The Warri chronicles is not fiction. I have had people come to me to say that my fiction writing skill is very good because they read my Warri Chronicles. This chronicles is my recollection of, and reflections on a time when we were young and carefree. I try as much as possible to avoid embellishing the stories; this is Warri, as it was way back before we all, joined forces to spoil it. I am frequently amazed at how much of that era I recall when I have a problem remembering my last meal these days! But sometimes I forget, or a memory is a bit hazy and at such times, I turn to my siblings who lived through that period with me. The incident I am sharing today actually happened but I was not there when it did. I was told and I know the characters involved. And this is just one of the many bizarre happenings that were part of the mix in our Warri. (I have deliberately changed the names to protect the characters who may well be reading this.)
Mama Chu was a very quiet and pretty lady. She was dark in complexion and rather petite in stature. She was soft-spoken too and was one of those people you could not help liking. I don’t quite remember what her husband looked like but he was also a nice fellow. They lived in one of those tenement buildings not too far away from our house, and we had family members who also lived in the same premises.
Mama Chu would greet you as many times as she saw you in a day; always with a shy smile. One day, the neighbours heard her screaming in pain, and the sound of blows raining on a body startled the entire compound. It was clear that she was the one crying and the cries were coming from her single room apartment. So the neighbours ran out to find out what the problem was. And they banged on the door, demanding to know what the matter was.
Then Papa Chu opened the door and stepped out.
“Wetin happen oh! Na wetin Mama Chu do wey make you dey beat am like that na?”
They wanted to know, because everyone loved Mama Chu.
His answer left everyone speechless.
“She no do me anything, but since I marry dis my wife I never beat am, naím make me dey beat am”
And the neighbours dispersed in disbelief.
It was just another day in Warri.
And yes, the Warri chronicles is back!
Elsie Dennis-Oghenekaro is a successful Author, columnist, Traveling Consultant & a Warri person. She’s based in Abuja Nigeria with her lovely family.
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