The Nation recently published the story of Funke Gbadebo, a 27 year old woman who accused her father of making money off her without giving her anything in return.
The woman said she had been given out to work as a maid for people since she was 18 and her father kept collecting her entitlements without ‘settling’ her.
She said: “I was 18 when my father said one of his cousins volunteered to cater for my well-being. Few months after I got there, I got to know they were not related to my father in any way and that I was hired as a maid.”
When contacted, the father, Najeem Gbadebo, refused to say anything about the claims. He instead warned The Nation’s reporter and asked never to be contacted again because his daughter works in Agege.
While narrating her ordeal, Funke said: “I was in SS2 when I dropped out of school and since then, I have been working for my father. I worked as a maid for five years and when I asked for my pay, I was told my father collected my allowance for the years I spent. Combining hairdressing training wasn’t easy because I woke up at 4am daily to take care of my bosses’ children and sometimes they called in between to send me on errands.
“It got to a point I felt there was no progress in my life so I left and returned to my father. I had nothing on me when I returned to him. Even the N50,000 my boss gave me when she knew I wasn’t aware of my father’s plans, he collected it from me.”
After a while, she said she started working in a factory: “With the money I saved from the factory, I bought few things I could use for hairdressing business. When I got home, my dad accused me of buying it saying that he was meant to spend my first salary.
“He didn’t allow me to start the hairdressing business. He took me to a woman who sells fabrics on Lagos Island where I worked for two and-a- half years. She agreed to pay me N15,000 monthly. When I was about to leave last December, she said she wasn’t owing me adding that my father collected my allowance for the years I spent. When I returned home two weeks ago, to ask the reason for his actions, he and his wife beat me mercilessly and sent me out of their house around 12am without anything.
“My stepmother keeps saying I am HIV positive and it is because of the stress I have been going through. I slept in uncompleted buildings for weeks before I was saved by a Good Samaritan who knew me when I was working as a maid in Agege. My father keeps using me. He says I am bad omen. He has not done anything for me. He said he cannot empower me and that I should just bring a man I want to marry. That is not what I need now; I want to cater for myself and not be a beggar like my father.”
On the whereabouts of her mother, Funke said she had never met her and that whenever she asked her father about her, he says she should not dare to look for her.
“I know my mother is alive but I don’t know anything about her. I don’t know the reason she left my brother and I. My younger brother ran away when he was 15 because my father kept maltreating him. I learnt my mother lives in Iperu, Ogun State but I haven’t gone to look for her.
“My father is an house agent and a trado-medical practitioner. He lives in Magboro. I just want him to empower me but he is not ready. Since they sent me out of the house, they haven’t searched for me,” she explained further.
Mrs Abosede Adegunloye, who has been Funke’s benefactor over the years, explained why she took her in.
According to her: “I took her to a neighbour who works with Rural and Urban Development Initiative (RUDI) and since then, they took her case up. We have called her father but he keeps raining curses on us saying she is not a successful child.
“Funke is a very decent girl. I remember when she wanted to leave where she worked as a maid, her bosses children took ill. If the government can get her father, he should be questioned. She makes hair so well and she is also ready to learn. I have enrolled her in a government vocational school where she will continue to learn hairdressing.”