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The jollof rice debate and the $5,000 prize money

ACTING President Yemi Osinbajo  and the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, might not have known that their statements on which country produces the best jollof rice in West Africa will generate a  debate that has dominated the traditional and social media space.

As the argument rages, Brand Television Network, BTV, has decided to join the fray as it launched the African Jollof Rice Challenge last Friday in Lagos.

According to Felix King, an Executive Producer of BTV, African Jollof Rice Challenge is a continental lifestyle and entertainment  taste, tour and 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 $5000 Grand Prize money.

King said there is no official position yet on which country has the best jollof rice in Africa as none of the perspectives has proved convincing, despite Nigeria’s strong claims to the African cuisine, saying that the different viewpoints on the streets have only generated more controversies and  continuous placement of different points to back up individual claims. A healthy competition, according to him, will be more of celebration of Africa creations.

Ororo Pattaya Otono, another BTV Executive Producer, said the challenge will 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 programme would come to a flourishing end at the reward night that will be used to mark the World Jollof Rice Day on Tuesday, August 22 where the winner of the best jollof rice in Africa will be rewarded with $5,000.

Ororo said though jollof rice was born with controversy about its  true origin, the best ingredients for cooking it and where the name itself was discovered. It remans a strong unifying factor in Africa, hence the contest is holding under the theme: One Africa, One Jollof Rice, Different Recipes.

Fielding questions from journalists on whether the contest will not generate unhealthy competition among Africans, Ororo assured that rather than generating unhealthy relationship, the African Jollof Rice Challenge will serve as a veritable platform to promote tourism, cultural exchange among African countries and overall economic growth.

King describes the Grand Finale as a celebration of different African music, where African rhythm meets African Jollof Rice. The conversation continues on  www.btvng.com.


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