Metropole Magazine

Today's Weather: Abuja NG: Partly Cloudy, Day 360|Night 260

26 Nov Written by  Kimberly Ward

The Invisible Foe

I often exist in a state of anxiety. Sometimes I forget and relax, and then “whoomp!” everything goes black: the television, the DVD player, the AC, the lights, the fridge. In an instant, everything ceases operation and is dead.

The vehement anger I feel at having my comfort interrupted by an unseen force, which comes into my haven unannounced and disrupts my leisure is primal. Who is this entity that wields its awesome power, which in an instant cuts short my activity and imposes an enforced silence on all my electrical appliances? NEPA, my mortal enemy.

I am defenceless against this omnipresent evil that holds every expensive gadget in the city in its grasp. Who do I call? To whom do I address my grievance? Who is responsible for momentarily rendering me blind and deaf almost every night? The one with the ability to unleash rage and despair one second before Messi scores a goal or right before the killer takes off his mask is God in a land where everyone is at its mercy.

It has the power to cause an outbreak of sweats and irritation amongst families formerly chilling under an AC, plunge friends in deep discussion into darkness, silence the music of revellers and force workers to wear half-ironed shirts to work. Prayers, appeals, payment and hope are all ineffective in the face of this merciless destroyer of technological harmony.

Sure there are generators and UPS systems that engage in battle with this overlord, compensating when the malignant party-pooper strikes. But alas, the knight in shining armour always arrives after the villain has wreaked havoc on all connected to its source. Why can’t generators pre-empt its mischief? Why are we are left scrambling for solutions after our lives are rudely shaken up; eternal victims of this tyrant that never warns you of its arrival?

Those with inverters have less to fear, as only the shrill beeps from their heroic electricity–compensation device alert them to the crime that was just committed. Then there is the joy that accompanies the monster’s decision to return what it stole. Life and sight and sound flood back into the room whenever it so decides. It arbitrarily takes away and then gives back, all on its own unknowable schedule. Sometimes its theft lasts days, sometimes seconds, but always it does what it pleases without fear of punishment and we must simply accept its daily injustices and rejoice when it chooses to play nice.

And as if on cue, just to announce its presence and register its disdain at my defiance, as I write this NEPA supernaturally flicks off every switch in the house and my screen darkens; only the laptop battery now powers my words. I have a dream that one day a conqueror will arise to forever defeat this insensitive menace and restore uninterrupted power into the hands of the masses. Until then, excuse me whilst I put the generator on.