At the age of eight, that’s many years ago, I was enrolled in Nazareth Nursery and Primary School, in Ijesha, Lagos state. I have to say it was a perfectly fine school with dedicated teachers and a generally enlightened outlook but with magnificent eateries in it.
The activities of the day would normally flow around sports and mental work produced by teachers. Break-time was when we ate, between 1pm and 1:30pm. Normally, the ritual involved getting a hot steam of jollof from Iya Ghana. The result was, as I remembered, excessive strolls to the toilets then followed by complaints about “her rice”.
Breaktime became hell. Teachers protested and rightly argued that you don’t allow Ghanaians cook jollof. They add too much ingredients thereby making it dangerous to eat(even till today, that’s still the case). However, when Iya Segun started cooking, things changed.
It was rumoured around Ijesha then that we should leave kenkey and fish for Ghanaians as that’s their specialty and jollof for Nigerians(especially Yorubas) as that’s their expertise.
As we began to eat Iya Segun’s jollof, a number of things started to happen in quick succession. First, we noticed love for the craft. Her jollof had a bliss of Blue Band and tomato puree marriage in her gigantic pot. In addition, we found out that the bottom of the pot harboured treasures.
Luckily, or perhaps not, the Togolese spotted the situation and strode purposely over to start making their own brand of the jollof rice called Agidi-jellof. It was a type of mashed rice for people with no teeth. It didn’t match the Nigerian standard.
I don’t know why my Ghanian brothers and sisters now think they can claim to have the best type of jollof rice. it’s impossible to claim that. From my experience from boyhood to adulthood, after eating Ghanaian jollof in different restaurants and private events the case has not changed. It’s always overspiced.
So this #jollofwars makes no sense. I blame Mark Zuckerberg for starting this wahala.
Also, can Ghanaians be quiet when jollof is mentioned?
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