I didn’t find this article particularly helpful but i totally understand where the author is coming from.

  33. mumoftwo

    December 10, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Even though I find it hard to judge the writer, I still believe she has her own faults. I am a natural meticulous person which makes it hard to live with helps. Discovering this, I sought the option of good creches. Not every woman in Nigeria is equipped mentally and emotionally to have helps; at the end of the day, helps are humans with their own live issues.

  34. chamazing chick

    December 10, 2016 at 9:03 am

    It seems like it’s the same agent the writer talked about that got my former nanny too and I agree with the points she raised 100%. Going through 6 house helps in two years might seems a lot and I can bet it has little doing with madam’s behaviour. I had a similar experience with her “patience”. We got someone who was more “mature” than the other person. She said she had experience and she has worked for her previous employer for a long time but she relocated abroad that was why she needed a job. This lady claimed she is 26 yrs but I doubt that. She is bigger than me, (am quite petite) so she looks like my aunty. I was to resume work after I put to bed so I decided to take her as I won’t have time to nanny shop.
    She is hard working and loves the kids but she had a lot of issues. Just after 2months she decided I pay her 30k from 20k as she said it wasn’t easy looking after 2kids. I reasoned and felt ok that’s fine by me. I agreed. She hardly takes corrections and she tends to stir up an argument. I am not saying am perfect but I was good to her. …that my neighbors noticed and their helps were feeling intimated by her. I had taken her as my younger Sis.
    Soon after it was a competition…. anything I buy she will get. If I sew a dress she will ask for my tailor. My cousin was getting married and my mum brought asoebi for me n my sister..this girl asked if she could get one. Asoebi of 13k.
    CCTV was installed in my home and though we didn’t tell her, she knew what it was but it didn’t stop her at all. Watched countless times she stole my baby’s milk and how she treats the kids sometimes. My older child was somewhat scared of her. At a point my hubby advised that i should disconnect the CCTV that it would cause me more harm.Did I fail to mention that I had gone through 5 helps before her….she even stayed for a whole year. I didn’t just have energy to look for another one when she said she was going home for Christmas last December. I knew it was the final busstop. Looking after my kids and taking care of them. I resigned and am happy I took that decision

  35. Fifi aka Iya Ibeji

    December 10, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    In the beginning i had a 22 year old nanny as she claims she was, the girl was lazy, even enrolled her in hairdressing school,total waste of money, now i have Iya who is in her late 40s and a cleaner who comes 3 times a week, i have peace ooo, Iya is the best as long,no relatives dying every other month, no child sick in the village,dreading adding to my staff next year when the twinnies arrive. God help me if not for exchange rate i would jejely hire a Filipino between her, Iya and the cleaner i would be fine

  36. Lol in latin

    December 10, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Till u guys live with or find a help that’s when you will understand the writer.
    Don’t sit behind your phones abroad spewing rubbiush esp if you are single.

  37. "changing moniker"

    December 14, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Great article, ma’am….
    i can totally relate!!

  38. Hope

    December 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Some nannies in Nigeria are some thing else. Employed one some two months ago,only for her to tell me last week that her brother said they will be travelling home on the 15th of December, was like ok, asked if she was coming back and she said yes. Fast forward last week Saturday when her salary was due, payed her, only for her not to show up for work on Monday. I had to call her cos I gave her a phone and she was like her brother told her not to come to work after she has collected her salary. Aside that she went abt saying nasty things abt me to my little niece that stays with me. Long story short, so u see, some of these helps are ungrateful no matter how u try to be nice to them.

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