NEPA by Niyi Osundare is an evergreen poem that captures the fate of Nigerians in the hands of the power distribution company back in the day. The poem describes the epileptic state of the electric supply and how it affected the people.

Enjoy one of the best pieces from Niyi Osundare below.

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NEPA By Niyi Osundare

Dark nights, hot days;

You spoil our fun and ruin our plays

The fridge is warm, the stove is cold

Hunger in the house is strong and bold

You come and you go and come

Unsure, unstable, like a dizzy bum

A bright surge now, then a yellow candle

Our darkest fears you hardly kindle

Sweat at work, sweat in the homes

In churches and mosques and their towers and domes

Factories go without a hum

The cost of your darkness is pretty sum

Our books unread, homework undone

Though we stay awake till the dark, dark dawn


Some say you rhyme with ‘leper’

In your dark we grope

And it’s hard to cope.

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Summary Of The Poem NEPA By Niyi Osundare

Note: This summary was provided by Ayo Banjo as seen in the book “Early Birds”.

NEPA is never a popular word in Nigeria. Although established to supply electricity to homes, churches, mosques and factories among other places, NEPA never manages to do this with any degree of efficiency.

The result is what is described in this poem – complete outage very often and very low voltage (‘a yellow candle’) when there is any supply at all. The result is a great inconvenience to people everywhere and huge losses to revenue to the country because the factories cannot work.

The rhyming couplets and the use of alliteration (in ‘dark, dark dawn) heighten the effect of the poem


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