Caretaker running my house like a prison

I am a young woman in my thirties. I bought a house before I got married. My husband is very understanding and truly a very rare breed. He told me that he would not interfere with my property since it was obtained by me before I got married. I was advised by friends and family to put an elderly couple in the house since they would look after my house as their own because of their age.

I actually appointed the husband as the caretaker. I treated them like my parents because of their age. I have two other tenants on the same property, but they complain bitterly about the treatment they get from the caretaker. Of late, I have lost good people because of this man. Just last week, one of the tenants came to complain about harassment  he was told he should leave the place by the end of November. I have a gardener who goes to work there twice a week, he is also complaining about sekuru. The other time he uprooted a whole bed of onions because he wanted to grow some spinach. The onions belonged to the other tenant, he has given himself executive powers and I just do not know what to do. How do I deal with this?


Before I respond to your questions, I would want to congratulate you for being such a well-focused woman. Buying a house when you are still young is not common. This is quite a milestone. You also have been blessed with such a good husband. I am sorry about what is going on. I do not see anything wrong with asking your husband to step in and assist you. The rentals from the house have been put to good use. You did not say whether this elderly couple has a lease or not because that is a legal requirement. This sekuru has no right whatsoever to harass other tenants or to be arrogant.

Uprooting someone’s onions to use the space is not reasonable. First and foremost I suggest that a protection order be sought so that other tenants are safe. In my view, sekuru should look for alternative accommodation, he is off track. Where does he get the power to send others packing as if he is the owner of the property? I think you must engage the Rent Board and get legal assistance.

Sekuru’s behaviour is too extreme, if not brought in check, tenants may end up fighting or breaking things at the house. I would be happy to hear from you again, please keep me posted.

My boss is unfair

I am a 24-year-old who works as a housemaid by choice. I am using it as a stepping stone. I am disappointed by the stigma surrounding this job. People conclude that it is for people who are not educated and downtrodden.

Both my parents are late, so my eldest brother is my guardian, but my sister-in-law always complained about us staying with them so after my O-Level I decided to seek work.

I am trying to supplement because I already have four subject passes. The reason I have written to you Amai is that wherever I go, people take advantage of me and it really hurts.

Even if I did not do well at O-Level, I am multi-talented and can do so many things, especially hair. I also do good work when it comes to nails. This is how I used to make extra dollars for myself. The woman I work for is no longer going to a salon, she asks me to do her hair and nails. She does not pay me for these services. I just get my housemaid salary, which is very little.

When she goes to the salon she happily pays hundreds of dollars. This is not part of my job description, how do I tell her? Sunday is officially my offday, but she does not want me to have my clients on her property. If I do she keeps calling me to help out, I just do not know what to do amai.


Your letter made me teary. I know at times when the going looks tough we tend to forget to count our blessings. Do not let your blessings be overshadowed. After the death of your parents, your brother stepped into your parents’ shoes and put you through school. You already have four subjects at O-Level, a leg to stand on. Learning does not end, carry on from there. You are good at being a beautician, maybe with a bit of training you will excel. I like your attitude of not looking down upon housework.

You are getting paid for it, that little amount adds up and you can have a bit of financial freedom. As for the extra services you are giving to your boss, please speak your mind, communication opens many doors in life. Tell her that you expect to be paid and see what you can agree upon. It would be noble though to give her a small discount if it is okay with you, muri vagarisani.

In my view, it is not proper for you to bring your clients and do their hair and nails there. This is your private workplace, so please treat it as such. All these people are strangers, do not expose your boss’ home to such.

I urge you to consider house calls when you are off. You can ask your clients to cater for your transport costs when they pay for the services. Do not strain your work relationship, keep it clean, you need each other. It is also a good idea to make time to visit your brother and his family so that your bond stays intact. I wish you all the best in your work and studies.

I snatched my friend’s girl

I am 25 years old and single. I have a childhood friend who is almost my age. We went to the same schools up to university. We were tight and because of us, our families became very close, even our girlfriends became pals. In most cases, we hung out together. But in spite of all this love and friendship, I snatched my friend’s lover.

We cheated for a year until he discovered it through a text message I had sent to his girlfriend. All hell broke loose. The friendship is now history. This, unfortunately, has affected our families, although they pretend that all is well here and there. It was my friend’s girl who confessed that she had a big crush on me. I melted and took advantage of that.

The reason I have written to you is that I am terribly sorry, I blame myself. How do I make this right? I tried to email him, tried calling and even sending WhatsApp messages, all to no avail. I will do what it takes to get my friend back. I no longer see him at church. My parents told me I was worse than Judas Iscariot or the devil himself. This girl messed up my life. How do I say sorry to everyone affected?


It is sad that a strong bond built over the years was thrown away for such a selfish reason. This was surely out of lust. I could ask you a hundred questions on why you did this, but it will not reverse the matter. Your parents felt strongly about this because they felt let down and maybe embarrassed. You say it was the girl who lured you into this, but you too should have exercised restraint.

Thank you for speaking out, it takes a lot of courage. We will try different options and see what softens his heart and cools his anger. In your communication you mentioned the church. To begin with, I suggest you go and talk to your priest or pastor. Tell him the truth and ask him to be the broker. The priest is neutral because you are both his congregants. He will tell you how he will go about the whole issue. Whilst the priest is working on this, keep praying for peace and for a breakthrough and never look back. In the meantime, talk to your parents and ask for forgiveness. Your friend needs your prayers too, it was a hard blow for him. The priest should also engage your friend’s parents because he needs their support and a shoulder to cry on.


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