Let’s face it. Loadshedding isn’t the elephant in the room anymore – in fact, it’s taken up the whole entire room in question (knocking all the lights out, and not in a good way).
We’ve danced between more stages than those couples on Dancing With The Stars as South Africans – to the point where the announcement of Stage 5 or 6 has become our cue to get on with the Eishkom show.
I’ve found myself in interesting places of introspection sitting in the darkness with a phone on 1%, and more often than not, I’ve caught myself imagining solutions to what has become the unofficial state of disaster in South Africa.
Some, including angry Twitter users and DA spokespeople, have even taken as far as to call on President Ramaphosa to declare the situation what it is, a disaster.
But, even if we afforded it a more official title of urgency (not that energy crisis wasn’t enough) wouldn’t the problem still be the same?
Not so long ago, the president addressed the nation to come up with a plan of action to procure new generation capacities. I had the ironic pleasure of reporting on the matter whilst wondering if my own lights were about to turn off mid-address.
Since then, we’ve had highs and lows regarding all things Eskom and electricity. Promises of paying workers more, privatising parts of the power influx, alleged criminals stealing billions plunging us into darkness again, Cape Town’s solar plan – a real mixed bag.
But in the present, one question lingers – what the heck are we supposed to do with all this loadshedding?
Here’s my personal Eskom survival guide:
1. Let the EskomSePush app become your best friend. Allow it.
I tried for a long time (actually until two days ago) to avoid the app in hopes that it would somehow prevent me from manifesting loadshedding, which didn’t work. Rather know what you’re dealing with.
2. Learn to love foods that don’t need to be cooked
You’re probably confused. But in reality, if you’ve spent too much on UberEats or restaurants, you know in your heart what you must do. You might be thinking, “why not just cook when there is power?” Well, this is for the people who get home right in the smackdown of loadshedding – which as we all know, is the one South African that’s almost always on time. Wraps, pasta salads, quinoa dishes or a variant of salad assortments and poké bowls might just become your saving graces.
3. Plan your entertainment kicks
I’ve spent one too many nights playing board games with my partner in the dark because we forgot to charge our devices or download anything. Please don’t be like me and charge your devices. Download your entertainment. Get a battery-powered reading light. I love candles as much as the next person, but reading by candlelight isn’t always as romantic as some people on Pinterest make it out to be. Book recommendations? Here are a few.
Pro tip: If you don’t like having sensory overload (few do) healing podcasts are actually very peaceful in the dark. On the flip side, if you’re the kind of person who turns off the lights to watch scary movies, I guess it’s your lucky day for a terrifying true crime podcast.
4. Shed your load with loadshedding yoga
Loadshedding opts for the perfect time to tackle some practises you’ve always been longing to do. If yoga is one of them, let loadshedding guide you to wellness.
5. Let there be cake
Some people don’t agree with baking in the late hours of the night, but luckily loadshedding can happen at any time during the day too! It’s time for a no-bake recipe, and if there’s one you have to try it’s this rose and lemon scented no-bake cheesecake. This one requires an hour and 30 minutes in the fridge, but luckily, fridges will keep items cold for four to six hours when the door is closed. If loadshedding inspires your no-bake career, let’s talk.
6. Create art in the dark
Listen, I love a technically well-drawn or painted piece of art too, but there’s something incredibly freeing about not being able to see what you’re creating. No pressure to make each part perfect, just raw abstract emotion. Alternatively, you can grab yourself some glow-in-the-dark paints and see what you come up with. Who knows, you could just be the next Cristoforo Scorpiniti, angry South African edition.
Feature Image: Pexels