Of Power and Power Outages
If you’ve ever lived in Africa then you probably experienced power outages at a regular basis. Some countries have the rationing system, where each region is given electricity for a certain time. My aunties used to call KPLC (Kenya -lack 0f – Power and Lighting Company), pinch their kids and say, “see, the kids are crying, can you please hurry up.”
Seeing that customer (dis)service that they have, a common response used to be, “We already announced the power outage in the newspaper. Don’t you read the papers?”
Then the debate would shift to why these women don’t read the papers. Totally not the point.
A funny Mombasa thing always happens when the power is back on. Members of the whole neighborhood collectively scream, “Hizo!!” (there it is) It has become the cue for knowing when the power comes back on. If you’re asleep you’d probably wake up from the noise.
Personally I’ve always seen some advantage to power outages (the main word here being ‘some’), but have you ever stared at the sky when the whole city is engulfed in darkness? The star-studded sky is so beautiful it can bring tears to your eyes. Now if you live in the more developed part of the world, then you probably don’t get the privilege of such a sight.
So maybe it’s a phrase that every cloud has a silver lining and there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, but my fellow Swahili friends can actually use “Stars shine brighter when there’s no power” and “After every power outage comes a loud ‘hizo’!”
Guess that’s it for now. Leave your comments below, feel free to share and subscribe.
4 thoughts on “Of Power and Power Outages”
January 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm
Hiiiizoooooo! Lol every sunday words! Lol but true its even time to connect with one another and build relationships as in there is no electronic distraction except for cellphone if its fully charged!
January 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm
You bring back memories….Hizoooo!!!!
January 25, 2012 at 5:06 am
stars maybe so bright, but they’re always too far
January 25, 2012 at 11:35 am
Amina you so reminded me of Sudan, we also have a similar phrase that we say celebrating the return of the power “Al-kahraba jat al-kahraba jat…7asa bitagta3 ya um ja3far”…people who experience power outages are definitely special, one thing at least it makes us learn is patience, and hope that the darkness will go, and that with little light (candle light) you can still live through it, though the heat sometimes is unbearable :P… living in a developing country make us more human and closer to nature, that’s what I think, since we are further away from the technological advancements, and more creative in our own ways 🙂