A Place Where Nothing Works.

NEPA had just brought the light and there was a loud scream from my mother
“Eeeeh! It’s a lie!”
Yes, it had to be a lie. Nepa did not just give you light because you deserved it. So, when we got light, we had to scream “UP NEPA!!!” because that singular act deserved a standing ovation. Before then, we had not even seen a flash of light for about 4 days. The generator of every house in the barrack was switched off, and finally,I could hear myself CLEARLY. Each house in my barrack had AT LEAST 2 generators. We have 3 in my house and the smallest, called ‘I better pass my neighbour’– aptly named as it ia actually a privilege to own a generator, even if it is the cheapest or smallest– is switched on during the day when we had to cool off from the immense heat that Lagos bathed us with.
Nothing works in Nigeria, and it is a known fact. We have no light; we have to dig our own boreholes and if one cannot afford one he’d have to struggle to get water- ‘a free gift of nature’; We drank pure water (sachet water) instead of just taking it from the tap (The thing is I cannot even imagine taking from the tap); Our international airport is a disgrace to technology; We had to struggle to own androids and blackberrys just so we could have some form of ‘fast internet supply’; Our roads are just bad news. Yet, we are about the happiest people in the world. And this is one of the things that puzzles me. How people will be so unsatisfied but be happy beyond words.
I have grown to realize that happiness is the thing of the mind and nothing material can take the space of happiness but it still to some extent doesn’t explain why Nigerians are the best people you’d ever encounter in life.
The thing is this: Nigerians have this strong believe the the next day will be better. The acceptance that no condition is permanent. The strong expectation that the God they served will not let them down. That surely this plague of bad government will leave and we will have the ‘material’ happiness we have been robbed off.
Yes this is a general notion, but with Nigerians it is different. It’s what makes people want to wake up as early as 5 a.m to hit the road to the office just so they won’t be stuck in traffic– trust me when I say that this traffic is not the type you’d wish your enemy to be stuck in. Even if one was stuck in this bad traffic (GO SLOW or HOLD UP), the hope is what kept them from running mad – I mean literally going loco.
Some things do not work even in my own house yet there’s no place I’d rather be than home at this moment.
I fuss, I get really mad especially when NEPA takes away my right to electricity without leave, but it doesn’t stop me from being content with being called Nigerian.


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