Nanny nightmares

You have probably heard about the Nanny from Hell, yes that maid caught on tape abusing a toddler. The video has made the rounds, even making it to international news networks like the BBC, Al Jazeera and Yahoo News.

You have probably heard about the Nanny from Hell, yes that maid caught on tape abusing a toddler. The video has made the rounds, even making it to international news networks like the BBC, Al Jazeera and Yahoo News.

If you haven’t watched it, YouTube has several clips. I have to say I was skeptical at first, thinking it was just another of those hoax videos geared towards getting the producers some likes and publicity on social media.

I know many people are sophisticated, either because they’re well travelled or have enough money to invest in things like baby monitors but let’s be honest, how many African parents do you know who have gone to the trouble of installing baby monitors in their homes?

Exactly, so that is why I was reluctant to watch the video, thinking it was just another of those staged scenarios. Then I watched it and my opinion changed.

I think it is authentic and if that’s the case, then it is disturbing. 22-year-old Jolly Tumuhiirwe, the abuser, really is the Nanny from Hell. I was flinching and gasping the entire duration of the recording. Who hurls a toddler across a rough floor?

She could have suffered a tragic head injury! I don’t care what that little girl did to infuriate her caretaker but whatever it was is no justification to subject a minor to that level of abuse.

Tumuhiirwe could be jailed for up to 15 years for her actions but some people are calling for a life sentence because they believe she could easily have killed that child, especially when she stepped on her back, something that really made me angry too because I was thinking, this woman must weigh at least 60 kilograms and is surely crushing the small girl!

Tumuhiirwe is now in custody awaiting sentencing and was interviewed by a Human Rights Activist group. When asked what prompted her to beat the child, she said she had some grievances with the parents. Apparently, her own father was sick and her employers refused to pay her in advance and so her dad couldn’t get the treatment he needed. She also mentioned that she was only trying to discipline the child.

At one point, the baby refused to eat and later threw up, which must have irritated her because it was then that she slapped the baby hard. Everybody knows taking care of children and cleaning them up is not easy.

You try to keep things neat and organised and the next minute, the baby has broken something, thrown their toys all over the place or soiled the carpet you just cleaned. It is what children do because they don’t know better and if you don’t have the patience to deal with that, please choose a different career path.

That little girl could have vomited because of allergies or food poisoning but the maid didn’t care to know that.

While this incident is bad, it’s not the worst, unfortunately. Horrific accounts of abuse have been reported many times, with extreme cases of nannies starving children to death, sexually abusing them, deliberately infecting them with HIV or delivering them for ritual sacrifice. If I had children, I think I’d be one of those stay-home moms.

I’d hire a maid to help out here and there but I’d not leave my child at the mercy of a stranger. Not every mother has the luxury to do that and not all maids are that cruel. Still, I would want to be certain that my children were not in any kind of danger from the very person meant to look after them.

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