What Really Happens When The Light Goes Off?

When I was about 6 or 7 and living in Badagry Lagos, I realized that whenever the clouds became thick and heavy with rain, if there was light it was an indication that we were about to be plunged into darkness. Throughout my childhood and most of my teenage years whenever I saw the clouds in that manner it always plunged me into a bout of temporary depression both because I didn’t like the rain but more importantly because NEPA would always take light. I taught it was a worldwide phenomenon. 

As I grew older I realized that it wasn’t indeed a worldwide phenomenon neither was it an African phenomenon. I realized Although it was largely peculiar to some parts of  Africa, South America and Asia, it was like Nigeria had patented it.  

In 2011 when I visited my village in Imo state I was shocked to find out that in the past 6 months nobody in the village had been deemed human enough by NEPA to be given light. I was afraid that the 2 weeks we would spend in the village would be characterized by no light. Fortunately my late grandfathers generator came to the rescue. But a quick thought here…to show you have valuable good generators are in Nigeria, how will a man have died over 20 years ago and a generator he bought over 30 years ago will still be working? The answer…regular use!  

I read a news article some days ago, that some parts of South Africa would not have light due to some technical difficulties. The thing is, it was a headline in the world section (not African section oh) of BBC. Unfortunately that is not News here in Nigeria. 

It’s so bad that If you have light for 3 days uninterrupted it’s cause for suspicion whether NEPA/PHCN wants to deal with you and when they eventually take the light you feel like congratulating them and saying they have tried. 

When I was small I always thought that the people at the helm of affairs in NEPA sat in their offices and just decided who and who wold have light and who wouldn’t have. Today I have grown older and I still think that’s what happens cause I really don’t understand what happens when the light goes off.


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