KWEZI AND I:Of spontaneous nannies

As I have told you before, Kwezi and I have been lucky with nannies since she was born. When she was still a baby, I was fortunate to be on leave for about five months, spending all my time at home to see first-hand the kind of woman in whose hands I was going to place my baby’s life. I was lucky to detect mental illness and in as much as I try to treat everyone equally, I had to let her go because it was a risk that I was not willing to take.

Since then, Kwezi has had about three nannies, some who have worked as long as one year and moved on to get married or try out running their own businesses. Currently, I am using a humble 21-year-old who has a beautiful connection with my baby. That said, nannies, like most employees are a headache. The young ones are even worse. They are spontaneous, and not in a nice way. For instance, my nanny seems to think that I am perhaps the richest woman walking on planet earth. We perhaps should blame it on my confidence because some mornings, I wake up with so much positive energy that I myself sometimes believe that I am walking around with one million francs. In reality, I mostly have one thousand francs to get me to work and how I come back home is a story for another day. Anyway, my nanny is hilarious. She will very politely tell me that the baby needs milk, yoghurt, bananas and as I count the money and pass it on, she will very casually slide in a request for Rwf50, 000. I always burst out laughing because if you live in Kigali, you will understand how it is funny for someone to spring demands of such amounts of money on you on a Monday morning and on say, the 19th.

Just the other day, this same girl who has not worked for me for even a year came to my room very early in the morning to again, very casually, slide in a request for a salary raise. Not only was she asking for a pay raise, she wanted to earn double. When I asked her how she came to that decision of thinking that she deserves more, she told me that her father told her so. Now, I am a very patient woman but that particular morning, I almost literally lost my mind. We have good days and we have bad ones. As anyone looking after your toddler, when you are out here chasing after money that continues to be elusive, she sometimes has an upper hand on me and I shockingly find myself getting out of my way to make her happy. I honestly can’t wait for Kwezi to grow up and start doing things on her own. She is only four but I am looking forward to 14.

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