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We should also reflect on the “slavery & human trafficking in many African homes” – eLDee

BellaNaija.com

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Rapper turned IT Consultant eLDee has decried what he has described as “other forms of slavery that exists on the continent and beyond.”

In light of the recent news about the auctioning of African migrants in Libya, eLDee has asked that while we continue to condemn that, we also look inside to inspect the way we enslave others.

He gave the example of “house-helps” from Togo and Benin, who work from dusk to dawn every day for their masters to get paid N10,000 a month.

He wrote on his Twitter page:

While we’re on the topic of slavery in Libya, I hope we also find time to reflect on the slavery & human trafficking in many of our African homes as well. Those “house-helps” from Benin/Togo whose masters get paid 10k every month to do chores from dusk till dawn.

I’m talking about the ones you kick and scream at all day to do your house chores, watch your kids, do your laundry, dishes, cook etc. The ones you pay less than $50 a month to the man/woman who brought him/her from Benin/Calabar/Akwa Ibom/Togo. Yes, that is also #Slavery.

Lets not only kick against slavery when it is convenient. If you really want to take a stand, Let go of the unfortunate teenager that is slaving away in your quarters right now. You are not very different from the Libyan who paid for slaves to do his chores.

We must take a stand against ALL forms of Slavery. It is not only slavery when it is against black people by other races, it is also slavery when it is black on black. Take a stand today, tell your friend, your family & your neighbors to let go of their slaves.

The fact that it is a part of our culture doesn’t mean we can not evolve. As we learn and become more aware, we must change our ways and replace our practices with more sensible and more humane ones. Free your slave(s) today!

I’ve had this argument with many who confuse slavery with employment. You can not employ a child for labor and pay the wages to his/her “master/parent/uncle”. That is #slavery and it is wrong.

There’s little difference in the sex worker that was trafficked to Europe and your house help that was trafficked from the village. So long as the trafficker is who gets paid for their work, they’re both working towards regaining their freedom, it is #slavery.

And please don’t get all defensive, we’ve all unwittingly either practiced or tolerated it at some point. I’m not just on a self righteous rant, we must recognize it for what it is. I’m glad we’re all upset about Libya as we should be. But there’s more to be upset about.

27 Comments

  1. Andrew

    November 29, 2017 at 10:21 am

    Real talk eldee. Nigerians are the biggest hypocrites in the world

    • John

      November 29, 2017 at 10:47 am

      Exactly

  2. Rukky

    November 29, 2017 at 10:47 am

    God bless you Eldee… the change we seek starts from us. No need to be defensive and lost in denial lets all learn to treat others well.
    In the bible it is written clearly that we should love our neighbours as ourselves.

    The Quran and the Hadith in islam states that, “you are not a true believer until you love and wish for your brother what you love and wish for yourself”. None of us will love to be treated badly, lets endeavour to treat others well and it starts from our households. May the almighty protect us all. Amiin.

  3. Udegbunam Chukwudi

    November 29, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Well said.

  4. Loki

    November 29, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I fully agree. Thank you for bringing this up. Domestic help needs to be regulated in Nigeria. Nobody deserves to be treated worse than the family dog; regardless of whether you are “sending them to school” or whatever it is that you say to yourself to help you sleep at night. Stories I’ve heard and even seen with my own two eyes….
    God let it stop….

  5. JJ

    November 29, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Mr. Eldee you tell no lies!!!

  6. Bleed Blue

    November 29, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Well if this ain’t the gospel!

    If you’re angry about Libya, but not angry about how you or the people around you treat domestic staff, then keep your selective anger.

    Don’t be here for trending topics, be here for kindness abeg
    .

  7. Spunky

    November 29, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    I wish my landlord and his wife can see this. Their help ( they say she’s a relative from the village) is 13 and the young girl is a pitiful sight. She’s up from 5am till 12midnight and sometimes, past that time. When she falls asleep before the scheduled bed time, you can hear her stream from the rapid strokes of cane. Her skin is full with scars and let me spare you the details of her rags (clothes). Sometimes I drive home for lunch and find her sitting outside the gate; waiting for madam (considering we have no gateman). I guess they dont trust her enough to hand her a spare Key. Such times, I have to offer her water and light snack. At 13, she is in primary 5. How can she move past that stage when she has no time to tend to her books? She cleans the duplex alone, weed the locked tiles, cater to their four little kids ( another on the way). The irony is, my landlord and wife attend mass every morning and evening. I just watch and can do little or nothing. I won’t be too hard on parents who give out their kids to get better opportunities. That said, I pray I never be in a position to let my children down ( when they come). Excuse the epistle jor!!! The tin dey pain me gan…

    • Bleed Blue

      November 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Spunky, please call someone for that poor girl!

      If you’re in Lagos, the contact numbers for Child Protection are 08085753932, 08102678442. Just tried both numbers now and I got the “currently switched off” message. Hoping it’s just a temporary network thing.

      If you’re not in Lagos, please help find out online who you can call. I’ve been told you can even be anonymous, just tell them the conditions in which the girl is made to live & the address and let them carry out investigations.

