November 27, 2022

American multinational technology company, Google is celebrating Jollof rice by dedicating their homepage to the dish on Friday.

Jollof rice is a popular and one of the favourite dishes among the West Africans, typically made with long-grain rice, tomatoes, onions, spices, vegetables and meat in a single pot although its ingredients and preparation methods vary across different regions.

Despite not being ‘World Jollof Day’ Google employed the creative service of Haneefah Adam, a content creator and visual artist to create an amazing doodle of Jollof rice.

The stop-motion animation video displays a side-by-step guide on how to prepare Jollof rice and it’s no surprise Senegalese jazz artist, Hervé Samb’s music was chosen as the background song of the video seeing the origin of Jollof can be traced to Senegal.

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The dish has its roots in a traditional dish called thieboudienne, containing rice, fish, shellfish and vegetables.

Remarking on the dish, the visual artist Adam stated: “This is a celebration of culture; not just my culture, but of everyone who recognises food as a conduit.

“The diversity of how we approach food is really interesting; like how the preparation of Jollof is different in Nigeria vs. Senegal (they even have different names).

“This just goes to show the richness and beauty of our collective culture as a continent.”

The origins of Jollof rice can be traced to the Senegambian region that was ruled by the Wolof or Jolof Empire in the 14th century, spanning parts of today’s Senegal, the Gambia and Mauritania, where rice was grown.

Each West African country has at least one variant form of the dish, with Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Cameroon particularly competitive as to which country makes the best Jollof. This is especially prominent between Nigeria and Ghana, in a rivalry dubbed the ‘Jollof Wars’.

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