Nina Simone once said, “It’s an artist’s duty to reflect the times,” so Nigeria deserves all the artistic scrutiny it gets. While there are uncountable songs about the many social issues that resonate with Nigerians at the moment, we highlighted the seven that are articulate about our collective sentiments on electricity issues.

NEPA — Tony Allen

In 1985, the late Tony Allen released Never Expect Power Always (NEPA), and he just might’ve jinxed us for good with that title. The song was all about how useful electricity supply is to society and how its inconsistency affects people.

Just Like That — Fela Kuti

Fela trolled the government on “Just Like That”, a track off his 1986 Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense album. “White man rule us for many years, we get electricity constantly. Our people come take over, dem come build Kainji Dam. Dem come build the dam finish. Electricity come stop.”

N.E.P.A. Bring The Light — Neo

N.E.P.A. Bring the Light is a 2007 pop-rock song by a Nigerian band called Neo. Listeners will croak at the part that goes, “I went to NEPA office, they told me they never took the light.” 

2010 Light Up — Sound Sultan feat. M.I Abaga

Sound Sultan sang, “When we ask our government o, when Dem go give us light, dem say na 2010,” over a decade ago. It’s 2024 and nothing has changed. We’re still asking when we’ll have stable electricity.

Rara — Tekno

In 2016, Tekno bemoaned how frustrating generator noises are on this danceable hit. He talked about fuel scarcity and encouraged government officials to invest in structural development. That was eight years ago. Nothing till now.

Nepa — A-Q

On “Nepa” off his 2020 God’s Engineering album, A-Q reminds us that Nigerian electricity always disappears anytime rain comes around. He compares NEPA to rappers that splurge on shiny jewellery but have no longevity. Another proof Nigeria’s messy situation is still bad enough to remain a relevant pop culture reference. 


When hip-hop music producer and rapper, XYZ, lamented about the light issues on UP NEPA in 2023, he told us ceiling fans don’t roll when there’s no light. But the call-and-response chorus is where all the fun is at — “When I say Up, you say NEPA / Up! Nepa!” NEPA, please, answer our desperate cries.

Psst! Have you seen our Valentine Special yet? We brought back three couples – one now with kids, one now married and the last, still best friends – to share how their relationships have evolved in the last five years. Watch the second episode below:



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