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Writer without NEPA, is that one writer?
We haven’t had light in Egan for over two months now. Some fools vandalized our street transformer, and the cost of repair is 600,000 naira. Considering how quiet the Landlord Association have gone on the matter, I have no idea if the transformer would be fix before the first half of the year runs out.
This is very annoying because I can’t understand why anyone would chose to vandalized the only means of electricity for many living on the street. In my house for example, we often only put on the generator between the hours of 8pm and 11pm because my uncles have to go to work. Sometimes we don’t, either because of unavailability of fuel or as a result of the generator breaking down (which happens a lot).
Having electricity is important for me, because since my laptop blew up over a week ago, it’s eliminated the only other alternative I have to keep my phone charged. Most times the phone doesn’t charge fully, and I have to preserve the battery for work by cutting down on how long I stay online. Which isn’t easy as I enjoy being online because it keeps me sometimes from being lonely and bored; but then, I have to sacrifice that so I can be able to type write-ups like this one you’re reading.
There was a time I argued with one of my uncles that as a writer, I didn’t need light; that all I needed was pen and paper, and I’ll be good to go. He believed there was no profession that doesn’t need electricity, and that until Nigeria starts generating enough electricity to last 24 hours, the productivity level of most Nigerians would be poor. With my current situation, I see his point now because sometimes when I’m done writing, the means to type is an issue.
The way it basically works is: write all you can, but when you can’t make soft copies of your work through typing them out, then you don’t get to submit to blogs or websites, and when you don’t submit to blogs or websites, you don’t get paid for your writing. What’s the point of putting thoughts on paper, when you can’t have it on screen because your phone battery is low, or because your laptop is faulty (in the case you have one)? As far as I’m concerned, the answer is “none”.
This is the reality of many writers in today’s Nigeria, in an era where the typewriter is no longer fit for purpose. So before you accuse a writer of being lazy, you should try understanding the varying shades of challenges many of them go through to provide you with content you read online.
I’m currently working towards getting a new laptop, because I can’t afford one right now, while also trying to get a power bank and a second battery for my phone to eliminate the reality of me being unable to use my phone when I need it because of low battery. This would cost me money I don’t yet have, and it might result to me being more financially conscious about my writing.
Hopefully I get the means and opportunity to do all these in time, before I get too frustrated to write about anything. It’s not easy being a successful writer, but it more difficult dealing with the hurt of being a failed one through circumstances beyond your control.
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