It would be an understatement to say that this past week has been fraught with horrific and confounding happenings. The image above represents a shot from a video which went viral last week. It showed a 22 year old Ugandan maid brutalizing an 18 month old baby at her parent’s home in Nalya, a Kampala suburb. Since I watched the footage, I have been haunted by the images of the sad and highly disturbing incident. The maid who had only worked for baby Arnella’s parents for 26 days prior to the incident was captured on camera beating, standing on the baby and even kicking her with so much aggression for no justifiable reason!
Back home in Nigeria, a young man named Daniel Okereke was alleged to have raped a 300 level student of the University of Lagos, after luring her to his Maryland home. What caught the attention of many in this case is that the alleged rapist is the brother of popular Nollywood actress Stephanie Okereke, and a cousin to former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke. With Daniel’s arrest came further accusations from other victims who also claimed that he had raped or attempted to rape them at one time or the other. From the account of one of the alleged victims of Mr Okereke, he came across as the proverbial knight in shining armour who was there at the right time to help a damsel in distress but turned out to be a monster! The fact that he is a relative of 2 famous and reasonably well respected people couldn’t have done anything to hurt his image. If it is indeed found that these accusations are true then Mr Okereke can be likened to a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Saying that the above occurrences are terrible would be stating the obvious, but what we can take away from these 2 stories is the fact that things are not always the way they seem. People especially are not always who they appear to be on surface evaluation.There are many psychopaths living with and around us, they have mastered the art of deception with their cool mien and gentle facade. You see a young, good looking, well dressed handsome man who appears to be God’s gift to the female folk. He speaks well, looks harmless…but deep inside he is a predator who uses his charm to take advantage of others! Arnella’s parents obviously never suspected that Jolly Tumuhiwe would turn out to be a maid from hell, she must have looked harmless enough when she was hired. Thank God they were sensitive enough to notice the bruises on their daughter’s body and take adequate steps to find out what went wrong, but even at that the little girl has been traumatized! But for providence she wouldn’t have survived the ordeal.
I also remember the situation a friend found herself in while we were in school. She had a boyfriend who doted on her and could go as far as washing her underwear! But the problem was- she wasn’t to be seen with any other guy be it a classmate or platonic friend, before she could even explain her relationship with any male friend she was seen with, she was landed a thundering slap! Her “loving” boyfriend mutated into a beast! He would slap and hit her only to get on his knees in the next few minutes, crying and begging for forgiveness! On face value he came across as a really good guy, but the psycho in him reared its ugly head anytime he perceived anything or anyone he considered to be a threat to his relationship. He was obsessed with her!
Often times we are carried away by looks…”Oh, she looks so beautiful and innocent so she must be a good girl”. “He dresses well and has a good job, so he must be a good candidate for marriage.” Unfortunately, many times, the devil does not appear with distorted facial features and horns jutting out of his head. The devil shows up in disguise, in the most unassuming and deceptive of appearances. That well respected banker you admire in the office may be an unrepentant wife beater. That house help you are about to hire may be a serial child abuser! That trusted handy man might turn out to be a crazy, violent psycho who could fly into a rage at the slightest provocation! There’s always more to people than meets the eye. Things are not always the way they seem. All that glitters is not gold. A word is enough for the wise.