Sunday, 8 May 2011

How many Nigeirans does it take to change a lightbulb?

This morning I went to buy a lightbulb and some akara, a delicious Sunday morning breakfast treat, basically deep fried beans, so healthy in a protein kind of way, but in Ibadan they don’t give you extra pepe like they did in Abuja, must remember to add some next time!

Anyway, my lightbulb was not in a “nylon” as Nigerians call plastic bags, but just loose in a box in my hand.  So a neighbour asked me what I was going to do with it?  I thought this a rather ridiculous question so I asked him what he thought I was going to do with it.  To this he asked if I was an electrician, no I said but I do know how to change a lightbulb.  He then told me that many Nigerian women do not!
This afternoon I met my British friend Rebecca, and over lunch at the lovely Kokodome, relayed the story, she told me that the Nigerian family where she stayed in Ife, called an electrician to change a lightbulb.
Now a word of caution, in Nigeria changing a lightbulb is different to changing one in the UK, for a start it happens more often.  I have been in Ibadan, for four months, and only have four lightbulbs, I have bought and changed at least three lightbulbs in this time. 
Much as its life is significantly shortened by the unreliable, surging power, so is the risky manoeveur of changing it greater, hence I am far more cautious   I follow all the rules that I may be a little lax about at home; make sure the switch is off, my hands are dry, and wear shoes with rubber soles while I do it!  A quick look at Nigerian wiring and you will see why!

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