Here is another scholarly piece from the award winning author of Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. In her stylistic way, she expresses a situation that has remained a mystery to every Thom, Dick and Harry in Nigeria. It is all about the non-existing power supply that has become a sine qua non of Nigerian image. Funny enough, no country has an ostensible cabled system of electricity like Nigeria, yet ”Light is always out”.
This is how she presents it.
call it light; “electricity” is too sterile a word, and “power” too
stiff, for this Nigerian phenomenon that can buoy spirits and smother
dreams. Whenever I have been away from home for a while, my first
question upon returning is always: “How has light been?” The response,
from my gateman, comes in mournful degrees of a head shake.
Bad. Very bad.
quality is as poor as the supply: Light bulbs dim like tired, resentful
candles. Robust fans slow to a sluggish limp. Air-conditioners bleat
and groan and make sounds they were not made to make, their halfhearted
cooling leaving the air clammy. In this assault of low voltage, the
compressor of an air-conditioner suffers — the compressor is its heart,
and it is an expensive heart to replace. Once, my guest room
air-conditioner caught fire. The room still bears the scars, the narrow
lines between floor tiles smoke-stained black. Continue reading