L was touched recently when a certain maid told us what her supper was. She was sleeping on an avocado pear and a pack of maputi. When we asked her why , she said she is not allowed to eat in the main house. All she does is cook but does not eat what she cooks but is supposed to cook at her quarters. However, she starts early and finishes late and has barely the energy to go and start cooking once again hence the forced slimming diet. Initially, i was so shocked about this and wondered how someone could make you cook and taste for flavor but then not eat what you have cooked. After moments of deep thought, i began to sober up and realized well it might not be that bad. All one needed was to stock their own food in their room. I even convinced myself that even hotel chefs do not eat what they cook. In that case it is no Big deal….so i thought. I then sobered up…again and realized that in fact it was a big deal. No offence but i even had to ask her if her employers where blacks or non blacks. None blacks have different practices so maybe they could culturally get away with it. However, these ones where blacks!! Fellow Zimbabweans! This made me to think really deep …again… about the science of domestic work. Domestic workers are a foreign concept brought through colonization. Back, before independence and during apartheid , the whites where the bosses and would employ the economically and socially disadvantaged blacks as domestic workers. Because of the segregation then, there was little association between the employer and the ,maid with a distinct societal line between the two. That is why they had to live separately, eat separately and even wear a distinguishing uniform which most maids hate by the way. It was an era of servant and master relationships. However, with independence came the emancipation of the blacks and subsequent empowerment. They now had improved economic power and social standing. As a result, the blacks started employing their own domestic workers. Pity they could never employ the whites as domestic workers, i am just saying. Our culture views a fellow black as your brother or sister no matter what the position is. However, somewhere we forgot to give the domestic workers the same independence we had gained as blacks. Up-to today, there are some maids who are still colonized. They are segregated at the workplace. What most seem to forget is that a maids’ workplace is also her home place. There s little distinction as she eats , sleeps and even interacts in the same environment. The chefs might not eat what they cook but they have a canteen where someone cooks food for them at the workplace. Who then cooks for the maid at her workplace???She starts early morning, leaves late and is still expected to cook for herself. I would not find the energy myself. Why the fussy then? Especially If the cultures are the same and she eats what you prepare. Does the maid eat that much that she has to eat out of family groceries. Other employers even measure food for the maid before they leave for work. They leave food for the kids too on the side. Truth of the matter is a hungry maid is an ineffective maid. As a result, the maid will just eat the kids portion and you might never find out. Our elders believe that if you give someone freedom they will get fed up with it and not use it. However, the more you restrict someone , the more they are tempted to be defiant . Some end up stealing food in the house, whilst others become stubborn. It is time where maids are treated as humans not as an infection. If your child can love them and then why can you not love them equally and fairly. Let them eat what they cook !