“I Be Warri!”

Their eyes burned with palpable rage as they spat colourful expletives in each other’s face. A passerby would have assumed the argument was over something significant. Well, if you call ₦50 ‘significant’, then these guys were right on the mark. Tempers grew hotter as voices became louder. Surely, any moment now, the first punch will fly and a full scale fist fight would break out.

fight 1

“You dey c-c-c-c-r-r-r-r—a-a-a-as-ss-sse!!!!” the shorter dude screamed. I almost laughed at his use of stress. My secondary school English teacher would have been proud of him. The misty saliva spray that escorted the words further betrayed the seething volcano within this otherwise small-statured fellow.

“Ehn! Na me this small rat dey talk to?! Make una leemee make I brush am! e dey madt ni! the opponent yelled, addressing the peacemakers restraining him from getting close his shorter ‘friend’.

On and on the drama played out. I was not in any hurry to get to my destination so I stayed a safe distance away, the writer in me working at full speed to capture the moment. Thankfully, the peace keeping regiment succeeded in breaking up hostilities and everyone was soon on their way, groups of twos and threes, heading different ways, each having their own animated versions of what they just witnessed.

As I spun on my heels to walk away, a phrase trailed me. I’d heard it countless times- under different circumstances, from different people. It always somehow found its’ way to the tongue of angry folks as they ‘let off steam’. Despite its’ many variants, the underlying theme was constant.

“You nor dey look face? I be warri o, nor try me”.

Hmmm…

”I be warri”…that line stuck with me. You’ve probably heard similar assertions.

“I be Ijebu o”

“I be Lagos babe o”

“Me na Aba boy na, you nor know?” and a dozen other claims.

“I be warri”; the fighter said it with so much pride, as if the mere mention of a location carried some magical power. What’s so special about your place of origin? Why brag about it? After all, we all came from somewhere. No one fell from heaven- or did they?

As I thought about the rationale behind the human tendency to proudly associate with specific locations, it all made sense. It’s obvious why, in the heat of confrontation, a person recalls his place of origin. It’s so clear- over time, people from specific locations have generally being identified with distinct qualities/traits. While this generalization is not always accurate or even justified, it’s one of those things that have come to stay in human nature as we seek to make sense of the world around us.

But I’m thinking. What if I pledged that same allegiance to heaven? What if, in the heat of life’s battles, I faced those unpleasant circumstances and declared my origin just like those angry guys did? What if every time I’m challenged, I square up against the confrontation, and loudly, proudly declare “Hey! You nor know your mate? I’m from heaven! Nor try yourself o, you this problem”

Dear reader, I’m challenging you today, if you’re a believer to cultivate the habit of recalling your new roots in God- not just in the day of conflict but even when all is rosy. Let the consciousness of your God-connection seep into the core of your being.

And if you’re not yet a believer, I urge you to make that decision today. Who better to be associated with than the very designer of life? The best of life is locked up in a genuine relationship with God. You may get the ‘good’ out there, you may even attain the ‘better’, but I’d bet my life on it, that the very best possible version of your existence is in one place only- in God.

As you go through life dear reader, remember that troubles come to the good and the bad. So when it blows your way, keep your calm, smile at it and announce: “Nor try me o, I be …”

Thank you for reading.

Fine Boy

Note: The preceeding article was a mixture of fact and fiction. Hope you enjoyed it

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