Jollof Rice celebrated in style on World Jollof Day in Nigeria

Sequel to last year’s World Jollof day, premier guide to food and drink EatDrinkLagos, Kitchen Butterfly, teamed up to curate Jollof & Other Things – a food fair celebrating all types of Nigerian food, supporting Nigerian businesses, artists, and bringing together food lovers across Lagos this past weekend.

The Jollof Festival which took place on 19 August at the Muri Okunola park, in Lagos, Nigeria saw a crowd show up for the Maggi- and Budweiser-sponsored celebration of the West African dish which has been a bone of contention between Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria since time immemorial.

Several chefs and visitors took a stab at the popular jollof dish made in many homes with rice, spiced with tomato sauce and other ingredients. From nkwobi jollof and jollof arancini to abacha and ofada jollof, creativity was left to food lovers and chefs, leaving the imagination to wonder at how the Nigerian food—which previously mostly featured staples—is bound to evolve. Asides the main dish, appetizers, desserts, cocktails, sweets, and other refreshing food items were up for sale by dozens of vendors who surrounded the venue in stalls.

This year, however, was a let down compared to last year when entry tickets included tickets to free Jollof and Guinness stout and when both adults and kids could be seen playing games like table tennis and carpet Scrabble. Apart from the competitions which involved the battles of the best jollof dish, one in collaboration with Red Dish Chronicles Culinary School in which alumni and students were judged by a distinguished panel of Nigerian Chefs including Chef Imoteda of Heels in the Kitchenthere wasn’t much by way of interaction for a festival and hang-out of this size.

A documentary An Ode to Jollof: The Rice That Binds was also created in honour of the festival which Kitchen Butterfly says “celebrates the beauty, love, spice that is often on our plates.” Watch the festival in pictures below:

Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa
Barbequed meat and turkey to go. Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa
Chef Ozoz a.k.a Kitchen Butterfly. Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa
jollof day
Contestants put their creativity to the test. Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa
Guests having hot plates of Sunday afternoon jollof. Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa
A guest watches as the winner of the jollof competition is announced. Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa
The occasion required a full goat. Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa
We found our way to the stage. Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa
A Sunday, food, and music is all that’s needed for the perfect jollof day. Image: Adaku Nwakanma for TheNerve Africa

As people around the world celebrate Muslim festival Eid al-Adha today, jollof rice will be consumed in many homes. World Jollof Rice Day 2018 is 22 August.