BTV celebrates Africa’s cuisines with jollof rice challenge
The African continent will yet again celebrate and showcase its rich cultural similarities to the world in a new food reality show, African Jollof Rice Challenge. It will be produced by Brand Television Network (BTV), a lifestyle and entertainment television network.
According to Executive Producer of BTV, Mr. Felix King, the argument on which country has the best jollof rice in Nigeria inspired social network and street conversations across Africa, especially among West African countries, where jollof rice is most popular. The argument, he said, has grown into a continental debate, which has dominated both conventional and social media spaces.
“This debate sprang up from a statement by Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed, who said, ‘Senegalese jollof rice is the best,’ with accompanying counter-claim by Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who asserted, “We all know that Nigerian jollof rice is the best anywhere. We beat the Ghanaians and Senegalese hands down.”
Whatever the arguments, jollof rice is one of the most common dishes in West Africa, consumed throughout the region, including Senegal, Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Togo, Cameroon, Mali, and Ghana. These countries’ representatives would battle for the first spot as well as the prize money. For the organisers, African Jollof Rice Challenge is more of an entertainment platform than a contest. It’s the positive and healthy exploration of the beauty of African entertainment that makes Africa one big continent. King described the grand finale as a celebration of different African music, where African rhythm meets African jollof rice.
Organisers said African Jollof Rice Challenge is a continental lifestyle and entertainment taste tour, a cooking contest that seeks to discover the country that has the best jollof rice in Africa in a contest, where representatives of different African countries will slug it out and aim at the $5,000 grand prize money.
Ororo Pattaya Otono of BTV said the challenge would start with an online recipe contest, where the best contestants will be selected for the live screening and then the grand finale. He added that the reward night would mark the World Jollof Rice Day on Tuesday, August 22. According to him, the award night would also feature African music where ‘African rhythm meets African jollof rice’ to celebrate Africa’s culinary creations.
He said jollof rice is a strong, unifying factor in Africa, adding, “Despite our differences, we have one major similarity -jollof rice. Hence the theme: One Africa, One Jollof Rice, and different recipes. Beyond entertainment and food values, African Jollof Rice Challenge will serve as a veritable platform to promote tourism, cultural exchange among African countries and overall economic growth.”
Otono pointed that the judges would decide in a blind, tasting process.