From #Jollofgate to #SuperJollof: crowdsourcing a jollof recipe that will let the ancestors rest

Friday, 31 October 2014 11:32

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Such was the intensity of west Africa's backlash against his actions, one could have been forgiven for thinking that top British chef, Jamie Oliver, had just unveiled himself as CEO of Boko Haram.

'What was his crime?' we hear you ask.

'Haven't you heard? What planet do you live on?' would be our reply.

Jamie Oliver had made the brave decision to turn his culinary attentions towards west Africa's most treasured dish - jollof. What he produced many deemed to be bad jollof at best, and an attempt by the West to recolonise Africa at worst. Whilst that debate rages on, what is certain is that it will take a brave (or publicity hungry) westerner who next dares to add ‘lots of European twists’ to a traditional west African dish! This was an Oliver twist even D'banj would have shaken his head at.

Take-the-surveyTake-the-surveyThe ensuing furore has made headlines worldwide from Australia to the UK. In the comment thread on his own website, and all across social media, orishas and the spirits of ancestors are being invoked to seek retribution for Jamie’s abomination of an adaptation. There was even talk of seeking justice through the courts. Inevitably, after a meeting of High-Ranking Jollof Industry Officials was convened, it was decided that the ‘-gate’ suffix and a hashtag should be applied to the scandal 'to give the matter the mark of seriousness it warrants', said one High-Ranking Jollof Industry Official who wished to remain anonymous. #Jollofgate was born.  

One particular gripe was Jamie’s omission of the Maggi cube in his ‘bastardised’ recipe. Let’s just hope Italians don’t find out how many of us douse Maggi sauce on lasagne!

Oh... just me? Okay. Moving swiftly on...

The recipe was posted in June, but wily Jamie had colluded with FIFA to arrange a major football tournament at that very same time, solely for the aim of distracting west Africans from his stealthy attempts to take over our heritage. On our part, the reaction was a slow burner (just like how some of us like the bottom of our jollof), but when reaction came, it came with force. Latest unsubstantiated reports from sources on the ground depict scenes of hundreds of aunties with pestles and pounding sticks descending on British High Commissions from Abidjan to Abuja, calling for Mr Oliver's extradition from the UK to face charges of cultural assissination.

But it has got us at Onliris thinking, what are the basic elements of jollof, and how do they vary based on where you come from?

Let’s find out! Tell us what goes in your jollof, and we’ll put together a #SuperJollof recipe, based on your feedback. Jamie can then eat that.

Complete the survey via this link!

Jollof photo courtesy of the supertalented Steven Adusei

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Last modified on Saturday, 17 January 2015 11:35

David Osei

Ghana United-Kingdom

Onliris guy | Audere est facere, ergo don't ask 'can I?'; ask 'I can!' | Mediaphile | Onliner | Sportaholic | Theatre > Cinema | GUBA | Ol' SOASian & Alleynian | Scorpio | Bachata-lovin' British Ghanaian