My growing-up experience in Warri city is what this article is all about and I bet you that all true Warri born can relate.
Warri is the capital city of Delta State while Asaba is the original capital if you know you know.
My growing-up experience in Warri city during the late 80’s and 90’s can only be regarded as the best of the best childhood experience any Nigerian child could ever crave for; i.e being playful, fun-filled that is, everyday na game day.
Reminiscing to when pidgin English was the best and most preferable language known and used by 95% of pure Warri born; with conc langua to blend the pidgin which means only one thing “No langua no style”.
I still remember when if you can fluently speak good and correct English; na to spin one babe and get her bestie for free be that na.
Or if you can read a newspaper you will be regarded as the most intelligent among your peers; na so so newspapers you go dey read for old men when dem go they give you change to pepper them gang. You become the envy of the olodo’s wen nor fit dey read. People like Gandoki, Ogus baba, Gordons, etc, na dem
Growing up in the Okumagba axes of Warri, we had the opportunity to play different games like hotcake, siwe, war start, mopo, koto, wide a big circle (wider wider, wider) game box, rubber, hide and seek, spoke and wheel, tyre, etc. ooh, small pikin play dey hungry me o. Ayo Makun can relate for Olomu street behind Word of Life Bible Church small gate. Ask AY about His growing-up experience in Warri.
We even created our unique play football game and pitch with mineral or beer bottle cover most us even go as far as melting rubber or candle wax on the cover of the bottle to make it firm(we call it men) to play the game and the ball is either big sized buttons or the roller on which the thread of audio cassette is rolled-on.
We will tear the dates off calendar and gum it on the back of the bottle cover to number them as football players get their jersey numbered, use Titus sardine as goalkeepers then draw out the lines with either charcoal or white chalk representing the football pitch on smooth floors, tarazone floors preferably, omo, we were creative, we made life sweet and fun-filled. I hail all true Warri born.
Those were the days of joyous beginning, till date I still wonder how my beloved parents were able to give birth to almost a dozen children in a one-room apartment, we thank the maker of the universe we all are waxing stronger and stronger.
We had a million and one games to play just so we can be happy, every kid in the hood know themselves and if as a kid you are not opportune to play with your mates you are classified as an AJEBUTTER or sometimes called MUGU, Bovi squad.
I still remember when all our shoemakers were all Ghanaians. The days of Mohamed in my area, those people black sha and their funny accent.
I remember when if you are the strongest in your street you will be carried by our older folks to fight the strongest person in another street just to know the strongest kid in the full area, na hailing from everyone be your only trophy then once, once you go dey oppress your mate.
I remember when red hot oil is used as the best treatment for injury, cuts under the foot, all the in name of fighting tetanus.
Our parents sha, dem go just tell one ogbologbo to hold leg tight (firm) then dem go put hot knife for fire (am in Pains like this as I dey remember this event)as the knife dey red hot, den dem go bend the point the knife at an angle (if you too shake your leg, knife go burn you or hot oil go pour for all your leg) and pour oil on the knife to drop on the injury or cut. Who does this again… I hail o.
I still remember when all kids in the hood gather to have fun time, when bros dem go gather children make we dey stroke and yab ourselves for their fun. Igodye and Igosave can relate to this.
I still remember when we come out to bathe with iron buckets. If the Iron bucket fall for your toe, that toe will never remain the same.
But guess what? The indomie era has put a stop to our ever wonderful growing up experiences and my fear now is, will our younger generation have their own unique growing-up experience in Warri?
Today all of the fun has been blown away by advance in technology and increase in promiscuity. Kids of nowadays discussion are mostly centered around cultism, pornography, and fraud.
I seriously fear for what lies ahead. Sincerely I don’t know if I am to blame the government of the day or to ask if its end time staring us in the face. Now our kids nor go know about our growing-up experience in Warri city.