Monday, February 19, 2007

Everyday for the thief…

As she opened her bag, out came my black belt, a cheap wooden bangle that my sister had given to me and several items from my mother’s shop.

Okay, so I’ve jumped the gun. Let me take you back to how this all started. I’m sure you are all familiar with the saying that Everyday is for the Thief, One day for the owner. Here’s my own experience.

My daughter is roughly 15 months old and for all of that time minus 2 months, I have not had a nanny, housekeeper, au pair….nada. I have looked after her by myself, with the help of my mum, dad and siblings. That is while still maintaining a full time job and studying online for an M.Sc in Engineering. When my daughter was about 5 months old, an acquaintance traveled to the UK for one month and loaned me her girl for the month- A dirty, slow Yoruba girl who’s back I was glad to see. Whenever she washed her hands in the loo she always managed to get water all over the floor. Not that she would clean it up o! She thought that water on the floor of the bathroom was normal. She sat with her legs open all the time which is something I cannot stand. Anyways, she was gone in a month and I was glad to see her go. I do not like dirtiness of any sort around my child.

The search was on for another nanny to replace this one.

Months passed, no luck. Finally, last month on the 6th of January, I got a nanny for my daughter. This was a relief for me as my exams are round the corner and I badly need to concentrate. She was neat, efficient with the housework and easy on the eyes. She dressed well too. In fact, the one thing that I noticed about her was that the chic loved her some fashion. I had no problem with that as long as she did not show up near naked. The arrangement was that she would come in the mornings and go to work with my mom (she owns a shop in Ikeja) and take care of the baby during working hours. In the evening, she would return to the house with my mum and the baby and then go on to her own place. She lived about 20 minutes walk from my house. I think it’s important to note that she was not just a walk-in. My mum has known her mother for about 15 or more years.

Anyway, the first week this girl starts work, my mum notices that some money has gotten missing from her shop. Naturally, she confronts the only person she suspects and the nanny denies it vehemently. It happened once more and then mum started watching her money more closely.

I am of the opinion that you must always catch people red handed so I started looking for my opportunity. At a point, life took over and I forgot about setting a trap for her. Then one day, I left 4k in my wallet and left the wallet in the sitting room overnight. Not too long after she came to work, I remembered that my wallet was in the living room and went to get it. I counted the money: 3,000. I counted again. 3,000. I called her and asked her what hat happened to my dough…naturally she denied it. That was unfortunate as she put herself back on my radar.

Two days later, I called in sick at work because I was not feeling well. This means that I was home when my mum and the nanny got home. As soon as I could, I gave her some money and asked her to buy something. She had dropped her bag in it’s usual place. I locked the door when she left and went through the bag. Nothing. Two minutes later, I realized that I had not checked the inside zip. There, I found my belt, bangle and a few things from my mom's shop.
When she returned, I acted normally and asked her if she had seen my black studded belt anywhere. I even helped her by stating that my daughter had been playing with it a few days ago and may had mislayed it. She denied it. I asked her to go home and when she got to the door, told her to come back and empty her bags. Her face fell and her hands started shaking.

As she opened her bag, out came my black belt, a cheap wooden bangle that my sister had given to me and several items from my mother’s shop.

I will cut the story short here. Although she claimed that she had not stolen anything else, when I threatened her sufficiently, she revealed that she had a few more things in her house. She wept like a baby and asked me not to sack her as she will not be able to find another job. She also confessed unbidden that the reason why it will be difficult to get another job was that she always felt compelled to steal wherever she worked. She had reported to her pastor and she had been asked to come for deliverance.

My response: "Well, boo-hoo! You should have considered all that before you started stealing from me. History!"

P. S: Chioma recently had a post up about her househelp wahala. You can read it here.


  1. I hope you kicked that girl with 'magnet hands' out... She needs to get delivered of that spirit first...
    Housegirls are something else... I can't count the number of housegirls we had when growing up, but they were pretty crazy. Only few of them are good... I hope you find a good one soon. Pray about it girl.. So God can direct the right one to you... All the best...

  2. have you found another nanny yet?You'll still need one don't you?I hope the girl has learnt her lesson now.Its just a pity she left that way.wishing you all the best in getting a better nanny..

  3. LMAO.. it's tough getting good helps... Keep searching and you will find one... Good luck!

  4. @ Ajike: I told her that she was not to come to work the next day. I leave my things lying around so I can't take chances with having a thief in the house.

