FOR the past few days darkness fell upon us. And I am not being metaphoric nor am I playing with idioms. I don’t know about those of you living in da city where the lights shine brighter than the stars and probably never go out. I am sure that as fancy as you are, even if the electricity were to go off, you would have some type of backup to keep you going.
But it’s another case for those of us who live on the other side of the red line, oops, I mean in da Tura, where everything goes pitch black and everybody goes into panic mode. “Huuu Elotse, now where will I get a candle?” It doesn’t help to go to the next-door neighbour, because things there are in a more nxomaga state where adults are running over crying infants; children are screaming probably seeing ‘dead people’ and dogs are barking unstoppably out of fear of the darkness.
You can’t even take a chance and leave the house to go to the katate who sells fruits at the corner hoping he might have some candles and matches in stock, because you don’t know whom you might run into in the state of darkness. For all you know, you could meet that other palooka whom you ignored when he asked for a gwaai or that other big booted chika and her friends whom you gave skewe words after you saw your lovie-dovie winking at her unashamedly.
Thanks municipality, or is it hoeka Nampower, for showing us who is groot man. No warning. No sirens. Nothing. Even the ice-cream man has some kind of bell that he rings.
But since you have brought us to this level, we must share with you a typical day in the kasie so that you know when it is appropriate time to tamper with our electricity supply.
06h00-08h00: Wake up and prepare kids for school.
08h00-10h00: Warm up leftovers, clean house and cook lunch.
10h00-13h00: Lay on the choffa watching reruns of Telenovela’s, Oscar Pistorius’ court case, English football or Naija’s six-hour movies. Or alternatively go to the shebeen to zula and join other umqomboti queens and kings for a day of ‘entertainment’.
13h00-18h00: YOU CAN SWITCH OFF THE ELECTRICITY DURING THIS TIME SLOT.
18h00-20h00: Cook dinner. Time to watch new episodes of Telenovela’s. There are about five or six of them, so no interruption during this time slot. Watch news at eight.
20h00-22h00: Another visit to the shebeen. The ncinas might be loaded after a day of ‘hard work’ and since those who have the real J-O-B’s, who wake up at the crack of dawn and come home after five with Shoprite plastic bags, are the Shebeen Queens’ favourite customers, the night becomes the merrier as they tjanga.
Never switch off electricity while patrons are in a shebeen. Even a bank robbery is not as dangerous.
22h00-06h00: You can switch off electricity during this time slot. In any case, all that needed to be done for the day has been done.
The gatas will close the shebeens anyway, with the exception of Evelyn Street.
Actually I like the notion of missing a few hours of electricity per day as long as it’s done at the appropriate time. With all these artificial worldly things, we are losing our touch with humanity.
We hardly have time to use our own imagination and many of us can probably not even relate folk tales we narrated at the fire in the village. Don’t be afraid of the dark, after all, darkness is not that bad. Sorry Ngo!