The Sunday Mail
Dr Rebecca Chisamba
I am a gainfully employed 24-year-old guy. In our neighbourhood there is a very poor family. They are both hard working and they can do any manual work.
They have two teenage children — an 18-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy. At times they team up with their kids to go and weed people’s fields to make enough to have food on the table. These kids did not make it up to O-Level because of their background. Once in a while they are assisted by their local church, which gives them some provisions like matemba, mealie-meal and soap.
The reason why I am writing to you now is because the daughter shocked me. She looks quite beautiful inhamo zvayo. I have proposed love to this girl because I really want to go out with her. She is not interested in me and she does not want to hear from me again. My main reason for wanting to date her and maybe marry her is out of pity. I intend to improve her life and take good care of her family. I am very disturbed because poor as she is, how can she say no to a great guy like me? Is this normal? I know you deal with so many different people.
Should I stop trying or I should keep pushing? I already have plans to make her a better person in the community. I still cannot stomach her response.
Inasmuch as you have good long-term intentions, it is no guarantee the girl will just fall for you. Comparatively speaking, I think she understands genuine love better than you. Your reason for asking her out should be based purely on love. If properly nurtured it will blossom into a happy marriage.
I hope you did not tell her that you felt pity for her and that is why you were after her.
She does not have to be your girlfriend or wife in order to get favours from you. If you really feel sorry for her, you can assist in your capacity as a good neighbour. Many people who do charity work do it without looking for anything else in return. This family is very impressive even if they are struggling.
I respect them because they earn their living, they are not beggars. Their children are well brought up. They know that when the going gets tough they team up with their parents to go and do whatever work is available.
That is very commendable. My answer to your million-dollar question is if you truly love her, keep pushing. If you are going to be led by pity then please stop because this will not last a lifetime. I would be happy to hear from you again.
How do you know that you are a great guy? That statement would have more value if it came from other people.
I hate my work conditions
I am a 22-year-old and very switched-on young lady. I did not do very well at school because my parents were always fighting and ended up divorcing. They have both re-married but as fate would have it, both their new spouses are not very welcoming. I am employed as a maid and this is my second job in the same field.
I work my heart out because I enjoy housework and I am a natural with kids. My problem Amai is the maid’s uniform, it is very demeaning.
To be forced to wear that doek (head tie) and apron day in and day out hazviite. The two bosses I have worked for insisted on uniform. At times I just tear or burn them intentionally with an iron but they are replaced immediately.
The boss I am currently working for has warned me that if I continue to be reckless with uniforms she will deduct money from my salary.
Another qualm I have is that I do not want to be called Sisi. I have a name, why can they not use that? I feel belittled when visitors come and I am clad in a uniform. Every week I long for the weekend when I can wear my own clothes and style my hair or wig the way I want. What do you think about this Amai? Please help me, I may be wrong.
I am sorry about what happened between your parents. Maybe in your next communication we can talk about mending the relationship with your step-parents. First things first, well done for being such a great worker, it pays to love what you do. When you are employed it gives you financial freedom. To be honest with you I do not see anything wrong with wearing a uniform.
When you work in a home you would not want to spoil your own clothes with the different things you handle. The doek protects your hair from falling into the food as you cook, it’s basic hygiene. Each and every job has its rules and regulations. However, the choice remains yours — to comply or to drop the job.
It is very mean to tear or burn the uniforms intentionally. These uniforms are very expensive and there is no need to behave that way. No wonder your current boss has threatened to deduct money from your salary.
A good maid looks after the boss’ property and kids as if they were hers. If you do not want to be called Sisi please let your boss know, they can always use your name. Some do it when they have young kids, culturally it would be awkward for a two-year-old to call you by name, but it can be done. Lastly, please do not worry about being seen by visitors clad in your uniform.
They are not your visitors, this issue may not even matter to them. If you still feel compromised, look for an alternative job. I would be happy to hear from you again.
Between the depth and the devil
I am a married mother of two boys. I have been married for eight years. I am 36 and my husband is 37. This January we have struggled more than usual. I had to take a loan from my place of work because my husband failed to get any help from anywhere. Last weekend when I was doing his laundry I came across US$200. He does not want the maid to do his laundry. I took the money and hid it at my workplace. He has not said a word about this money, everything is normal. What is perplexing me is that we have been running around a lot and all of a sudden he leaves this big amount in his shirt lying around. My inner heart tells me to keep the money and never say I saw it, even if he asks. Who did he want to give the money to? Why was this amount not disclosed? I am now faced with repayments for the loan and yet my spouse had money on him all along. He works for an NGO. I thought they would help him out. I am torn apart, I am between the depth and the devil.
I am really sorry for what you are going through. These are tough times we are living in and I believe it will come to pass someday. You asked several questions and my guess is just as good as yours. In marriage you do not put words into your spouse’s mouth and make conclusions, you deal with the truth. In life you have to be true to yourself. Why would you want to secretly keep that money? Keep your integrity.
This is technically your money too because what belongs to him is yours as well. In my view the best thing is to ask him where the money came from. Why do you not communicate?
He could be wondering where that money went. Do not make a case before you get the full details. In this economy taking loans does not sound like a good idea at all because it is not easy to service it.
I would be happy to hear from you after your discussion with your husband. Always remember that for a marriage to be functional, the spouses need to keep their communication channels open and keep no skeletons in their wardrobe. I wish you all the best.
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