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Images via The University Daily Kansan and Vox.com

Nnedi Okorafor recently ran into an issue with her newly acquired Tesla. And CEO/co-founder of Tesla Inc. Elon Musk, fresh off his short-lived hiatus from Twitter, could not resist giving her a hand. Here’s what happened.

On November 1, Okorafor tweeted about how her condominium board members refused her request for an electric car charging station at her parking spot:

The inability of her fellow residents to follow Okorafor’s reasoning led her to suspect that the refusal was “purely based on an antiquated ideology.” On November 25, at her condo’s board meeting, Okorafor’s request to reconsider the refusal was met with strong objections. According to her account of the incident, some said that electric cars were always only ever going to be a novelty among consumers.

How ironic is it that Okorafor, creator of alternative and futuristic worlds, is having trouble actualizing a futuristic space in her very own backyard?

The crisis came to a head a day later. On November 26, Elon Musk stepped in.

Musk’s reply was brief. Musk’s reply was generic. But Musk’s reply was powerful enough to result in the deployment of Tesla forces to Okorafor’s aid.

Musk’s response to Okorafor is very much in character. He “loves to kibbitz with fans, answering questions about his tech, making reading and music suggestions, and solving customer-service issues in real time.” Still, his interest in Okorafor’s Tesla-related issue is more than customer service. It shows how ideas about the future bridge different domains of knowledge—Okorafor’s literary world that is centered on Africanfuturist thinking and Musk’s realm of business and technology.

Okorafor’s plight has also caught the attention of both Chicago for Electric Vehicles, a group of advocates for the use of electric vehicles based in Chicago and Patricia Fahy, a member of the New York State Assembly.

In this ongoing and real-life issue with her Tesla, Okorafor, like she does in her fiction, is raising larger questions about the politics of “what is and can/will be.” It looks like the future is on Okorafor’s side.

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