This is a battle that has been ongoing for a while now. Nigerians believe they are the grandmasters of jollof while Ghanaians believe that Nigerian jollof is whack and that theirs is better. If you have been on social media for some time now, you would realize this battle began a long time ago and is still going on.
Three days after I got to Nigeria, I went to register for my MDCN exam (which would enable me practice in Nigeria). Just as I handed my forms over to the gentleman who registered me, he asked me “so Nigerian jollof and Ghana jollof, which one is better?” OMG…I burst out in laughter, I honestly couldn’t control it. I kept asking myself why should that even be an issue right now. That was not the first time I had been asked that question but it was the first time I was asked in Nigeria.
Having spent 8 good years in Ghana, one would think this is a difficult question to answer but it actually isn’t. There is a big difference between the two.
When I first got to Ghana I remember clearly that I used to bring my rice from Nigeria. This went on for some time mainly due to 2 reasons:
- I was not yet used to Ghanaian rice
- Did not yet know how to cook it.
I remember the first time I cooked Ghanaian jollof, this was in 2008, looooool I’m laughing now, but it wasn’t funny then. The summary is that I wasted my time and money that day. The rice was as soggy as ‘something’ hahahahahaha I didn’t know that Ghanaian rice required less water and cooked faster than Nigerian rice, so I poured in truck loads of water into my cooking pot and left the food on fire to go watch a movie in my room, by the time I went back to check on the food, the damage had been done and could not be reversed by any means possible. I learnt my lesson that day.
Just recently, my mum and little sister came to Ghana for my graduation/induction ceremony. I got them jollof rice, which I thought they would finish and ask for more. But to my surprise, they couldn’t eat it. My mum said it was tasteless and my little sister, well, you don’t wanna know what she said.
My Nigerian friends who were in Ghana also preferred Nigerian jollof. Matter of fact, one particular one always went to the market to buy Nigerian rice to cook. I didn’t even know Nigerian rice was sold in the market till I asked her where she gets her rice from.
You may think from all that you have read so far that I prefer Nigerian rice, but that’s not the case. I have been in Nigeria for about 3 weeks now and I haven’t eaten Nigerian rice. WHY you ask, I just don’t think I’ll like it. It doesn’t even look appealing to me. Honestly, when I think of Nigerian jollof, what comes to mind is soggy rice with a bit of colour.
So back to the jollof story I was telling earlier, I replied the man by saying that I prefer Ghana jollof to Nigerian jollof and he exclaimed so loudly that I thought something was wrong. He didn’t understand why I preferred Ghanaian jollof. The ironic part of the story is that he has never eaten Ghanaian jollof before but he just assumes that Nigerian jollof is better. He told me he has been asking those that came back from Ghana this particular question and I was the first person to tell him Ghanaian jollof was better. What can I say, “I am unique”. 😎
The point I’m trying to make is this…I think ones choice is a matter of personal preference and what you are used to. I don’t think it really has anything to do with the rice itself. Some people say Nigerian/Ghanaian jollof is better just because people around them are saying it and others because they want to identify with their country. The rest of us do so because we have tasted the two. I don’t go about telling people which I prefer or starting a conversation about jollof rice, but since I got back, quite a number of people have asked me. Well, here it is…my 2 cents 😋
Enjoy the rest of the week(end). Let me know which one you prefer…Nigerian jollof or Ghanaian jollof.