Sunday Delight: Of VP Yomi Osibanjo, Lai Mohammed And CNN Debate On Africa's King Of Jollof Rice

      *      Jollof rice! Does this most captivating delicacy needs any elaborate description ? A delightful meal and very popular in West Africa. It is subject that our special guest columnist, the astute  LOUIS ODION FNGE took up to explain and remind us who is the true king of jollof in Africa




Jollof rice: It must be a wicked world indeed. Assailed over the time by enemies of progress (who would corrupt even his name "Lai" to mean "Lie"), the feisty Information minister must have seen in the simple question by CNN's Richard Quest as to who makes the best jollof rice a once-a-life-time opportunity to show how brutally forthright he could be. Without hesitation or batting an eyelid while fielding question on the global channel last week, the like-able Lai Mohammed retorted that "They make the best jollof rice in Senagal".
Thinking it was a slip of tongue, Quest restated the question: "Who makes the best jollof rice in Africa?"

Mohammed, resplendent in flowing Agbada, repeated with the jerk of head in confidence: "They make the best jollof rice in Senegal that I know."

Thereafter, all hell literally let loose in the social media (the boundless hideout of those he laments have been making his job difficult). As if to say, "Even on the origin of jollof rice, he Lie(d) again."


It took Vice President Yemi  Osinbajo's counter affirmation at a public event in Lagos, jovially rendered with professorial flourish, to underline what seems the indiscretion in Mohammed's verbiage.

While engaging his audience (drawn largely from the Christian community) in opening banters in a manner that would make even the most accomplished stand-up comedian green with envy, the VP declared that "Nigeria makes the best jollof rice."

By now, Mohammed should have realized how odd it sounded for a chief spokesman who doubles as Culture Minister of the supposed"Giant of Africa" to willfully   "donate" the glory of being the best jollof rice cook to a much smaller country in the west coast. As they say, only a non-circumspect mother skips her own girl and decorates the waist of another person's daughter with the prize beads.

So, jollof rice should no longer be viewed as an ordinary delicacy in postcolonial Africa. It is now the first test in patriotism. 

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