This is a collated conversation between some editors at The Village Square, compiled by Osemome Ndebbio
Okay, so we were on our own jeje, oh! When Ngum restarted this war that Nigerians have already won.
Jollof Rice Wars again? Haba! Is it until we go to the International Court in The Hague before you aspiring-jollof rice cooks from non-Nigerian countries let us rest?
Anyway, we have settled this Jollof matter once and for all at THE VILLAGE SQUARE.
Read the verdict:
NGUM: By the way Noma, yes oh! Koko was telling me how you guys know the same people.
About time you tasted some Cameroonian Jollof. You will forget these Nigerians!
Kai! Ngum even added four emoticons. The ones that laugh with tears in their eyes.
OBINNA: Hahahahaha. Okay. You know I am coming with Noma to London.
NGUM: Obinna, I beg come to London! You’ve been to Cameroon. Oya testify about our food!
Ngum laughed again. At us!
OSE: Which food do Cameroonians have sef?
Okay, I jumped into the matter with just one eye open. I didn’t even open both eyes for Ngum at first oh! I thought she was joking but the worst was yet to come.
NGUM: Ask your brother now!
You are talking because you have tomatoes, Ose.
Kai! Ngum laughed again with those emoticons before deigning to respond. OSE: We also have Afang Soup.
You see? I honestly didn’t intend to rehash the Jollof War.
NGUM: Ose, we make Afang too oh! We call it Eru
OK! Nigerians, truly, how does any Non-Nigerian get to say they make Afang Soup? I think we truly need to demarcate more than land boundaries with Cameroon. They don’t get to say they have anything similar to Afang Soup. Jollof Rice is out of the question so I wasn’t even going to go there.
OBINNA: I ate Eru in Cameroon. I ate Ndole too. Your food isn’t good but I like that you have plenty foods on your menu. More than Nigerians. In every restaurant in Cameroon you are provided with a list of close to twenty dishes at a time. It doesn’t happen in Nigeria. And you Cameroonians do not know how to make good stew, Jollof, etc.
NGUM: See how Obinna is lying now!
By this time, Ngum is still laughing but her emoticons reduced from four to three.
OBINNA: Some of your soup is marvelous though.
NGUM: I don’t gerrit that your Jollof doesn’t have vegetables.
OSE: Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! No way! Isssssit vegetable rice? Ngum, please change the name from Jollof to Vegelof rice.
Strike three! Okay, at this point I couldn’t take it anymore.
Obinna donated laughs. Ngum laughed too. Obinna was even kind enough to steer the debate clear of Jollof rice.
OBINNA: Thank you, Ose. See Ngum, your stew is white in colour. It tastes good but not as
good as Nigerian Stew. I also like that in Cameroon, if you demand for fish, you get the whole fish on your plate – head to tail.
NGUM: The only thing wey I go take hat off to una for, na Egusi Soup.
OBINNA; Egusi, Ogbono, Vegetable, plenty!
NGUM: We don’t really eat Ogbono.
OBINNA: See, in Southern Cameroon, like Tiko and Limbe where you have Igbos running
restaurants, you find good food. Seriously.
NGUM: No be we teach Igbo Folk?
Man! That is just sacrilegious. Fortunately, the Ndigbo who can sanction Ngum for such a profanity are on Facebook. We didn’t dignify that fallacy with a response.
OSE: Please what is White Stew?
NGUM: What is White Stew! Really Ose? See! We lost brothers and sisters. I blame British Colonialism!You guys don’t put Njangsa (spice) in pepper soup. Worrisdat? Lol.
Okay Ngum, it’s not popular if Nigerians don’t know it. Okay?
OSE: Ngum, visit Delta State. Urhobos put it. But I honestly don’t know White Stew.
OBINNA: They cook stew that looks whitish in colour in Cameroon with plenty Croaker Fish.
NGUM: Calabar people eat similarly to us. In fact, na Ekpang I dey cook now. I think I can be happy in Calabar.
OBINNA: I salute you guys on that. If you eat Pepper Soup in Cameroon, you will sleep off. It’s so beautiful and nice. They add spicy herbs.
OSE: Obinna, are you a sellout? Have you eaten Delta Pepper Soup?
OBINNA: I am being truthful. We stepped out of our hotel room in Yaounde to a nearby restaurant. I ate Cow Leg Pepper Soup and I couldn’t walk back to the hotel. I nearly slept off.
AMARA: Hey guys, thanks for holding fort Ose. Did I see vegetables in Jollof? What’s that?
Ah! This mata is about to be resettled once and for all.
OSE: Yesssss, Amara, don’t forgive her!
AMARA: Jellof rice should be basic.
NGUM: I beg, una hear this Amara! Na so una take naked Jollof.
AMARA: Just let your tomatoes do the talking.
OSE: Yes! That’s the only way to go. Also with firewood scent and local pot dryness.
Verdict: Jollof Rice rules. There is no such thing as Nigerian Jollof Rice. Jollof Rice is synonymous with Nigeria. Non-Nigerians, change the name of your rice or face patent theft and copyright law sanctions.
Osemome Ndebbio is The Village Square’s Managing Editor for Creative Nonfiction.