In the old days, those ancient times, before Nigeria became really bad, like in the year 2014, we used to put on the generator during emergencies. Emergencies such as:
1. 7 pm. Someone once remarked that it is written in the Nigerian constitution, that 7pm is the time to ‘on generator’. I don’t agree, why? Because I have never read the Nigerian constitution. I doubt even Buhari has. But that is a discussion for another day.
Yet, between 6:59 and 7:00 pm every day, I start feeling strange and uncomfortable, no matter where I am, that feeling that can only be called ‘go and on gen’ feeling, even if I am in a hotel. Therefore, I put it to you that it is not in the Nigerian constitution. This thing is in the Nigerian DNA. We were born with it, together with the ability to talk rubbish on air and on social media.
2. Too Much Heat. When the heat got unbearable back in the day, we would start the generator at least for one hour or two. I still wonder why we are not used to the high temperatures in Nigeria; it has been like this for a while, apart from the recent increase in temperature that began on May 29, 2015.
3. Nigerian Football Matches. Yes, in the old days, we would get fuel one way or the other to generate power for us to support the national team. The Super Eagles playing qualified as an emergency.
4. Visitors. When we had visitors, it was necessary to put on the generator. Usually, the tiger generator would choose this time to get possessed by demons of start and quench. But we would refuse to be put to shame. Even if it meant trying for one hour while the visitor waited, we would keep at it.
However, things have changed dramatically. These days, fuel has gotten expensive, very expensive, and with all this expensiveness has come a reconsideration of our definition of emergencies. So:
1. Now, we ignore the 7pm feeling. We fight it down till around 9 or even 10pm. Then we take our bath, put on the generator and try to fall asleep, before the generator dies. We try to charge our phones and laptops within that one or two hours, because at 200 per liter, you can fight the coding in your DNA and win.
2. Now, if the heat is too much, we remember that our ancestors slept in the fields and in open spaces. So we bathe and after sufficiently dousing our bodies with enough mentholated dusting powder to cover the surface of the moon, we take our beddings outside and sleep in the open.
3. These days, if your child uses your golden fuel to watch the Super Eagles play, you are allowed to relocate such a child to an orphanage. Yes, everyone will understand. If you can get the news that the Super Eagles were beaten by Honolulu from twitter, why would anyone buy fuel and put on generator to watch them get beaten? Why?
4. Lastly, dear visitor, country hard, I swear. So when you come visiting and there is no light, we will ignore the heat and discuss with our shirts off. Or we will both go and sit out in the verandah. I will not – Repeat, WILL NOT – put on the generator because you came to visit. if you don’t like it, let us go to your house.
So what qualifies as an emergency at your end?
Written by Chika Jones, tweets @chika_jones