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Monday, March 10, 2008

Warri Means More

And one other thing, you know back in the days, parents named their children according to circumstances in their lives.

My great great-grandfather, Owowo was a known warrior who killed lots of people at war. One day he went to war. After causing lots of spoils, he was surrounded by the enemies. They were all shouting in our language that he should be surrounded because Owowo knew how to disappear. Surround him in my languaue is ‘wadeware’.
So, Owowo was surrounded and just as he was about to be captured, he disappeared.

On getting home, he learnt that his wife had put to bed a baby boy. So he named him edeware – meaning ‘to surround’. A war memory becomes his son’s name.

After another war, people were describing Owowo’s killing acts and said he killed so much that blood was flowing like ‘ekere’ – meaning a ‘stream of water’.

This man went home to meet a new born son, and named him ‘ekere’. Another war memory.

Ekere, my great grandfather, grew up to have, I don’t know how many wives. But his last wife, was my great grandmother, and she had just one child. A boy. My sweet late grandfather. On the day he was born, was the day white men, journeying around Nigeria, entered Warri.

So he was named Warri. Accordingly, I am supposed to be bearing Uzezi Warri. Somehow, we all escaped it and still go by Ekere. But my father wants to make sure his father’s name is not forgotten, so he answers Warri.

So you see, Warri means much more than that city to me. It is my late Grand daddy’s name and I can’t say Warri or visit Warri, without remembering that sweet man who used to speak correct English to me anytime we were together, not because I couldn’t speak Isoko – I can, but because he loved to speak English.


  1. i need to run far and fast since you have the blood of owowo running in your veins. whre are my track shoes?

  2. @ jinta - lol. No call trouble for urself oh. I no pursue u. if u start to run, i go throw cutlass. ask waffarian what isoko and cutlass have in common.

  3. i hope your grandfather was a story teller cause i wonder how many people ask why he was named Warri...

  4. Uzezi, dem say wey wind blow, fowl yansh go open. You don use ya own mouth reveal all dis details, e go dey too easy to find you. I swear, make I land Warri and make I no see all these fine fine roads wey u dey talk about. Your own don finish be dat!

    meanwhile, abeg send me ya email, you can send it to waffywaffarian@yahoo.com
    I get one kain aproko runs for you.

  5. Nice. Did you know that Ekere is also an ibibio name,full name is Ekere-Abasi meaning God's thoughts. Recently, I also met a doc from the North whose name is Ekere but pronounced Ekre.If we trace it, perhaps the lineage could come back to your grandfather.

  6. lmao at jinta,
    gosh this post is so witty uzezi,
    really enjoyed this dear,

    btw, i ve updated oo

  7. whao i am really impressed with the knowledge of ur family history.

    some of us dont even know anything. lol

    nice one son of Oworo

  8. @ Allied - i doubt people asked cos in his time it was common. There is a woman in the village named Eko, after Lagos, another man is England. And of course another relative named Ibadan.

    @ Waffarian - no worry, u will be proud of what the place looks like.

    @ For the love of me - I know they answer it. When I schooled in cross river state, some natives thought I was from there. And people still think it till date. An man from the north? LOL. Not impossible about the lineage oh! My granddad, who was an only child, had so many children, including all the ones his mother didn't have

    @ Pink-satin - don't mind jinta

    @ Ms. emmotions - thanks dear. I coming ur way.

    @ darkelcee - thanks. it's good to know, it makes good story for your kids and grand kids one day.

  9. you know so much about your history. i'm truly impressed

  10. @ doll - a nice ring indeed.

    @ Naija Chickito - thanks

  11. oh nice, bless him, so you speak isoko,nice one, got a fellwo sister in blogsville.

    speaking of that, you know like when you go to a new school r sumthing, you always find some1 or a group of people that speak ure language, i neva used to find any1, until i met this one guy, but he used to speak isoko, anyhoo, the point was that, our people are rare to find

  12. wow, I enjoyed the recount of your family history through your name. it's quite a coincidence because this morning i was just thinking about how much i cherish my name and its influence on my personality

  13. Yah Jinta is very mad ooo!..lol..

    I envy how you know all your family tree like that. Thats wow! to me.
    As a non-Nigerian i wud love to learn those words and their meanings.
    But again blame Afrobabe and Pamela. I can't even remember the last time they promised to hook me up with a naija guy. Right now i wud be knowing some of those. Afro said Igbo, and Pamela said Yoruba, i didnt mind anything, as long as it was naija..lol..i'm serious ooo!

  14. @ Fresh and Fab - hey, so we found ourselves. Yes oh! we are so rare to find. And u get to meet some, they can't speak the tribe. I've had cousins living in Warri, close to home, who couldn't speak the language, then they come visit us in Lagos and learn to speak in our home.

    @ nneoma - thank u my sista. cherish that name girl. So also I cherish mine and wonder why any other person but me, has to be called Uzezi.

