The Tanzanian (African) Housemaids Syndromes!
May 5, 2017
The Tanzania Woman Image!
I was planning to write this article in Swahili but half way I got stuck – because the Swahili I know and speak out is outdated model 2003 when I left Tanzania to return to Oman! There are a lot of new words now being used in Swahili – so sometimes you have to listen carefully to get the gist of the meaning – or ask the Speaker what the new words mean?
One of the topics that I had covered intensively in the start of my columns Between Us Only! in The Oman Daily Observer from January 2003 on wards to 12 years later was the topic of Housemaids! My first articles also in my first book Between Us Only! was also The Happy Housemaid! See image!
I do not consider myself as an Expert or Consultant on the topic! All I know is that we have a Filipino housemaid who has stayed with us for the past 22 years – and we consider her as family more than housemaid – even if she is Christian – but is more Islamic to many people that I know off! We in the Family have also recently like the trend have also started to take in Tanzanian Housemaids from both Mainland and also from Zanzibar! Years have passed – but still yet have not faced any issues! There are also from both Kenya and Uganda in East Africa for that matter!
There was a case, however, when one of them had forgotten her place ‘as Familiarity Breeds Contempt Scenario’ when she mistook the friendliness – and speaking to her in Swahili ‘that there was no boss formal role between us – but that was soon taken care of very soon afterwards! That is also how human nature is always!
Anyway, there is this audio that is going viral in The Social Media where purportedly this Tanzanian housemaid residing in Oman has gone on the air using very nasty foul filthy language insulting her bosses – especially The Omani Ladies without exception – and cursing Oman and Omanis. I would not like to repeat what she says – but you can get hold of it and listen to it if you know Swahili! If you do not know frankly I feel there would be very few willing to translate it to you by the very bad filthy foul language used!
Frankly, I would advise The Authorities to trace the audio and let her prove the allegation that a Tanzanian housemaid ‘was indeed murdered’ by her Omani lady boss – because the maid was very sick but the bosses refused her to go for medical treatment – and still forcing her to work despite her being very sick as it is! How she died is a bit vague – but this is what prompted this person to use foul filthy language against her Omani bosses!
The concept that if one apple (fish) is bad does not mean that the whole bag contents are bad seems to have deluded and missed her! Of course in each basket there are bad apples (eggs/fish) – that one cannot either deny – and it works on both sides of the equation (side!) for that matter!
Use of foul filthy language does not solve anything – it just portrays what type of a person you are whatever and however angry you maybe! It only makes a bad situation even to get more worse – it helps no one and it does not solve anything! In actual fact, as they say in both Swahili and in Arabic you have caused ‘fitna’ (friction discord fight enmity etc.)!
The Holy Quran and The Hadith are both very clear on how to treat the workers with us – and that treating even one slightly bad would invalidate all the otherwise good deeds you have performed in life – even opening for you the doors of Eternal Fire starting in your grave before The Day of Judgement Reckoning when you meet Allah SWT – and that too when you escape The Punishment on Earth – with the great Islamic Principle of ‘Being Bankrupted’ against your judgement in front of Allah SWT!
In one of The Hadiths Abdulla bin Umar RA narrates – When someone asked Nabii Muhammad SAW – How often was one expected to overlook his slave’s faults he was replied – after some silence and repeat of the question – Seventy times in a day!
Most of these housemaids (houseboys / drivers) driven by poverty more than anything else have left their homes family and country to come and look after you and your children and family! Just as you would not like your Office boss to mistreat insult you – the same ethic, principle etc. applies to you in your handling and dealing with those working for you!
And you more the housemaid than anything else for that matter should appreciate and value your job – as it more than take cares and looks after your own family back home! My housemaid with the years with us has built even a villa for her mother back home in Philippines!
There have been issues too with housemaids from other countries – but the East African one has taken up a nasty sour turn that may develop – if one is not careful – to sour relations of ties that have been historical since ages!
Day before yesterday a family member who had promised me some funds to send to build a Masjid Mosque was lamenting to me loudly why he should continue ‘when these people have still hatreds for us Omanis – and see how they think of us and curse us like this? I retorted to him – Brother this is only one ‘irate lady’ – but now how many audios are circulating from Tanzanian housemaids praising and justifying Omanis as good decent kind caring people – as we have always have known to be – despite some issues and problems here and there!
A Joint Investigation should be held between Oman and Tanzania on The Plight of The Housemaids and on The Purported Death Case if is true – and the culprits to be brought to justice – as we always do to Protect The Workers and in Human Rights!
Be Merciful for Allah SWT to be Merciful to You!
“Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]
“He who does not show mercy shall see no mercy (from his Lord).” “Allah is not merciful to him who is not merciful to men.”
Debt: Relieving the person in debt
Abu Qatadah related that the Prophet said: If anyone would like Allah to save him from the hardships of the Day of Resurrection, he should give more time to his debtor who is short of money, or remit his debt altogether. (Muslim)
Relatives who are needy!
Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said: The best charity is that which is practiced by a wealthy person. And start giving first to your dependents. (Bukhari)
Salman ibn Amer reported that the Prophet said: To give something to a poor man brings one reward, while giving the same to a needy relation brings two: one for charity and the other for respecting the family ties. (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Nasai, Tirmidhi)
Jabir reported that the Prophet said: Avoid doing injustice to others, for on the Day of Judgment, it will turn into manifold darkness, and safeguard yourself against miserliness, for it ruined those who were before you. It incited them to murder and treating the unlawful as lawful. (Muslim)
One Hadith in particular that underscores this message comes from a collection called An-Nawawi:
Whosoever removes a worldly grief from a Believer, Allah will remove from him one of the griefs of the Day of Judgment. Whosoever alleviates [the lot of] a needy person, Allah will alleviate [his lot] in this world and the next. Whosoever shields a Muslim, Allah will shield him in this world and the next. Allah will aid a slave [of His] so long as the slave aids his brother.
Images – African Women – For Demonstration Purposes Only!
The Happy Housemaid Article!