      Please. Please.

    • Zeb

      November 29, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      My dear, dnt just come here and tell us about that little gal when you have done nothing tangible to help her situation, please do the needful and call the welfare and other agencies, you could do it anonymously and place pay no mind to any wicked soul out there that will tell you to mind your business. Trust me, if anything bad happens to that gal u won’t b able to forgive urself. Please help her and God will bless u

    • Anonymous

      November 29, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      Nne, there’s a lot you can do:

      – Inform the authorities. Lagos has them
      – Secretly make a video of the maltreatment, pictures of the maid (with her face covered) and make it go viral then we pressure the govt to arrest them.

      BN, you owe it to the community to help too. Have a website for reporting any form of violence the same way you have a dear Aunt Bella mail

  8. Uchechi Opara

    November 29, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    People should always remember that what goes around come around and no condition is ever permanent. They should remember this when treating other people badly.

  9. corolla

    November 29, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    I agree 100%! The way Nigerians use their housemaids and the channel from which they also get these (mostly underaged) maids is often illegal. The maid works for you, no closing time. Cannot eat from the same pots, has her own plastic worn out utensils and plates. Some will hire a 12 year old to take care of a baby! To top it all off, the money is not even paid directly to the maid. That is slavery at its best. I have had this conversation with people in Naija, and the response I usually get is “shebi, its not like her life would have been better in her village”…It’s disgusting to say the least. It irks me, it makes my blood boil, the way we treat domestic staff in Nigeria. For a country that is so religious, it is disgusting on all levels!

    • No Headaches Please

      November 29, 2017 at 3:33 pm

      That’s the problem.
      The country is RELIGIOUS not SPIRITUAL.
      That’s why everything is WRONG with this land.
      Everything.

  10. Wendy

    November 29, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    I don’t agree! This is whataboutism at the highest! Social media has turned everyone to a mini oracle… every warm body that can barely type now has to give their own hot take and spin on issues! All because of retweets, hashtags, and going viral.
    Why deflect from such an important issue such as the slave markets? Instead of using a collective voice to address this scourge that’s in the forefront right now and nipping it in the bud, ninjas are busy trying to give forgettable and predictable perspectives.
    Also, while there’s still a discussion to be had and actions taken, there are people constantly advocating for children and even older domestic staff on some level. In fact, a lot of friends haven’t had helps for several years cos the people that helped them “get people” were busted for trafficking. So yeah! The government is already addressing these issues locally. TFOH with this nonsense!

    • Jummy

      November 29, 2017 at 3:30 pm

      Wendy why are so always so brash and ride? You stand to make a lot of sense but you lack a lot of emotional intelligence.

      Every time you’re commenting on one thing or the other you come off as hostile, which takes away from your message.

      You don’t feel this is an equal matter, fine. How about you make your points in a civilized manner? Gosh.

    • Loki

      November 29, 2017 at 3:37 pm

      Wendy I don’t understand. Are you saying you are cool with the way domestic servants are treated in Nigeria? Because this isn’t like the “All lives matter” vs BLM movement. There are more slaves here in Nigeria than we have abroad. We just call them by different names: Helps, maids, nieces, sisters, my person, my village person, my distant uncle’s daughter. They are slaves nontheless and we really should take care of our home problem before we start solving offshore ones. It’s like the Good Book says: “They made me the keeper of their vineyards; but my own vineyards have I forsaken”.How do we condemn other people for treating us the exact way we treat each other?

    • corolla

      November 29, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      @Wendy, you just managed to show us how deranged people reason and make arguments.

    • Wendy

      November 29, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      Okay guys… let your personal feelings about me out… then hit me up when you have intelligent and well thought out replies. @Jummy… I try to make sure I don’t engage any women on this blog in a negative way… this is because I excuse any display of ignorance to being a victim of the society that has raised some women not to be a critical thinkers. Well with the exception of women who are hell bent on continuing a toxic male culture and excusing rape and misogyny… those btches got to go! Back to you Jummy, we all need growth in some way, shape or form. So guess what? all of your jabs were well received and acknowledged. Now pat yourself on the back.
      You guys see your own implicit bias? All of you can come underneath my comment to type nonsense but maybe if I had a name like James you won’t put me on a pedestal and not be surprised that I speak my mind as is. Smh. We have a long ways to go!
      Anyway, I’m busy for a while so I can’t spend much time arguing or discussing. But I wonder how it is my comment okayed domestic slavery. I explicitly stated that it is being addressed and should continue to be… but it’s false equivalency and hypocrisy to compare both issues. Adding social media bandwagonism to our already ineffective society only spells more trouble.

    • Jummy

      November 29, 2017 at 5:15 pm

      LOL
      You actually think were coming at you because you’re a woman? Wow. Lol
      I don’t even know what to say. Like you totally missed the point

    • seriously

      November 29, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      I do agree people do jump on these social issues bandwagon and not much proper practical action is taken. However, these issues facing the world intertwines with what is going on in our personal lives. We human beings tend to separate and disconnect with what is happening around us and only look at “big” issues because, in the distorted mindset of many people, it’s easy to say, I’m not like this evil person. At least, I do this and that. Whereas, if we pay close attention to what we do, the lack of compassion, equality, wicked heart, look down and how we treat people close to us is no different than the mindset these libyans have or the Nigerians selling their own people. It all boils down to not valuing one another the way we should as human beings.

