“Mammy water”, the popular Nigerian name for mermaids or marine spirits, is something that has become more or less a myth, and is rare to find especially in this modern age. However, they may really exist as popular Nigerian guitarist, Victor Uwaifo, is now recounting the story of when he met a marine spirit at Bar Beach. See the interview for yourself after the jump: This is an excerpt from the full interview Victor Uwaifo did with The Net.
Tell us about your encounter with the mammy water in Lagos
That was also true. I was the Head of the graphics department at that time. We used to close late and had to be on set to organize the back drop. Because of the traffic, I used to deliberately stay late and go to the bar beach to strum my guitar and get inspiration. That particular day, I stayed really late till everybody had gone. Not long after, I observed that each time the waves advance towards me, I would move back, but the farther I moved the closer it came. Suddenly, I observed a figure coming towards me and before I knew it the figure was right before me. I wanted to run away. I screamed, which I later transposed into strumming the guitar, which has become a trend nowadays. She just said, ‘if you see mammy water, never you run away’. I just thought the mermaid loved music, otherwise it would have harmed me.
What was the reception for the song after the incident?
It was an instant hit. It was after Joromi which gave Nigeria the first gold in Africa.
Would you say its success was a bit spiritual in nature?
I call it esoteric, a privileged knowledge not for everybody. From that time till today, I have been very privileged. I am a spiritual person, I have a chapel in my house. I am not only an artiste, I am an engineer. I have invented a sports car that I invented 20 years ago and I still drive it round in Benin. I have also invented guitars, I wanted a new octave on the normal guitar that would go as far as the ones that are found on a grand piano. I also invented a guitar that had a keyboard embedded in it and many more before the latest one that spins round faster than the speed of sound.