– BY May Ubeku
THE Jollof feud on which country has the best Jollof Rice between Nigeria and Ghana has been on for years with most of the recent debates holding on social media.
The controversy actually began on Twitter in 2009 and since then, times without number; the debate is seen trending on Twitter. And the argument is mainly centered on which country invented jollof rice and what country’s jollof rice tastes better.
Jollof rice is tomatoe-sauced rice with tomatoes, tomatoes paste, oil and onions as the main ingredients. Depending on individuals, other ingredients such as green vegetables, garlic, and chilli pepper are added.
Jollof is a West African dish consumed throughout the 18 countries of the region with the rivalry in quality restricted to Nigeria and Ghana.
The intensity of the rivalry debate could be drawn from a 2015 scenario when two students, a Nigerian and a Ghanaian from the College of South West London went from arguing to fighting over whose country cooked jollof rice better.
Both students earned themselves an indefinite suspension for fighting, the BBC reported.
Musicians from Nigeria and Ghana are also not left out in the jollof war. From a Ghanaian, Deborah Vanessa, ‘Sister Derby’ came a hilarious video to spite the Nigerian way of cooking jollof last year. The video was released at the time Nigeria was going through her ‘tomato ebola’ crisis. The war is real.
CNN anchor of Quest Means Business, Richard Quest while on a recent visit to Lagos for CNN Business Traveler recording also got caught up in the web of ‘what country has the best jollof rice’.
Speaking with the CEO of Terra Kulture, Bolanle Austen-Peters on the controversy surrounding jollof rice, Quest was rattled by the enthusiasm displayed by Austen-Peters as she defended the Nigerian version of jollof rice as the best.
And as a Nigerian, I was proud to watch Austen-Peters.
Interviewing Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on his show, Quest threw the controversial jollof question at the Hon. Minister; ‘which country has the best jollof rice?, he asked.
To the amazement of Nigerians and perhaps Ghanaians, Mr. Mohammed said he thinks, Senegal has the best jollof rice. I bet Senegalese would be wondering how they came into this fierce contest of what country’s jollof rice taste better when it has always been between Nigerians and Ghanaians.
This is very unpatriotic, Mr Mohammed.
How did Senegal become an option?
Is Mr Mohammed aware that Nigerians on social media have been on this jollof war with Ghanaians for the eighth year counting?
Why should a Minister of Culture who is meant to preserve and promote the Nigerian culture choose Senegal over Nigeria? What was he thinking? Does Lai Mohammed think the culture – portfolio attached to his ministry begins and ends with just creating masquerades?
Is promoting the Nigerian style of cooking and serving jollof rice not a cultural way for his ministry to promote?
Why would a government who bore us with patronizing ‘made-in-Nigeria products tell the world on a global television show that Senegal does jollof rice better than Nigeria?
Why will a government that its ‘change begins with me’ initative that cost billions not show a sign of patrioticism in projecting the image of Nigeria abroad?
I still can’t fathom why Senegal became the best option for Lai Muhammad.
At this point, I would recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari that Lai Mohammed be redeployed to Senegal as the Nigerian Ambassador to Senegal where he can spend the next two years of his life eating the Senegal’s jollof rice that he has mistakenly confirmed to the best.