    @Mrs Somebody: Thanks for stopping by. I saw ur other comment too. I haven't gotten another. My poor mum has taken up the job of nanny all by herself and this is in addition to her work. Thanks for the wishes. I am praying for Mary Poppins. *wink*

    @ Nyemoni: Thanks girl! I hope I do o!

  5. I love your blog, I wish you'd blog more often...
    Good luck finding a good help, but if you can do without one....I just think they are such a nuisance!!
    I don't have kids yet, but I just know I wont be having any 'out of my immidiate family' help!! That has always been my stance, but my friends assure me that I will change my mind once I have kids, but I sure hope not!They say Living in the States and trying to juggle work and family will be difficult, but I say thank God for day care centers!!
    Best of luck and let us know how things go, but as far as you know she is a kleptomaniac, kick her out fast!!!

  6. It's been ages since I've been here. I'd like to apologize -- school and lots of annoying things have been keeping me.

    It's funny how they all cry and blame it on the devil. Poor Devil!

  7. Dang I never knew it was that hard to find good help in Naija... I'm hearing way too many horror stories... that babe strong sha.. I really hope you find a much better one sometime soon

  8. LOL. Some of these maids are just kleptomaniacs...LOL

  9. Have I missed something here? Going back to have a look at ur achieves. Wasnt aware you had a baby daughter.

    Too late for her to cry over spilt milk. Should have thought about that before she started stealing from you and ur mum.

  10. Wow! I hope you got the rest of your stuff back! Good luck with your exams.

  11. @Anon: Aww, you just warmed my heart with your compliment. Thanks. I was going to be like that but like they've said to you, it's really difficult to do everything by yourself. If I did not have my mum's help, I would have surely gone mad. Difficult but not impossible. Will like to know how it pans out for you in future.

    @ Azuka: I know and I understand completely. No aplogies necessary. It's nice to "see" you when we "see" you. Na real wa for passing all the blame to the Devil! I guess he is the easiest person to blame. Otherwise, it would have to be blaming The Almighty for giving us free will to make our decisions.

    @ONB: I am hoping and praying O! Like I said to Nyemoni, I'm hoping that Mary Poppins will actually fall from the sky and come and take care of my child. That would so be the bomb!

    @calabargal: No need to go far. Just take a look at the stuff I have on the sidebar. She's pretty much advertised. The nanny was too busy being a chic to think that she would ever get caught. Really, if she had been stealing food rather than things to get her fashion on, I may have been more understanding.

    @Noni: I got some stuff back but of course there are things I won't miss for months that she has made off with and naturally, the money can never be recovered. Thanks on the goodluck.

  12. story..story, why didnt she go for her deliverance before she came to your house? the girl just has long throat like you said she just wanted to be a babe like her madam.Only God knows how much she stole,like you said you won't know all she stole for a while.
    This househelp thing is getting ridiculous just yesterday another friend told me how her girl stole half her house! I have finally gotten a replacement so after she has done the usual tests( yes in naija we test them for hiv,hep etc)she will start work. I really pray this one works out for me, and I pray you get someone good too so you can relax, your blessed to have family around. We should be wary of housegirls that are too fine and fashionable some of them may be good but just watch them. my friend caught her housgirl coming out of her room naked according to my firend the girls body was too fine) when she knew oga would be at home.She was probably hoping oga would ditch his igbo wife for a beautiful Yoruba babe like herself(my friends hubby is yoruba).
    May God help us I can't wait for my kids to grow so I can do without these people.The world is getting bad and getting good help is getting increasingly difficult

  13. Na wa o. Gone r d days when househelps used to be decent and hard-working. When i grew up in Lagos, i can count d amount of househelps we had thru out d 13 yrs. And i'm proud to say dat i treated each and every1 of them just like my older sister, cos most of them were quite older than me.And even my mum used to treat them just like her daughter. Whenever we came to Europe for summer hols, she'll buy them stuff, she'll send them to lessons, my mum'll even give them a little trade of their own like pure water business(LOL). I remember d last househelp we had, anti Tunrayo, she's from Ibadan. Oh Lord, she taught me a lot, she'll tell me interesting stories, we'll go out together. Even outsiders never used to believe dat these girls were our househelps.
    I think d problem u guys r having now has to do with d tackling d govt is doing to eradicate child trafficking etc. I think a lot of parents(who can't afford to send them to school) r scared to send their children to do jobs like that. But girls from Cotonou, Togo etc r always good sha. Good luck in yr search o, girl. :)


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