Friday, May 25, 2007

My Warri

I'll be going home in a few weeks and I am bracing myself for my homeland. I have always had a bittersweet relationship with Nigeria. As a child of the eighties, I guess I was fortunate to have a childhood when Nigeria was at its best, especially Warri, which was booming with N.N.P.C, D.S.C, SHELL, CHEVRON, JULIUS BERGER, TEXACO, DUMEZ, I can't remember them all, but life was sweet. Thus, I have that wonderful memory, coupled with village headmaster, new masquerade, cock crow at dawn, ahhhhhh, I am sure you all know what I mean. Life was sweet. Then, I have Nigeria of my teenage years, the nineties, I remember the matron of my boarding school, ringing the bell for a special announcement:"Let us all pray for our country, we don't know what this means, or what will happen in the next few days... there is going to be a change of government".The first thing I thought of was Warri, what did that mean? more curfews? You see, by the time I left Warri, our lives had become limited by "curfews", if it was not urhobo and Itsekiri fighting over land then it was Ijaw and Urhobo or all three of them, then, lets go over to the armed robberies in broad daylight. One of the most frightening time in my life was after secondary school, you know, that "house-girl" year, when you waited for JAMB and SSCE results. I decided to do GCE just because I wanted to cut my house girl duties, unfortunately my center was in "inside inside Warri" as we say. A real rough neighbourhood. One day, as I and my friend left our center, we saw a pick up truck of police men shoot all over the place, there was chaos, everybody fled, behind them, another pick-up truck of armed robbers chasing after the police men. I kid you not. Bullets wheezing over my head, I sought shelter in a nearby house, the doors were open, I went in and hid in a wardrobe. Yes, a stranger's house. Thats how bad it was, I stood there shaking and thinking "I have got to get the hell out of this hell hole". I had lost my friend in the chaos that ensued but later found her behind a rubbish dump crying. I hated my life, I hated Warri, I hated Nigeria. Over the years, Warri and the whole of Niger Delta is now "at your own risk". It is not the place of my childhood, it is something else. Thus, on one hand, I love Warri for giving me the best childhood ever, but on the other hand, I hate it for giving me the worst teenage years ever.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was born in warri..My dad used to work in delta steel aladja..so techinically I am a waffi girl although I lived in portharcourt for most of my life..
if you were in ss3 when abacha died from calculations you will be bout 25years old? dont mind me I am being nosy.lol

4wardnfiaca said...

first! yea

isn't that the truth with most of naija now! on the one hand u luv it so much u can just burst from beaming, and on the other, u hate it so much it makes ur stomach cringe with just the thot of it.

I wish u the best of time on ur journey jare. bring me back those shredded meat thingies they have, yea?

Waffarian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Waffarian said...

@anonymous: Thank you very much for bringing that to my notice, I made a huge mistake, it was not the death of Sanni Abacha, I think it was when he took over from the interim govt in 93. That was a huge mistake, I am ashamed. Just remembered it had something to do with Abacha, thought it was his death. Anyway, so no, I am not 25 oh! I wish I was. So you are a DSC child? I am one too! Are you a blogger?

laspapi said...

Yeah, warri was notorious in the mid-nineties for armed robberies. The midwest produced all the footballers in the national team at that time apart from Rasheed Yekini and Peter Rufai as well as all the armed robbers too(no offence meant) See the cases of Lawrence Anini, Monday Osunbor, Phillip Iwebelua etc. The whole of Nigeria has since caught up with the area, though. I can understand the trauma a girl must have felt having to live through moments like that.
You'll give a call when you're in the country? Yuls (sic), I wanna hear if you have a waffy accent.

Calabar Gal said...

Waffy Girl. have fun when you get to naija.

tol said...

u brought back memories. i used to live behind the leventis off enerhen rd and i remember he 7oclock curfew, the red clothes on ppl's farms, cars etc to show the ogoni membership or wotnot. Memories oh.

Bubbles said...

Okay this my be totally off point, but waffy people still speak the best pidgin english. I just love to hear it.

Nigeria Politricks said...

Omo babe, abeg if u reach waffi make u hail my guys for me-o. na dem deh hold ground 4 effurun, enerhen road, shell ogunu, airport road, GRA, all dem na 'hard men' sha....etc. u brought back memories tho'. wen all dis omilla boys hold us for road near ogunu market one time sha, na so man pikin deh skata race deh enter putu' putu'. come see where man pikin deh dodge bullets'! Ah, dat waffi mehn, na yawa city-ooo!!!

Idemili said...

Wow. No matter how bad things get I always envy anyone going home. What will you bring me? Some cloth?

Nilla said...

Have a safe trip.

...whole of Niger Delta is now "at your own risk"....
You are so right here.

I don't know how Warri is right now, but it's madness in PH. There are some places you don't go to so that you don't get stranded when people start running....yesterday they were killing in Port Harcourt Township.

MsBennie said...

hope you enjoy your stay in warri, i think warri is safe now. To all DSC ppl i 'hail'

Jaja said...

