For someone who built his first guitar at the age of 12 and later went on to be awarded Africa’s first gold disc in 1969, Sir. Victor Uwaifo is one talented being that has carved a niche for himself in the history of African music.
A musician, poet, philosopher, sculptor, painter, ambassador, and one-time Commissioner for Culture, the ‘Joromi’ crooner is one who strongly believes in the existence of mermaids; ‘Mammy-Water’ in local parlance.
During an interview with a popular television station a few months back, Uwaifo recounted how he had visited the beach in Lagos one evening in 1966 after close of work just to seek inspiration. He said as it got darker, he noticed that the waves became restless. Each time he attempted to move backwards; the waves would advance in his direction. 
As he wondered what was happening, he saw a glittering figure at a distance. A silverish and shining figure. Like a dream, a mermaid (mammy-water) appeared right in front of him. 
As he attempted to run away, the mermaid looked at him and said, ‘if you see mammy water, never you run away’. That encounter with the mermaid inspired ‘Mammy Water’, a song that became an instant hit in 1966. 55 years down the line, lovers of highlife music across the world are still rocking to that song.
Just as I was minding my business and ‘pressing phone’ on Monday 23rd June 2021, I came across a forwarded message tagged: ‘PRESS RELEASE’ in one of the WhatsApp group that I belong to.
Titled; MYSTERIOUS BEAST KILLED BY TROOPS OF OPERATION WHIRL STROKE IN BENUE STATE, the press release which was supposedly signed by one AY MAIGIDA claimed that a mysterious beast with the head of a canine and the body of a human was killed during a ferocious encounter with the troops of Operation Whirlstoke in Benue State.
Unlike Sir Victor Uwaifo who attempted to run away from the Mammy-Water, the report claimed that the gallant soldiers ran after the beast and neutralized it with ‘precision firepower,’ but not after it had unfortunately ‘maimed’ 4 villagers. There was also a short video attached to the report.
What kind of news is this again, I asked myself?
Just when we are battling to overcome the security challenges posed by killer herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers and ‘ungun known men,’ aliens have now decided to add themselves to the list.
Who did we offend in this country? 
Luckily, I did not have to worry for long when the Nigeria Army debunked the news. They said the video that had since gone viral was fake. They also said nobody killed any beast. In fact, the attached video was a clip from a Portuguese movie.
Can you imagine?
I think whoever came up with that prank should be imprisoned for 600 years. How can such fake news go viral within such a short period?
Please, if you are fond of circulating that kind of news about aliens and beasts, or fake news in its entirety, please remove me from your list of recipients. I do not have power, abeg.
In all of this, I am glad there was no WhatsApp when Sir Victor Uwaifo had the encounter with mammy-water, else, whatever inspiration he would have gotten to write his hit song would have disappeared even before he steps his foot in the studio.

Written by John Olugbemi.

By floramichaels

Hi, I am Flora Ngo-Martins. I love writing and I am passionate about fashion, stories, news and food. Sometimes I get a little bit serious but that's alright, I can also be mischievous. I also like to analyse stuffs people do and sometimes judge.*wink* Most of all, I love to influence the lives of people positively and tell people's stories from a totally different perspective. Feel free to contact me if you have any suggestions or....

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