My Warri Chronicles 5 – Warri/Sapele Road

There were two roads in Warri, Warri/Sapele road and the rest.

Warri/Sapele road was the Capone of roads, second to none. This long stretch of road split the city in two and stretched itself across the middle from one end to the other like an over fed Python.
Warri / Sapele road began at Amukpe, somewhere on the road to Benin, several kilometers away and goes right through several towns and villages in the Okpe clan, continues through Effurun, through Warri metropolis and ends at the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean–almost. It actually ends at the Nigeria Ports Authority gates, but that’s the same thing as the Sea, isn’t it?

Warri/Sapele road had everything; Main market, Kingsway stores, Ibo market, Kingsway rendezvous, Leventis Stores, Warri central Motor park, Seven Up bottling company, etc,etc. The Warri central motor park was midway on this long stretch of road, as were numerous businesses and banks. The world famous Urhobo college, was on this road and countless other schools too. Most other self-respecting roads started or ended on this road. It was as if they longed to ‘belong’

Don’t misunderstand me. Warri was not one of those one-horse towns where everything happened on one street but there was just something about Warri/Sapele road. You could not truthfully call it the Main Street as they have in other countries; in Warri, every neighbourhood had its own Main Street–Okumagba layout had  Okumagba Avenue, which was known by its more common short form–Avenue. There was Enerhen road for those in the Enerhen area, Airport road served some parts of Effurun and environs; Esisi road was the Main Street for GRA, there was Okere road for the Itsekiri suburb of Okere, etc, etc.

And then there was W/S road.

It was a king, a knight, a warlord, all rolled into one. It ruled in the city and sort of decided what belonged to where.

Truthfully, there is nowhere like Warri!


My Warri Chronicles 5 – Warri/Sapele Road


My Warri Chronicles  Let’s Talk.

Most Nigerians associate Warri with two things-Niger Delta militancy and pidgin English. They couldn’t be more wrong. I have written quite a lot about militancy in my novel-God Is Not Here-I will not write about it here. But I will write about pidgin English, our Warri language. And I will do it in pidgin.

Warri, why una dey talk so so pidgin?

The tin be say, no be say everibodi for Warri naim no dey fit speak simple and correct English oh, but if you call yourself real Warri person, you must sabi yarn pidgin. Plenty people dey tink say pidgin na for comedy, or to make people laugh, but na lie. Pidgin na real language by imsef and naim we dey speak.

See ehn, as Warri be, na differen differen people naim dey the place. Some na Ijaw, some na Itsekiri, Isoko, some na Urhobo, and even among the Urhobo sef, some na Okpe, Udu, Uvwie,  Agbarho. Kwale people full Warri, Ibo dey, Yoruba, Hausa, plenty people with dem own native language. And all dis plenty people settle well for Warri, so wish language dem go speak wey everibodi go fit hear?

Another tin be say Warri people no dey like people wey too dey make yanga, so if you wan form guy with your big big grammar, dem go jus pack you go one side. Go speak am for inside your house, but when you come aside, na pidgin we dey speak, because all of us na equal. We nor dey shame say we dey speak pidgin, for wetin na? No be language? Shuo!

Anyway, na so e jus be.

We dey speak pidgin because even though we be plenti differen people,na one Warri we be.

#WarriChronicles #Warri #HomeTowns #ElsieWrite #BornToWriteWellq


end of My Warri Chronicles 5 – Warri/Sapele Road


to be continued


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