Article by OYEKA NOBLE
Alexandria, Petersburg, kaiser, tsar, Nnewi! If one is asked to pick the odd one out, Nnewi sticks out like a sore thumb,it doesn’t have the international pedigree of the others listed above.What is it even? A city? A title? But that is not the point?
It is a city by the way.The point is that they are cities and titles named in honour of great leaders, all except Nnewi which is named after…you will never ever guess this. ..a specie of rat closely resembling the Australian giant white tailed rat. Don’t u dare laugh! That’s right, don’t even chuckle or the gods will strike u down where you stand, this is serious stuff. All the aforementioned names were inspired by narcissism, megalomania etc, Nnewi is inspired by gratitude to the great “ewi”.As the story goes, the early settlers facing the threat of attack had enlisted the services of a great wizard who cast a charm of protection over the land causing the invaders to only see the footprints of the ewi and nothing else.The invaders retreated seeing there were no people there and thus the town was saved. In an act of gratitude, the ewi was declared sacred and untouchable on pain of death.
15th century a.d, a new Kingdom was born, it’s name nnewi which transliterates to “Rat’s mom” and who says gratitude doesn’t pay dividends, the city has produced the most notable people per square kilometres in Nigeria and continues to do so till this day.The city with the most billionaires in the country as well as its first ever billionaire, so swallow your pride and say thank you to any ewi that crosses your path today and who knows, you too might become great.
The kaiser is no more, the tsardom has been abolished, Alexandria is only spoken about in historical nostalgia, guess who is still powering through in an upward trajectory, Nnewi!