By: Edafe Edoja
More often than not, you have heard entertainers or regular friends bellowing the comradely chant to signify an affinity with Warri , a city in the Southern region of Nigeria.
It is more than just a chant of solidarity or originality; it is a culture, a lifestyle, a way of life ingrained from living and surviving in this urban jungle with its malfeasance and ruggedness. You don’t live in Warri; Warri lives in you. So whether you live in Effurun, Ekpan, Jakpa, Ubeji and other towns within Warri city or you reside in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja or anywhere in Nigeria or abroad, you can’t mask the ‘Area!’ mentality popping up once in a while.
Some male folks are so fascinated with the Warri boy’s lifestyle that they try to emulate their ‘doings’. This article attempts to guide you on how to adopt and channel your Warri mentality as a guy where ever you are in Nigeria.
First of all, you should be able to speak Pidgin English. Not the Ibo or Yoruba flavored type but Pidgin English that can smoothly transit from a quick-fire staccato to a smooth, velvety lullaby in a snap. Waffairians are renowned for the ease at which they rap the colloquial language as if it was ingrained into their sub consciousness during birth. So you need to shed your tribal inflections if you want to be proficient in Warri Pidgin.
Your mastery of Pidgin English must be backed by sheer bravado and guts in the face of heavy odds stacked against you. A true Waffairian does not back down from a fight or challenge. When confronted and your ego bruised, you thump your chest KingKong-esque while braying ‘Me? A whole me? You know me? You know who I be? Go ask who I be for the area. You dey crase?’
If you really need to accentuate your point, you may need to burst a bottle on a hard surface and cause commotion or on the offender’s head. If the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you, you may beat a tactical retreat pompously while pointing at the aggressor and shouting ‘You nor reach. Just wait for me. Nor run oh. I dey come for you’ and maintaining a steady stream of vitriol and expletives on your exit.
When you see your guys, you greet them in a boisterous lively manner; ‘Guy, how far?” before the customary three-step handshake?—?firm handshake, upward hand grasp and the fingers’ snap. In a conversational mood, you should be able to engage your audience and keep them awestruck and fawning for you with your smooth, brash and arrogant style. Your rhetoric should be punctuated by occasional bursts of ‘Oh boy’, ‘Guy’, Shuu!’ , ‘Omo, bone’, ‘Nothing dey happen.’
When it comes to the ladies, your pedigree precedes you. So, you need to be on top of your game always. Take her to the trendiest clubs, restaurants and hotels in town. If you are not financially buoyant, decent bush bars and beer parlous around will do.
No chink in the armor; smooth talker and silky always, firm, decisive and in total control. Make her giggle every 10 seconds. Even the driest jokes when relayed in the Warri accent can elicit tears of laughter from the date. When conversing with your ‘pallies’ about your girls and their bodies, you deploy a colorful language that can elicit vivid imagery. ‘Abobi, na you dey run that kpekus? I dey shike that malawi. Na Joshua dey tidy the kpomo. ’
Warri is renowned for their comedy, be it the never-ending conveyor belts of comedic talents or being the butt of jokes. So Waffairians are expected to be naturally talented; whether you are a chubby-faced ajebutter or hardenedkpako, the expectation from the Nigerian society is constant. Make.Us.Laugh. Crack your Warri jokes with the typical tinge of sarcasm and veiled insults. Occasionally use yabbing to position an errant opposition in his or her own place.
That you are from Waffi does not mean you should be an illiterate. The average Waffairian is sharp; whether street-wise or in academics, all join. When making your choice of higher institutions, don’t go to a school that will be too close to home. Go for schools like UNIBEN, UNIPORT, UI, FUTO, UNILAG or as far-flung as UNIMAID, ABU and Ghanaian higher institutions. When other admission options fails ,that is when you should consider Abraka, OZ, Ogwashi, FUPRE and other nearby institutions of higher education.
As a street-savvy dude, you need to be able to differentiate and identify different brands of alcoholic drinks. Don’t go near ‘jedi-jedi’ drinks unless you are offered that in the church or occasions where you are obliged to drink something. ‘At all, at all…na im bad pass’. Know your favourite brands’ alcoholic contents and educate others on the percentage of alcohol contained in each of the brands when the need arise . You should know car brands, their models and year(s) of production and call them mainly by their nicknames especially when they pass by or are in close proximity. ‘O boy, who get that SPIDER for front?’ ‘That EVIL SPIRIT na D.I.E!!’ ‘When I collect, na to buy END OF DISCUSSION.’
As a confirmed Waffarian, you must possess a never-say-die attitude and spirit. ‘Anyway na way’. When you find yourself in a clime different from your home zone, you buckle up, observe and start hustling. You socialize, ingraining yourself into the culture and and making an impact in that locale. ‘At a time eh, no time to look Uche face.’
They are everywhere. You have encountered them during your service year, in your workplace or church. They are your neighbours, course mates, buddies and customers. Whenever you see a Warri boy, just holla ‘AREA!’ and them go confirm you say your head dey there.