Photo Credit: Internet
Warri in Delta State, Nigeria has been widely portrayed as someplace by the Nigerian comedians, where “the boys” rule without being questioned, and this always raised hysterical laughter amongst the audience. Well, even though these misadventures are not farfetched in Warri, there is so much wonder beholding the city’s; landscape; culture; and people.
I finally went to Warri, courtesy of Zoom City, a company offering media services for a 2-day retreat, where I met the most amazing and intentionally creative people.
My five hours road trip to Warri, began at Akure-/Owo Motor Park, then to Benin, Sapele, and finally to Warri where I was welcomed with endless drops of rain.
Even though the sights and sounds ushered a novice to Warri, I was practically scared due to the schema of information the media had portrayed about the city. Every region has both its good and bad tales.
I believe one can survive in Warri by some self-regulating curfew, being careful with one’s accessories, and avoiding treading some particular “Areas” on some hours of the day.
The city of Warri is filled with beautiful architectural landscapes. There is always something to give one jaw-dropping emotion, well, for a novice. And I perceived Warri is a tidy city. The ocean, sea, and river views, are what I considered very alluring. For example, at Willie Osubi Lodge, directly facing the Osubi River, where I lodged alongside these creatives from Zoom. The small island hosting a flock of cattle egrets, and some skua birds is a must-see sight.
Sitting at the bank of the river to behold this, expunges one worry, anxiety, and a relishing of nature.
And I must say, aside from the industries in Warri, the architectural structure of houses-old and new, plus the gigantic religious buildings are wonderful sites too.
Read; National Museum of Unity
The 2-days in Warri gave me a brief summary of the people’s culture. The people of Warri’s strength lies in their code-mixing language culture. Even in their greetings, I learned that you should never assume that everybody is an Urhobo. Warri is occupied with different tribes.
Also, their official lingua franca is the Pidgin English of which they code mix with any other second language.
Also, nobody goes around shouting “Area”, like the Nigerian comedians had portrayed, but they know where or what the Area is. I believe Alaka, off P.T.I junction, is one of the Areas.
While navigating to Eboh road, the Keke driver, a plumb hairy man told me to keep my phone because I was glued to it all through the ride, writing my travelogue.
He said, “bros, abeg, keep your phone for this street”
I also had a nice hair cut in Warri. The gist all-through was the longest conversation of jabbing I had witnessed in Pidgin, after the popular Hall 3 “Arrow”, from the University of Benin, Nigeria.
Read: Janzi; Good for Africa, Good for the World
The people exhibit friendliness, however, they have an assumption that you should have a good understanding of where you are heading. The attendants at Green Line Park were like that, except for a petty trader, and a man on the bus, these two were patient to entertain my questions and gave me their best descriptions.
Warri has an International Airport, located at Osunbi, Keke Napeps, okadas, and buses are also used to navigate ones routes. The transportation in Warri is easy to navigate as the bus and Keke fare is absolutely fair ranging from N 30 minimum to N 100 depending on the distance.
Most major roads and streets in Warri were flooded when it rained. Little wonder most people were with their pair of slippers or a pair of leather boots. I even saw a fueling station flooded with water. Perhaps it had been abandoned.
You need to understand the people and the environment before you assume that Warri is filled with temperamental people. It is very possible to quickly presume that the people in Warri are overly sensitive, loud, and aggressive but, do not go without seeing the humour, playfulness, friendliness and the lesson is every brawl you see. An average person from Warri is assertive.
If I were to visit Warri again, I would love to stop at the Obule Bridge and see the beauty of the construction and have a satisfying ocean view at least for about 15 minutes. However, aside from making a stop at Obule, here are other places I learned one can visit whenever you are in Warri;
- Palace of the Olu of Warri
- Warri Kingdom Royal Cemetery
- Chief Nana’s Palace
- Effurun Garden Park
- Ethiope river valley.
- Delta Shopping Mall.
- Uwie Modern Market
- Warri Township Stadium
- Red Mangrove Swamp
P.S Besides Warri is one of the best places in Nigeria, to visit for religious tourism.
Well, I cannot forget my visit to Warri in a hurry, even if I wanted to; the city’s beauty at night is still glued on my mind. The blue-white coloured Keke napeps, the mini and macro groups of people exchanging pleasantries in Pidgin, the pretty boys and girls and their assertiveness, the sight of the Osubi river, the pre-conceived notion of the city, the hours on the bus, Zoom citizens and their inspiring company, and my chit-chat with a woman, Mrs. Alabi who told me a lot about her creative daughter, but I missed a figure from her given digits. Besides, even if I wanted to, I cannot take my mind off the average height woman who touts in a falsetto, carrying a glass box of fried snails at Effurun, Motor park, saying:
“Buy your chop fries snail,
Keep your mouth busy,
Busy your mouth…”
Actually, reminiscing about my trip to Warri now is like the chop fried snail, it kept my mind busy, it busied my mind.
Do you have a Warri experience? Kindly drop your story in the comment section. 💕