Light bulbs, phones, television, radio, cars, and computers: once upon a time they never existed. In the last two centuries, they have not just become items of utility but essentials we canâ€™t live without. We have literally structured our civilization around them. Even the very basic nature of human communication has been forever changed by technology. But what would happen if it was all taken away? What if all the electricity in the world was disabled? What then?
Revolution, the new NBC television series brings these questions to life in its post-apocalyptic tale of people (read Americans) adapting to a world without electricity. Why donâ€™t we bring it home? Imagine Kenyans adapting to life without electricity.
Truth be told, there is a class of people who may not be adversely affected if the luxury of electricity was stripped away. Electricity came in the white manâ€™s carry-on just over a hundred years ago and even to date, not all areas of Kenya have access to electricity. Who would be most likely to survive this apocalypse? I think itâ€™ll be these people. Those living in the rural areas, who still go to the river to fetch water and farm their own food.
Nairobi will be paralyzed, no doubt about that. Life will come to a literal standstill before the migration to rural Kenya begins. There is such a difference between the societies in the urban areas, more so in Nairobi, as compared to that in rural Kenya. In Nairobi, itâ€™s every man for himself. People barely know theyâ€™re neighbors and if they do, itâ€™s probably because they have something to gain from it. 14 random people enter one matatu, which they will share as they brave the monster jam for about 2 hours, but no one will turn to their neighbor and actually start a conversation. They may be sitting side by side, but they couldnâ€™t be farther away.
About half the people in the matatu are on their phones; texting or surfing. The other half just seems to be lost in their own world. If this apocalypse were to take place, the Nairobian society and the Westernized societies as we know them would break down. The â€˜every-man-for-himselfâ€™ policy we take pride in will be our downfall. As is captured in the drama series, there would probably be mass panic and folks would try to amass as many supplies as they can for themselves and their families, no matter the cost. There will be violence, but only until people realize how futile it is to fight for limited resources.
Then the migration back to the rural areas will begin; the very places people do not like to associate themselves with. People will probably settle according to their tribes because that is that is where the fault lines in Kenya are, but not so for everyone. There is a class of citizens who would probably not know where to go, having been born of parents from two very different cultures and urbanites who bought so completely into the lifestyle that shags was even in the urban areas.
Notice the pattern? We would fall back into the societal patterns we had before they were disrupted by colonization and its carry-on bag. Our â€˜primitiveâ€™ way of life would be our avenue of survival and this wonâ€™t be happening in Africa alone, but in the rest of the world.
The debate of whether colonization was a blessing or a curse is a long-winded one but one thingâ€™s for sure; we cannot conclusively say that it â€˜savedâ€™ us. Colonization literally bullied us out of our ways. Sure, with the interaction we got to gain knowledge and technology but couldnâ€™t they have done that without forcing us to abandon our social structures? What happens when this knowledge and technology expires? Letâ€™s hope we never find out.