In Aug 2003, me & my family screamed “Up NEPA!!!” in America. Yes, we were in New York 4 a vacation at d time & experienced their once-in-a-blue-moon blackout.
On dat particular day, I rememba dat I went wit my father 2 Manhattan. We were surprised wen d lights suddenly went off. No, blackout na normal tin 4 Naija. But dis was a blackout in Almighty America!!!
I was more surprised at d widespread panic everywhere in New York dat day. Americans were afraid. Was it anoda Osama Bin Ladin attack?
Traffic lights went off. Traffic jams everywhere. So me & my father started trekkin from Manhattan 2 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn where we were stayin. Dat trek wasnt funny at all.
I rememba seein helicopters flyin here & there. I rememba Americans buyin & sellin candles, fancy lights, bicycles & skateboards by d roadsides. I rememba me & my father walkin in2 a fillin station 2buy water. We were so so thirty. They told us they’d already sold all d bottled water 2 other thirsty trekkers like us. We had 2buy bottled juice instead. I kept walkin & walkin & walkin wit my father wonderin wen we would finally get home. My legs were painin me. I was so tired. E no funny at all at all dat day o!
Wen we finally got home, d cooker couldnt cook. D water from d taps were cold. And only very few radio stations were playin on my small battery-powered radio celebratin how they were still on air. As well as assuring worried Americans dat Osama & Al Qaeda had nothin 2do wit d blackout.
Wen power supply was restored d next day eh, Americans lept 4 joy. While me & my brother & sisters screamed “Up NEPA!!!” as if we were in Nigeria. Hehehe….
Later, we started seein Americans wearin shirts wit words like “I SURVIVED THE BLACKOUT”. Nawa o! We all laughed at them. It was jst too funny 2 us. Imagine all dis drama happenin in Nigeria bcos of ordinary, normal, everyday blackouts. Hehehe… I was so sure Nigerians would wear “I SURVIVED THE LIGHT” shirts, if we ever enjoyed one week of uninterrupted power in Nigeria.
And it is a tragedy. Its a shame dat after more dan 50yrs of independence, we still dey scream “Up NEPA!!!” everyday. Its a shame dat “Up NEPA!!!” are d 1st words dat every Nigerian child learns even b4 sayin “Mummy” or “Daddy, good mornin”. Hehehe… Wahala dey wallahi.
D worst part is dat d poor power supply has affected & is affectin our psyche. We feel powerless. We dont know wen NEPA will take d light. Nobody warns us about an impendin blackout. We dont know wen NEPA will bring d light back. And nobody cares 2 apologise 2 us.
Our govt doesnt care. And we’re now used 2 it.
Our politicians grab more political power & are freed forever from poor electrical power.
We lose interest in votin. After all, if we vote finish, NEPA go still dey take light anyhow & anytime dem like.
Except of course, we can grab political power like our politicians so dat every other power shall be added unto us:
oil money power,
dere gawa zie.
So our struggle 4 power becomes a do-or-die affair. Like 50cent, we will get power or die tryin.
Aunty Chimamanda Adichie don observe her own. Dis na King kObOkO political observation.