Shared sentiment.
Funny eneough i just made a trip to warri and said something about it on my blog. Y ou dont want to look. he he he..

omohemi Benson said...

Waffy's coming home, waffy's coming home! I can't wait to see you.
I don't think warri has changed much,with all the militant palava, I think it might be worse,but fret not.

damsel in the desert said...

I feel you lady, being from Waffi myself... Those years in the 80s were very idyllic...
After all the peeps chasing Oil Money moved into town, we just lost our town... That's when all the conflict started...
I love Warri very much and always breaks my heart to see the state of the town - nothing to write home about...
Enjoy your trip to Niaja - it should be fab. I know fo shizi you go dig the pidgin and the funny pple... Just for dat alone...

Make sure you go to Igbudu, McIver and Main market... I could spend hours just walking around those markets. :)

ijeoma obu iheoma said...

some memories are bittersweet. i suppose this is one of them.. But i would urge you to transcend beyond those horrid years.. and try and make the best of your trip... you cant change where you came from..

londonbuki said...

Wow... that was a very eventful childhood. I am so sorry you had to experience what you did.

I hope when you go to Warri, you have a wonderful time and come back to share sweet memories.

Vox said...

Practically spent most of my teenage years in the Steel Town. Used to spen a lot of holidays with me cousins there till be became second home.But honestly i dont think warri is as troubled as it used to be

Anonymous said...

Waffy u don announce say u de go house..na wa o! lucky me dat am gonna be there too yeahhhhhh am goin to waffy with waffy! hehehe.so excited eh!
So bros eh...wetin we go con do eh,wen we just land dat place o! shoi! hahahaa dont mind me just practising my waffy(like mumsi go let person talk so)no worries i go call dat ajamimoga girl to teach us new slangs...hahaha! bros later now

SouLBoutiQue said...

Wow, as i read this entry it reminded me of stories my father told me while he grew up in Delta. I was born and raised in yankee...but when i went back to Warri in 2005 i was well...shocked. the curfew as you stated is real...and i found myself saying little to nothing (because of my wretched accent) and hardly going out in Warri only before seven p.m. But at the same time i loved Warri (Delta) the most because Urhobo's were everywhere and family for days...anyway sha have a safe trip!

AG

Anonymous said...

Waffy Babe,

No doubt sha - Warri is still pretty much the same. I always said, and will always say - Warri gave me the best Childhood experiences a brother cuda asked for!

I went to THS and before that JFK & Dom Domingos (if dats how its spelt) all these different high schools gave me something different to learn from.

No doubt the 'Niger-Delta' as it is now known has changed over time, but its still home!

I left Naij soon after high school, but still visit at least once a year - looking forward to visiting later on this year & will hopefully move back soon! God Willing!

...Warri is too mad & frequently misunderstood! Area! - Eh, Area! Eh!!!

Anonymous said...

hehe...i grew up in warri too...shell pikin...i dint really get to experience warri at its worst cus we left in '96 juss b4 real madness stuck...but i loved that place as a child and i still do...would love to go back some day...its been the better of 11 years since i was there...
lol @ igbudu...there are some wicked women there that used to braid my hair while i mumsi was shopping...oh the HORROR!

Anonymous said...

my fellow areas, how unna dey...i salut unna...as i dey read watin unna write about our wafi i dey urged to put my own jara...i grew up enerhen next to edewor shopping centre opposite d bottling company, we moved 7 yrs a go to bendel estate airport road....my time in warri na partially nightmare and on the other hand i loved the walks i was forced to take after working at my stepmums restaurant opposite our ladies high school.that na d only time i fit enjoy d smell of my surrounding, d smell of suya and oil lamps of those hausa malaams,those okada boys and their kpafuka motobics.These where d nights i would be with my thoughts praying and wishing nigerians could unite and realise that what we need is to only practice what we preach.every corner u go see church , every sunday u go see pastor ayo and odioko on tv...we too dey spray sef, we too dey lie we too dey hypocritical....what we have to do now is not leave our wafi or country behind but make a change in whatever way we can.....na me bushqueen . spread love...Areas..ss..s

Anonymous said...

my fellow areas, how unna dey...i salut unna...as i dey read watin unna write about our wafi i dey urged to put my own jara...i grew up enerhen next to edewor shopping centre opposite d bottling company, we moved 7 yrs a go to bendel estate airport road....my time in warri na partially nightmare and on the other hand i loved the walks i was forced to take after working at my stepmums restaurant opposite our ladies high school.that na d only time i fit enjoy d smell of my surrounding, d smell of suya and oil lamps of those hausa malaams,those okada boys and their kpafuka motobics.These where d nights i would be with my thoughts praying and wishing nigerians could unite and realise that what we need is to only practice what we preach.every corner u go see church , every sunday u go see pastor ayo and odioko on tv...we too dey spray sef, we too dey lie we too dey hypocritical....what we have to do now is not leave our wafi or country behind but make a change in whatever way we can.....na me halfcast. spread love...Areas..ss..s

Anonymous said...

I love my people....