The Housemaid – By Amma Darko

I was a bit surprised at the mention of a witch as the book ended but then I remembered that it started with one and I thought it was a great reminder about the myriad of socio-cultural problems which we face as Ghanaians. 

Amma Darko points out in her book the devastating effects of the greedy search for money and material things on the family unit. Parents consistently run after money supposedly in the name of providing a better life for children. They eventually lose these children and let loose an unloved, selfish and embittered group of people into society. 

She also harps on corruption, focusing on sexual corruption especially when women are involved. The view that women are sexual objects and in certain circles cannot attain success in their careers until sexual favours have been traded is clearly depicted in the novel. 

Amma reminds us that the rural-urban rift and its twin sister-“rural urban migration ” must be addressed. In my opinion making housemaids out of these young ladies from our villages, as Tika sought to do,  is not the solution to this menace. Quality education and other poverty alleviation schemes would be more effective in tackling the problem. 

One last social issue I noted from the reading is deceit and get rich schemes. We see the sad ending of Efia ‘s family and it’s a reminder that when someone reaches out to help us we should not grateful and not envious. 

A quick read, simple but suspense-filled plot. I’d recommend Amma Darko’ s “The housemaid” for anyone who needs to do some light reading. 


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