As an urban dweller who relies on electricity for pretty much everything in my mundane life, I feel I should commiserate with you KPLC in this letter of sorts. I feel I should take it upon myself to tell you how important and life changing it has been hosting your product in my house, the lights I use. Lights. Just lights. Do you feel the hesitation I use when realizing you give me lights, just lights. I get confused sometimes but nivumilie tuu (have patience with me), I will totally get to the point I am trying to make. For those not conversant KPLC stands for Kenya Power and Lighting Company, kwani si power is lighting or is it the other way round or do they mean the same thing, what’s the difference really? Bear with my ramblings, I tend to get off course when I am really passionate about things, people, objects, time, and non-living things, pretty much everything.So where was I? Yes, me, the urban dweller who uses electricity, okay. I know you are wondering where this post about KPLC came to be. So we were watching Criminal Minds with my sister, the episode started and in the programme lights went off and the woman in the house was attacked in the darkness by an assailant as she stood up to go and check who it was. Why do people get curious about noises in their house and actually go to check? Who does that? I’d be running to find a place to hide and not go where the noise is coming from! I swear I’ m not a coward, I just love my life too much to present it to an attacker on a silver platter…digressing again…
As we watched the lights disappear, my Sis commented that “If it was in Kenya we would not even think that the blackout was caused by an intruder, our thoughts would immediately go to… ni KPLC (it’s KPLC)…” see how people die assuming its normal for lights to disappear in the middle of the night? But for us Nairobi dwellers, black outs are a regular thing that you don’t even think twice about it. Lights abruptly out? It’s KPLC. There’s a day lights disappeared and I was on Face Book, immediately almost 10 comments followed, it was a war zone…there was “Hawa watu wa KPLC! (these KPLC guys!)”, “KPLC wametuzoea (KPLC is too used to us)”, “KPLC!!!!!!”, “KPLC wanafanya? (What is KPLC doing?)”… These comments, you would think that KPLC was one person who should be crucified for failing to prevent power black outs. You see how much we love you our power supply guys?
Dear KPLC, here are the situations that lights should never disappear on us. I know you may not have control but please warn us when you want to take away our electricity.
One, when you are excited to try that cake that everyone has been raving about on the Lets Cook Kenyan Meals Facebook group. You have followed the recipe to the latter, everything is set and you have just placed your Cake Batter in the oven and poof! Like magic the lights disappear on you, while you are holding the oven door to close for the cake to begin baking. WTF! Words I’ve heard too often coming from the kitchen, words I’ve used too because I love to bake too. You blame KPLC.
Two, you have been given an assignment and as is customary you waited until the last minute…usually the day before the assignment is to be handed in, I can’t be the only one who used to do that, usijidanganye (don’t lie to yourself) you are guilty too. Anyway so you are busy typing at 2am in the morning and poof! Black out! The best part is that you were busy furiously typing you did not bother to save your work since you began. Are you effing serious! More muffled explicit words, screams into the pillow. You realize you hate KPLC.
Three, you have travelled up country for the Christmas holiday. As usual you go for one week so that you can make it in time to open the New Year in the city. Us urban dwellers like to imagine that if we open the new year in town, all our wishes will somehow come to pass, we will get that raise, loose that weight, buy that new dress, Ben in accounts will ask you on a date etcetera. So you come back to your house all exhausted and hungry especially if you used Eldoret Express buses to travel from Western…not digressing to horrors of travelling on those buses…anyway, you head to the kitchen. KPLCCCCC! (Screams) All the food that you had shopped for before leaving is rotten or is rotting. You are sure you loath KPLC.
Dear KPLC I’m sure if you had one shilling every time someone mentioned your name, you would be having several millions in an hour because I am sure an hour does not pass without someone in the corner of Nairobi screaming, yelling, cursing, praying against or even singing your name, KPLC. I am sure it is all in love…angry, resentful, exhausted, demanding love. Forgive us urban dwellers who blame you for everything but see, you are the only power providing company that we have been used to. Most of us in the city do not recognize solar power, using candles, or lanterns, it is such hard work trying to pour paraffin in a lantern and lighting it up with a match stick. Hey, nobody wants to smell of paraffin or smoke from those tinned apparatus. Switching on the light switch is much simpler and faster, did I mention convenient too? So lest the village terms us urbanites as lazy people who rely on electricity for everything, give them a taste of life with electricity and let’s see if they will forget they ever survived without it. How is it even possible?
We the 2% …the number should be going up I think…who believe it is not your fault that we have black outs, say thank you for your services. We would not be able to charge our phones throughout the night, then run off in the morning forgetting to switch off the power. We would not be able to watch our 40 inch Samsung smart flat screens then fall asleep, wake up at 3am and drag ourselves to bed forgetting to switch it off, after all si mimi ndio nalipia stima (I pay the electricity after all)…
I, an urban dweller looks forward to using our electricity for everything in my life and cannot promise not to blame you and yell out your name when there is a black out. My mundane life would not be any interesting if I did not have your lights and power in my house. KPLC. Your name is very powerful, scouts honor, I shall not misuse your name in my moment of anger, disbelief, outrage or even maddening ridiculousness.
Electricity loving Urban Dweller
Live in Burgundy Moments