“I am not who you think I am”, Warri Speaks


My mind is supposed to be quiet, not letting a sound creep in or out so I can properly reflect on my reputation. However, she is a bustling and hustling space constantly filled with people going about their everyday lives. I know I shouldn’t complain about the people in my mind, after all I am one of the most popular cities in Nigeria and I can’t have that title without people being in my mind. Scratch that! I can complain. These people are tainting my reputation. Granted, I am not Miss Morality but then, nobody holy pass, all na packaging.

Finally, now that we have agreed on something, can we now close the borders of my mind, pretty please? No? You are disagreeing again? Why? Say it again, I couldn’t hear you the first time. Oh, it is truly illegal for the authorities of my clan to close the border of my mind against members of neighboring clans. But can you, at least, clear the stage right now for me to dispute the claims put forward by members of those clans who only visited my mind for a while but claims to fully understand how she functions? Thank you, thank you, you won’t regret this.

Once upon a time, people had only good things to say about me. It was back when people still appreciated the fact that my mind is laced with black gold and houses majority of the oil companies in Nigeria. Children of nowadays know nothing other than the promotion of propaganda. No, the occupants of my mind do not always have guns for hands. Write this down so you won’t forget it.

You say what? You lost your properties while navigating through the terrains of mind? Ok, whose fault is that? Mine or yours? Come on, be objective! You left your wallet or phone or whatever it is you call property nowadays hanging loosely from your back pocket and someone ridded you of it. News flash, that’s how most of the world works or would you say you’ve never lost anything in one of those cities you constantly rate me lower than based on this metrics? I didn’t think so.

Benin, your talking voice is too loud. Can you tune it down, I have the stage. Ladies and gentlemen, please pardon the interruption by Benin, my neighbor who is always competing with me for everything, including the title, “Pidgin Capital of the World”. Listen, Benin, when your residents generate as much pidgin slangs in a year as mine does in a week, then you can have the title. Before then, can you quietly get up and sit at the corner where the other kids are seated? Wheew, that felt good!

Pardon my pettiness, y’all. As I was saying…Oh not again! You just had to interrupt me again, didn’t you, Ibadan? Anyways, how can you say being the pidgin capital of the world is not a thing I should be proud of? Do you realize that my mind is made up of occupant of varying ethnicities? If you do, how then do you expect them to communicate? Or should they exclude people of different ethnicities from their conversations like your residents do? Wow, I admire your confidence in escalating a non-issue. You want them to speak in English Language instead? Just because it is Nigeria’s official language doesn’t mean it is our lingua franca after all not everyone is literate. P.s my mind is not a landscape in Great Britain. Can decorum now be restored to this auditorium? Thanks!

Back to my grievances, not every resident of my mind drink like a fish. I understand that this speculation has been made popular by the term “Sapele water” which actually refers to ogogoro, a local gin brewed in Sapele, which is not even my closest neighbor. I love Sapele, I do but I am not her and she is not me. Kindly, exclude me from her narrative, thanks!

Essentially, I am not who you think I am. I could spend an entire day detailing all the ways you’ve messed up the reputation of my mind but I have to go. Something urgent just came up. Actually, nothing urgent per se came up. It’s just that I figured that most of y’all noise makers are here in this auditorium.

My mind is finally quiet. I have to go meditate or contemplate or reflect or whatever the term is before y’all come back. And no, I wouldn’t be reflecting about my ruined reputation because I want to believe y’all are decent enough to kill the propaganda on the issues I just addressed. I know there are still more issues left unaddressed but at least, this is a start of something new for me and my mind. So, I am going home to assume a yoga position and think about what this new beginning can mean for me. Hope to not see y’all soon. Bye!

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