    • Wendy

      November 29, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      @Loki it’s exactly BLM vs. ALM/what about black on black crime. Only it’s black people that buy into respectability politics doing it.

      @Jummy: No. You are only more comfortable “coming for me” due to your bias. I didn’t attack anyone… my comment wasn’t even in response to anyone else… I simply voiced my opinion and disagreed but you felt the urgent need to come psychoanalyze and tell me how to behave or speak.
      Given that you have made no single point addressing the issue at hand, I can comfortably conclude that you’re just here to sing combaya and address online personalities. So “deary” I have no more words for you “sweetie”. (There! enjoy my use of seasoned flowery language… hope that helps you sleep better).

    • Jaja Opobo

      November 30, 2017 at 6:13 am

      WENDY! God bless you real good. This was my exact sentiment when I read this post from eLdee on another blog. It immediately smacked of sensationalism and an unfortunate attempt at self-grandiosity on his part. Yes the issues he raises are valid and deserve attention, but for Christ sake’s, it detracts SO SO much from the infinitely more life-threatening and urgent situation of actual slaves in Libya who are been killed and kept in inhuman conditions. The urgency of the condition of African slaves demands that full attention be given to it to raise awareness and influence immediate action on the part of relevant international and FG agencies.

      I feel this issue of house-helps can be brought up at a later time or on a different platform. Most especially because structures are already in place to address this issue locally (think NAPTIP, LASG agencies, etc). The unfortunate thing is that this guy has not deemed fit to actually take any action himself before now but thought it wise to wait for an opportunity to latch on to the grave issue of actual slavery in Libya just so he can score more followers on social media. It is not like he was previously on the forefront of a campaign to set house-helps free b4 now.

      I guess at at the end of the day, you may want to argue that there is no wrong way of doing good, Even if the ‘good’ is done for indirect personal gain..

  11. Elle

    November 29, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Someone said it the other time that John and Wendy are cut from the same cloth. Now, I fully agree.

    Jummy well said.

    Back to the topic, Eldee is spot on. Change starts with us before we start feigning false indignation. Hypocritical humans.

    • Wendy

      November 29, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      You know you are very correct. I decided to start commenting on this blog because of the thing called john and his ilk. You guys are either too scared of responding to his comments or when you do, you do the sissy trying to reason with him thing. Asking “who hurt you?” What has that achieved? Please excuse my manners when I say fck all that sht! Degenerates like that need no respect.
      By the way, guess what I’ve never done? Attack women (black or otherwise) or even men unprovoked. So thanks for the psychoanalysis which I know is meant as an insult but I’m very deliberate in my trolling.

  12. Sherri

    November 29, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    Well said the Don!
    @Wendy,
    I see your point,and you have every right to your stance but, your delivery is ineffective.
    El dee’s post is in my view an equally pressing issue.

  13. Jaja Opobo

    November 30, 2017 at 6:54 am

    Maltreatment of house-helps is child abuse, NOT SLAVERY! Before you condemn, please allow me a chance to explain.

    Child trafficking is wrong and it is a crime that should be eradicated from our society by all means. However, people generalize as if ALL house helps and maids are trafficked children who are suffering and in bondage. This is not always the case. The truth of the matter is that there are hundreds of thousands of up-standing individuals in society today (a few of which I personally know) who were educated or learnt a trade while been raised by a distant relative or, in some cases, strangers; in return for domestic services in their homes. I myself have engaged several house-helps who are well paid for their services. One of them saved up enough money from her payments to do ‘freedom’ at her tailoring apprenticeship and we even donated a sewing machine to her.

    Obviously, one must be careful not to employ under-aged children but we shouldn’t choose to focus on the cases of abuse that have been publicized by the advent of blogs and such end up passing laws that may be depriving some children of a legitimate path to education or a means of livelihood. After all, several people maltreat and brutalize their own offspring. Does that mean we outlaw the practice of having children? Obviously not the solution, but neither is it the solution to equate the plight of house-helps with that of actual slaves in Libya. That simply plays to the gallery and robs the situation of actual African slaves of the urgency it deserves.

    I agree those who are found to be maltreating house helps of any age should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law but it would be fool-hardy and unfortunate to label the practice of engaging house-helps itself as slavery. Rather, we should call it what it is so that it can be addressed properly. It is simply child abuse, not slavery. On the surface and to a simplistic mind, it might make sense to hang this issue on the coattails of the currently trending topic of human slavery in Libya. But this will only be counter-productive in the end as it will not allow for proper solutions to be put in place to guard against the issue.

    What is needed is to bring the right focus and attention to the maltreatment and brutalization of children in general (house-helps or not) and let us develop our legal system, institutions and governmental childcare services to the level where monitoring and compliance services ensure that people will be deterred enough by the consequences to not engage in these heinous crimes against children.

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