Jollof Rice is hands down THE most popular West African rice dish for a number of reasons. It is a delicious tomato, bell pepper, onion and scotch bonnet based rice dish. It can be served with a number of equally delicous sides including chicken, fish, fried plantain. I think Jollof rice is always best washed down with a chilled bottle of supermalt.
West Africans will know well that the origins of jollof Rice is hotly debated, especially between Nigerians and Ghanaians.
Personally being of the Nigerian variety (Yoruba to be precise 😉) I think Nigerian Jollof is obviously the best. I’m sure
Jollof however is not an indigenous Nigerian name (at least not a Yoruba name) which would cause me to conclude it was not originally a Nigerian dish.
A little bit of research on the name Jollof reveals it is related to The Wolof people who are an ethnic group in Senegal, The Gambia, and Mauritania. The term Wolof also refers to the Wolof language and to their states, cultures, and traditions. Older French publications frequently employ the spelling “Ouolof“; up to the 19th century, the spellings “Volof” and “Olof” are also encountered. In English, Wollof and Woloff are found, particularly in reference to the Gambian Wolof. (The spelling “Wollof” is closer to the native pronunciation of the name.) The spelling Jolof is often used, but in particular reference to the Wolof empire and kingdom in central Senegal that existed from the 14th to the 19th centuries.
So Jollof rice does not indigenously belong to either Nigerians or Ghanaians but actually the Wolof people of Gambia or Senegal. We can conclude and agree that although Nigerians are not the originators of Jollof Rice, they are instrumental in the perfecting of the dish 😃.
Until next time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
I was recently watching a video on YouTube by Tunde Kelani (who by the way makes some of the best Yoruba movies I’ve watched). He was speaking to Olamide about his song titled “Bobo” (a pretty good song if you wondered).
In the interview, Olamide was talking about wanting to celebrate the Yoruba Culture and celebrate the language and this was why he only sung in Yoruba. I noticed that as he and Tunde Kelani continued conversating, he would mix English words along with Yoruba words.
That made me think about how diluted conversational Yoruba has become. Looking inwardly, I notice it can be personally difficult to continue a full conversation in Yoruba without the use of some English words.
Growing up within the Yoruba culture has helped me understand how deep of a language it is. Yoruba has become diluted to the point that I hear words I’ve never heard before that are for use in day to day conversation. I wonder if this is in anyway related to colonisation of Nigeria. If this is as a result of colonisation, other colony countries will have similar problems.That is another topic altogether.
Just my thoughts, what do you think?
Until next time
This post is dedicated the the beautiful cultural piece of the amazing Yoruba people named the gele.
The gele is rooted in Nigerian and Yoruba culture. Gele is a Yoruba word that means head tie and is known as “ichafu” in Igbo.
I originally thought the gele was a Yoruba phenomenon, but a little research actually showed the act of tying a headscarf in this way is a West African phenomenon although most prevalent and flamboyant in the Yoruba Land.
Geles can be achieved from a range of fabrics such as Aso Oke, Sego/Zego fabrics, Damask, Jubilee, Swiss, embroidered, Singele (net gele), French lace
An interesting piece I read about the gele is that in times past, your age determined the direction in which you tied your gele. A forward facing gele was meant for young people who had their futures in front of them. A sideward facing gele was meant for a woman in her prime of life. A backward facing gele was for the lady who had lived her life.
I’ve included above a link to a song that has become synonymous with the Yoruba gele. This post wouldn’t be complete without it!
Hope you enjoyed this piece
Until next time