Tuesday, 21 November 2017

A Rainy Sunday Morning in Warri.

The day started with the cold morning mist, and I am sure that early church goers especially those for 6:30AM mass, will have to find an alternative to navigate to church. It’s one of those days that you may not need weather forecast to know the sun will soon shine, but that’s not always the case in Warri.
Keke drivers in the oil city of Warri, can be funny and when it rains, they are terrible and always full of pride because there are more passengers who wants to escape from the rain.

I had planned visiting a specific church for content for my new series, and immediately after my responsibility at my church, I sneaked out of the auditorium, and was greeted with claps of thunder. I stood waiting for a Keke. I flagged down the first, but it already had three passenger and the driver was already adjusting himself to make room for me to seat beside him, “Oga, nor vex, I nor dey seat dan for front”

The driver a young man in his late twenties, drove away without a word, and so came the second, third, fourth and the fifth, with the regular expectation that i seat in front seat with the driver.

I was getting worried, the fear of being trapped by the rain in one corner, not being able to fellowship and observe at my target church and not being able to attend mine.

Then the sixth, stopped by and comically i asked "Oga you go carray 4 twenty-five naira since,  na half yanch i go take siddon?"

He laughed and said "Bros, enta na, rain dey come, na sumall money for you"

"Egbon, if you nor gree, nor worry"

The driver gave a loud hiss and said, "rain go beat you for here" then zoomed off.

Then the seventh Keke slowed down in front of me, a tall bulky man in his early sixties, he was already carrying five persons inside his Keke, A young lad, two women with one of the lady carrying a young girl including himself, the keke was beyond capacity, yet he slowed down and stopped for me.

"Oga, nor vex, i nor dey enta front" the man looked at me with a condescending look and said

"Shakara, mtcheeeew, na dem nor get one naira for pocket"

Then the lady behind carrying a young girl, said "Bros, abeg enta"

"Leave am" the Keke Man said yeye man, make me dey waste my time"

I stood there, waiting and wondering this is a Man, I am sure, will be in the same bracket with my late Dad and a woman, a little younger than my Mum, The Man with no remorse that what he's doing is wrong and the lady from a genuine heart encouraging what's wrong.

It's ironic that this not just a Warri challenge, but Nigeria, demanding for what's right is you doing shakara (pose). It's sad that a mother will encourage what's wrong and it's more terrible that a good percentage of youths can't stand up to protect the future that they will someday be in charge.

I stood there lost in thoughts, when another Keke, stopped and asked, "Bros you nor dey go?"

I looked, just one passenger inside, jumped in and it started to rain, but the keke had cover. "Oga, you nor get cover?" The Mama seating beside me asked "Abeg, nor vex we go soon reach estate"

The long and short is we could not get to our bus stop, the rain got worse and I asked the driver stop to find a shelter from the rain. The driver obeyed and rode into a shop, we alighted already wet.

The challenges in the oil city of Warri goes beyond taking civil responsibility, doing things right, we also have to deliver quality services. I wonder why the Keke driver had no cover for his ride.

There's no short cut to excellence and the benefits of excellence cannot be overemphasized. The driver would have continued with his business and making money if he had cover for his keke, and I wouldn't have reduced is money, because i didn't continue with the journey. Excellence and quality service is needed if we must build a new city, a new image and a newwarri.

There's hope, in the words of Photographer and musician TY Bello, The land is green and I can see it. Just yesterday I saw and spoke with a Keke man same age with the one who called me names that he doesn't carry in his front seat because it's wrong and not right, and like The Wrist-Watch Specialist in Warri, I know there are people concerned in delivering excellence in their service.

The task is huge, but there's hope and we can win it, have a great weekend.

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