Lunch time was fast approaching and kids eagerly awaited the meal. Half way into preparation, the electricity tripped off. Television and other electrical appliances in the house also went off.
I was speechless. How could we eat lunch today and when will the power supply be restored? These thoughts ran through my mind as more yelling from my daughters made me even more nervous.
The older girl asked me what had happened to the light and how she might watch her favourite kids cartoons.
There were too many questions which I had no answer for. I decided first to look for lunch alternative before we all starve.
We eventually settled for yoghurt and left-over cake from her birthday party. They didn’t like the improvise and took only few spoons before going back to the television set. I was left alone on the dinning table with the so-called food. It was our first experience without electricity in almost four years abroad.
We had always enjoyed constant light without any disruptions unlike in our home country.
It was a new thing for the girls to be without light even for a minute but not for me. I grew up in a small village which has no public electricity supply. Wealthy individuals mount their own transformers and decide on who gets the supply. Majority of beneficiaries are either their friends or relations. Villages without rich indigenes have to rely on generators if it’s within their reach.
I still shiver when I can’t reach some of my relations on phone because they have no electricity to charge their phones. Those in big cities also experience fluctuations in power supply. Some cites only have light a few hours in a day, or some days in a week.
The electrical fault was rectified within an hour and we had a late lunch. I thank God that it didn’t happen at the peak of winter as the heater might have also been affected.
How can I explain to my daughters who are grumpy about an hour of power disruption that some of their relations back home have never had constant electricity for one whole month and that it is a luxury rather than a necessity over there?
We hope that the authorities concerned will make more efforts at providing electricity to each and every home in Africa’s most populous country.
Have ever been without electricity in your life?
Please share your experience in the comments.