We have all gone agog with the Libya Slave Trade story. The videos, pictures, inside stories, have all brought tears to our eyes in some way or another.
As humans, we are very quick to point fingers, to blame others and also to pick out failures in the activities of others forgetting that as we point at another, the other fingers point back at us.
Lets break it down.
A parent who gives his/her child out as a domestic staff to a family in the city, whose child undergoes inhumane conditions just to be able to attend school while in the city. These two parents, “sender” and “receiver” are almost always linked by the “agent” who takes a fee from the city family which he may term their “transport”. Gives the “sender” a part of the transport and puts the balance in his or her pocket. How is this transaction different from the slave dealings in Libya?
So the child heads off to the “City” and settles into his/her new home. He/She is welcomed with instructions from her boss or bosses as the case may be. The agent is rewarded and heads off to another job.
Among the instructions given are: what plates and cutlery to use, which room to stay in, what mattress to use, where to access and where not to access and of course, there is the “job role”.
Just like the illegal immigrants, some of these children are lucky to be taken care of as the agreement states, while some others are caught in that web – Slavery!
So, under harsh conditions, this child needs to survive – he/she works from morning till night with little or no food. Some become sexual toys at the mercy of their bosses, some are never able to go to school as agreed. For another, just like the boss’ children in her new home, she goes to school, gets back, and while the other kids (her mates) are asleep, though tired, she has to stay awake because she, of course, has work to do before “madam and oga” get back home from work.
What’s the difference between the dealers making money from auctioning illegal migrants in the slave trade and that NNPC woman who locked the domestic help up for two weeks while she journeyed to a foreign land? Having listened to an insider story of the detention camps in Libya, I think that locked up girl would have preferred the Libyan experience compared to the “Naija-Libyan Home”.
Imagine couples who have chosen to “make it work “ despite the physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse in a bid to avoid wagging tongues. Isn’t that also some form of slavery? How different are you (the abuser) from the “Libyan Slave Masters”?
We are quick to judge when in some way we display exactly the same or even worse behaviours to the people we are privileged to love and parent.
If the child who has come to stay with you is not “all that” as they say or does not meet your expectation or demands please do well to send him/her back to the parents. After all, the domestic staff are there to “HELP” and not take up the parenting role as you may even find that leaving the role to the domestic staff may attract severe consequences in the future and may be too late to avert at that point. My father would say, “Be careful how you treat others, they are children of another”.
As a parent, plan yourself, your life, the lives of your children. My mother will always say, “Omulu zuo” (the owner of the child should train him/her). When you conceived, there should have been a plan on how to take care of the child. That plan should be followed through.
Imagine the parents of those slaves intentionally, consciously and deliberately “parented”. It would have cost them time, energy and finances but earned them a smiling old age!