DUMSOR, is a term used for power fluctuations in Ghana. It literally means off and on. That’s how our electricity situation was in Ghana some years ago. It’s on and off. But it was off more than on most of the times. During these years of DUMSOR, people had to find ways to keep their phones charged and watch their favourite television show or football. Apart from going out to watch television or getting your phone charged, one will stay outside till late in the night to sleep because the heat in the room made sleeping early unbearable. It was no exception in my home, my siblings and parents head out of the house immediately they got back from work and found something to eat. You will never find them in the house when there’s no light in the evening. My sisters usually went to a barbershop around the corner. The barber shop had a generator. His shop was one of the few places in the neighborhood with electricity during Dumsor. They all headed there whenever the lights went off, but I never followed my sisters to the barber shop with the gen set to “watch what life took from me”, to charge my phone or to socialize. “What life took from me”, was the most popular and watched telenovela in Ghana at that time and viewers would do anything to watch their favourite telenovela. I also enjoyed watching it but I’m that anti-social. I would rather stay in my room than go sit at the barber shop with others to watch it. I just didn’t see myself leaving the house and I never did. Even when my phone battery was running low at 5%, I will stay home with them or give it to my sisters to charge but for me to go to the barbering shop was never an option.
I don’t know what pushed me one Thursday to go to the barber shop all by myself about 10 minutes after my sisters had left. I got up from my bed, took my charger and walked there. I got there immediately “What life took from me” started after all the commentary from the previous day..lol. It wasn’t that bad watching with about four other ladies and three men except for one lady who couldn’t shut her mouth for us to watch and listen in peace. I was actually enjoying my stay in the barbershop. I was even telling myself how it’s wasn’t that bad sitting at the barbershop and then they went on a commercial break. Before I could blink my eyes, they all started speaking at once. Eiiiiii. Commentary from all angles. The men surprised me the most. I kept turning my head left and right listening to all their submissions and praying the commercial break ends. The commercials took like 10 minutes but it finally ended. The room went quiet for us to continue and then commercial again and they are started yelling and talking at the same time. This went on for sometimes and all I did was turn my head from left to right listening to them. Finally, I ended up looking at the face of a guy who was having a hair cut, looking as confused and amused like me, we started laughing.
It was amazing how they all seem to know so much about love. And they seem to be making sense one way or the other. They disagreed when they didn’t identify with one’s submission and agreed when they did. It was interesting. At the end of the programme in as much as a part of me wanted to stay and listen to more of their love talk the anti-social part of me won so I was the first to pick my phone and dash out immediately the closing song begun. That night as I slept on my bed, I said to myself, “this light off business is creating some bonding time ooo”. And it’s making people learn from others. Yeah, both good and bad. Because I heard some interesting views about marriage and other silly things from one guy. But it was all good because they laughed and had such a great time together. All by kind courtesy of DUMSOR!!.
Ghanaians hated Dumsor. We hated the darkness with a passion. I learnt that day that we shouldn’t hate the darkness too much, however, we should learn to make it work for us. Go out for a walk with your family. Sit by the roadside, get a good cool breeze and count the cars. Hahaha..thats what I used to do…Visit your next door neighbor. Just chat and laugh your heart out. And when its 10 pm and the lights is still off, go to bed with a smile and thank God for the privilege to share a time of fellowship with that special person. You might be going through a period of DUMSOR in your life. You are on today and totally off the next. And like our power issue, there’s nothing you can do about it. I’m here to tell you this, it shall pass, but till then learn to live with it knowing it will surely pass, find something good to keep you going, if it means going out of your comfort zone, give it a try. You never know, you might smile at the end of it. I think I made a new friend that day at the barbershop the guy who was having the hair cut…..kind courtesy DUMSOR!!