    @ Jaybabe - oh! I'm so blushing. Had I known it would be this loved, I would have written more

    U know here, apart from the three major languages of Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa, there are hudreds of tribes existing in Nigeria. So which one do u want to learn?
    Anyway, be persistent with Afrobabe and Pamela. They will come through for you.

  15. @ doll - allright dollbabe. just maybe I will adopt the name for my books when I start publishing.

  16. lol...at least the names have meanings...I dont even think most of ours do...

  17. Warri as a name,that was/is quite original,surely there must be an intriguing story why he was named warri.
    Nice post!

  18. men uzezi dear no vex say i never comment actually thought i did. anyways how are you doing?

    seem to have a lot of history running in your family. kinda getting me envious.men it is not easy to be a waffarian.

    my first visit to the great city was filled with a lot of memories most especially the neatness of the streets and all.

    warri has a lot of potential and i hope it gets the right leader to maximize it.

    have a lovely week

  19. Wow you must have a warring spirit in you.

    Thanks for stopping by mine

  20. @ Afrobabe - all native names have meanings afrobabe.

    @ classybabe - thanks.

    @ Sasuke - u r 4given. I'm great. I love history and don't be envious. U fit turn waffy. just go stay there for one month.
    warri was neat before? really? that is news. i thought it was a new thing?
    have a lovely week 2

    @ 30+ - yes so. ask anyone who knows me.

  21. lol...ok will need to ask my parents...

  22. princessimmaYou've got some story to tell ur kids dear.

    I dont know why but i kinda like 'Warri'. Not a bad name at all.

  23. madam wasup? u remind me of my cousin...she's uzezi too(lol)..

  24. Warri. Now thats one city I love.

    Uzi, the way you're going about this I may just pack my bags and head to Warri.

    Remind me to write my Warri story one of these days.

    BTW, I have asked everybody I know: Pray, what does Warri mean?

    (I hope you won't through all the Iwere-is-Okere-is-Ikere-is-Warri story too. Please)

  25. @ Afrobabe - yeap. u should, ur mom might give u an interpretation that will make a nice post. Make sure u blog it.

    @ princesa - abi? lucky me. How about naming one of ur kids warri? not a bad name really. if he or she asks why, say cos mummy is the prnicess of warri. lol.

    @ Onome - ur cousin? y am i not happy about that? I adore the name 'uzezi' so much, that no one else should bear it. if ur cousin is younger than me, i will collect homage for the name oh!

    @ N.I.M.M.O - really? I'm touched and surprised. U should head there. It got me thinking of vacating there often. the air is nice and clean. and u will never be sad. if u get sad, go outside and u will laugh. everyone there is a comedian. Ok on the warri story. I will have to ask my dad what warri really means.

  26. first of all, this your profile pic is serious!!!...na fierce pic...is it safe to assume it is you?...how old were you?...i love it!!!...you can see that warrior blood flows in those your veins:)...

    ...was tickled by this read, while secretly admiring [ok, ok...also envying] your knowledge of family history/significance of names...at best, i can tell folks that i am not igbo but bear an igbo name because my dad's people share boundaries with igbos and names cross the boundary, right?...pathetic, i know...when i visit calabar and my people again, they had better be ready as i will have a multitude of questions for them o!!!...

    ...did i already mention that i loved the way this was written?...people really underestimate the power and significance of name...

  27. @ guerreiranigeriana - now this is the comment that has really made me blush longest. can't remember how old I was there, but less than 2. and really I am a warrior oh!
    thanks for all the nice words. and do ask all the questions. every knowledge is valuable.

  28. first time here, & absolutely enthralled by ur story-telling abilities. ex-journalist bah? hmm, no wonder.

    i like ur sweet grandfather already. speaking enlgish in his old age. kai, wot they must have done to him 2 get him to speak that language dat he ddnt ever want to stop .... lol

  29. @ Florida of Free Spirit - thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the nice words. Don't no wonder at the ex-jouranlist stuff oh! I like to say that my writing ability took me into journalism.

  30. Nice story...I better start asking why am named my name...I just know that most names in my house tend to start with the prefix Ola.

  31. I love Nigerian names and their meanings. There's some dude in the senate who's father named him Ingineer. (That was loosely supposed to mean Engineer)

    @ for the love: What about Ekerentewo?

    I have read 2 out of the 3 books on your bookshelf. I loved reading The World According to Garp. It went on and on but was interesting.

    Meanwhile, I left you a comment on my blog.

  32. @ Ollay - ask oh. some parents just love all their kids names beginning with the same letters.

    @ In my head and around me - lol @ Ingineer. U loved Garp? try 'A Widow for One Year' and A Prayer for Owen Meaney'

    @ Ms. emmotions and doll - I have updated.

  33. lol! Ur great gradfather could disappear. Ur family history is rich.

  34. @ oluwadee - he could disappear just like that oh!

  35. Never been to warri before but i know i will someday soon...

    on a lighter note...ur great great grandfather, if he was alive today, could be charged with war crimes...

    Uzezi Warri sounds nice actually.

  36. @ ablacckjamesbond - Uzezi Warri right? Thank u.

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