THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
Since I was a child, I found I hated the word NO! Or being told what can and cannot be done, I did not like hearing that a woman's place was in the kitchen, or that my dreams should be limited because after all I am a woman. My father did not raise me like that, when I wanted to become a lawyer, he thought I would one day become a chief judge, when I wanted to pursue acting, he wanted tickets to the oscar so that when I received my award he would point out to the crowd that is my daughter. And now that I am a banker, he has visions of me being the Chief Information Officer one day, and the same goes for my sister and her aspirations, she's almost PEng, and he's been behind her all the way, because he believes that what a man can do a woman can also do and sometimes better.
A few months ago, a certain gentleman, started updating his facebook status very frequently with the message #lightupnigeria. I wondered what this was so I googled and read up on it and I totally loved the message so for this reason and this reason alone, I broke my vow to never join twitter and did *if you are a follower...did you #lightupnigeria today?*
For me #lightupnigeria is not just about constant electricity (I will get back to that in a moment), it is about the future generations of Nigerians and what they will become, it is about doing something so little so that we won't have to tell our children about the Nigeria we grew up in, but that they will get to experience themselves. I remember a time when light was constant in Nigeria, we did not own a generator for a very long time and even when we did we never had to use it and it broke down a lot due to lack of use, now people have back ups for their back up generators and I know of a whole apartment complex that didn't bother with connecting to the PHCN grid, and who can blame them?
I remember a time in Nigeria, when someone would knock on the door and anybody would open the door to them, or a stranger would ask where your mummy went and you would tell them and nothing would happen to your mummy because the stranger was just a well meaning individual! Nowadays, you can't even trust the man driving you not to point a gun at you in the middle of traffic, all for what N50,000 that won't even buy diesel in a generator for a week!
Constant light is not just a problem for Nigeria alone, it is in my opinion a valid global crisis, let us analyze it properly, lights go out, 25 million people turn on their generators, 90% of whom emit green house gases very dangerous to the environment, and the fumes grow and grow and grow, this is not taking into account the industrial strength generators needed/used to power up plants. And yet young Nigerians keep shouting give us light #lightupnigeria and the rest of the world just turns their heads and continue ticking off their goals towards the kyoto protocol papers signed and I laugh
If the G20 countries with their population of like 4 million to our over 3 billion (I exagerate you see....) reduce all the greenhouse gas that they can and we keep emitting them from our asses like it were natural, doesn't anyone else think it would counteract their good. Look at it from another perspective, you buy a house close to the beach and as you clean it, the wind blows sand around you, it'll ruin all the cleaning work you've done and you could have stopped it if you closed your window!
I constantly dream of a Nigeria where the lights going off would trigger a national emergency and the President would be woken up to give a presidential speech on the cause of the outage, a Nigeria where we can breathe fresh air not tainted by the fumes of candles, kerosene lit lamps, diesel/petrol powered generators, and we can yell our children/nieces/nephews/maids/dogs/mouse/cat/snakes yell when they are being molested because there is no sound of generator to muffle those sounds.
So the next time you're in the midst of intelligent folk and they bring up ways to improve the air quality and reduce pollution, tell them that they can help save the planet if they #lightupnigeria, visit www.lightupnigeria.org and help raise awareness that Nigeria needs to be lit up, they may think you are crazy but when you explain it to them the way I just did, they'll understand and join the movement.
Tell you M.P. too! IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!!!!!