‘NEPA DON QUENCH!’ A raucous roar went up through the neighborhood.

She knew what THAT meant. The dysfunctional national electric-grid had failed, again. She ticked off the moments as stillness sighed its last breath before being kidnapped by a thunderous shudder. Each generator, one by one, woke from its slumber in a full-throated groan.

She was getting use to the drill. She had even started to tap off each second with her finger, waiting for numerous sounds to be systematically suffocated.

‘one, two, three…’ an engine chokes a lengthy drone, an aural mugging, grievous to bodily harmony, which would last… she knew not how long.

But one thing she knew for sure that this kidnapper of stillness was here to stay.

-Lesley Lababidi

(Electrical power that is usually a government responsibility is almost none existent in Nigeria. Nigeria’s national utility company’s acronym was, NEPA, National Electrical Power Authority, or what people jokingly referred to as “Never Expect Power Always.”   The deterioration of electrical power began around 1977 and today, one must have a generator for electrical power.  The Authority was re-named: Power Holding Company of Nigeria. Now the joke is “Problem Has Changed Names.”)

All rights reserved, copyright 2015. To copy or re-produce photography and/or writings, written permission from Lesley Lababidi is required.

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