South African writer Zukiswa Wanner emerged onto the South African literary space in 2006 with her thought provoking book The Madams. It was about a character who is black and opts to have a white maid (in Kenya we call them house helps) and the drama that goes with it all. It was an insightful look into the race relations dynamic from a fresh new voice.
She has since written several books with a wide range of topics including Behind Every Successful Man a book about a woman who leaves her marriage to start a business. Also in her list of books is Men of the South about three men and their relationship with one woman. She also has books for children and edited an anthology called Behind the Shadows with Indian/UK writer Rohini Chowdry.
The South African has gone back to her roots on discussions on the domestic workers situation in South Africa with her latest offering Maid in SA published by Jacana. The book is a tongue in cheek non fiction look the domestic worker that employers or madams will encounter as well a look at the madams themselves. The author has given an excerpt of the book on her blog and for those without the inclination to click to that blog here is a sample;
“With some exceptions, the middle-class African madam is a single parent/divorcee.
Which is great for you as you will have to be an epic fail before she fires you; after all, she needs consistency in her child’s life (at least you are not like that stupid bastard who always claims he will come and see the child and never turns up). You know how much she needs you because once you overheard her on the phone after your leave saying:
“Eish choms, I have finally established that uRefilwe is an alien or a super Mary Poppins. I don’t know how she manages to cope with such an energetic toddler and still find time to keep the house clean, laundry washed and ironed, dinner cooked. When she returned, I was so exhausted and it had only been one week. Eh. Eh. Neo is so exhausting, I decided I was going to take an extra day off work and just sleep. Ja neh? I don’t know how housewives who don’t have helpers do it day in and day out. Or those women with four children? Ja sies.”