I heard the screams from my from the other side of eternity, sluggishly opened my eyes wondering whether the day will arrive when Nigerians will stop celebrating mediocrity in the power sector. With hazy eyes I checked my mobile phone which also serves as my time manager; 12.21pm. The celebration whenever power is restored irritates and irks me greatly. It makes me query the seriousness of our nationhood. We rejoice at a meagre eight hours of power supply in a 24 hour day; though I’m then reminded of another fact: the people of my fatherland are rated to be the happiest people on earth, we are simply a mirage wrapped in an enigma.
I struggled out of bed, it creaked as I did. Inherited it from my loving grandmother who insisted it must go with me the day I resolved to move out of Dad’s house. She had insisted I would always be her ‘baby’ and so long as my night is spent on it, we will never be disconnected. What nonsense, I had thought at the time but strangely it felt true. I fixed my laptop to the electronic socket and powered it on. After what seemed like forever, it came on. “You need another laptop” . I inserted a modem of one of the one of the internet service providers in the country and got into my mail box after almost fifteen minutes, querying again if simple things will ever function as they should.
Two things are important for what I do, power and the internet. Unfortunately, both are embarrassingly non-existent. I often have to run my much maligned power generating set. There is no use saying that the Tiger TG650/750W generator capable of producing just 0.65 KVA of electricity earning it the famous nickname “I better pass my neighbour” had come to my rescue on several occasions. I do pity the wails from its engines each moment I begged it to save my soul from the shackles of the power holders whose happiness seems to emanate from frustrating us with thirty intermittent minutes of power. If the power holders release their stronghold for eight straight hours, it would be great but they love to make mockery of us so they release it for thirty minutes; sometimes even ten minutes and grab it back almost immediately.
It is difficult to exonerate these powers holders but we know it is really not their fault; it is why I pity them each time people pour heavy torrents of curses on them. The curses are heavy and generational in content. People don’t care that the power holders are ordinary citizens like themselves; people with needs, wants and longings; people with family and financial struggles.
“he no go better for una family o, useless people” is the normal greeting after each episode of power holding.
But who can also blame the curse producers, they are made to pay exorbitantly for services they don’t ever enjoy and daily intimidated by the sound of their neighbour’s giant Mikano Generator. Service charge of N750 is fixed every month regardless of your usage. The privatisation of the power sector in the country though right, is yet to begin showing any impact.
I checked my inbox and saw several comments on my most recent piece and it brought a wry smile to my face. Who doesn’t want recognition especially in this age of on-line publicity where everybody is a self-acclaimed publicist? however, comments don’t necessarily translate into traffic, any blogger worth his onion will tell you that.
Scrolling down my mail box, I saw an email that made me sit up. I picked my phone immediately and dialled the phone number on the signature of the sender.
“Please let this be true” I muttered.
As I dialled the phone number, I was informed by my service providers that I had no credit.
“Una be thief? What of the #400 I loaded in the morning? I screamed, dialling the number again. This time, perhaps intimidated by my question the sweet pre-recorded voice kept quiet.
“Hello, Good afternoon. I’m Etuhu, I run Etus.com. I got your email” I made an effort at composure. I wasn’t sure it worked but at least I tried.
“Oh. Hi Etuhu. Yes I need a publicist and I believe you can do the job. Perhaps we can meet to discuss” the voice was captivating.
“A meeting will be great”
“Alright, let’s meet by 3pm at the Mackles on the Island. You know the place?
“Definitely” I lied.
“Ok, I will see you at 3pm. I expect to see your proposal”
“I’ll get it ready.”
Dropping the phone, my first impulse was to check my wallet to confirm if it had enough quid to transport me to the Island and back. I heaved a sigh of relief and swiftly opened Microsoft Word. The proposal I had was three months old, besides only my eyes read it. If a prospective client is going to look through it, it must be convincing or else … With the aid of Google, I found the nature of her business and I could see why she needed the publicity. I had the impression she was wealthy or at least had someone with deep pockets around her and it made me wonder why she chose me. “I don’t care, I must get this one. Enough of free publicity for these bollocks who don’t ever pay” ….
to be continued.
Tosin is a Christ follower, Lawyer, Arsenal fan.