Jollof is a West African rice dish. In the 1300s, rice farming thrived in the ancient Wolof Empire (Present day Senegal). They created a delicious meal called jollof using rice, fish, shellfish, and vegetables.
Eventually, the Wolof Empire fell. As a result, the people moved and settled in different parts of West Africa. Consequently, they carried their recipe along with them.
Jollof is now served at many events such as birthday parties, weddings, and other special occasions.
Ghana and Nigeria are both important on the African continent.
In Ghana’s case, it was one of the first countries to gain independence. Furthermore, Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, supported a lot of other countries to gain independence. Therefore, Ghana possesses immense soft power.
In Nigeria’s case, it is the most populated country in Africa. It also has the largest economy on the continent.
One can compare Ghana and Nigeria to an old married couple’s relationship; they argue a lot but still love. The rivalry between the two countries is fierce and well-documented where possible.
The jollof wars is one of such rivalries.
Most people will readily defend their nations honor by declaring their jollof as the best. They will swear by it and promise you that it is the best thing they have ever tasted. However, most of these people have not eaten jollof from the other country.
People fight the jollof wars based on their subjective opinion about the matter. A hundred interview will likely yield a hundred opinion on why their jollof is better. Every victory is pyrrhic in this endless war.
Values versus Culture
Growing up, we learned important values like love for self, family, gender, religion, and many more. These are all good virtues to aspire to. However, people misapply these values sometimes. For example, in the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Who would you describe as a patriotic citizen of Russia? One who supports the war? Or, one who is against it?
In the African setting, most people do not speak up against their groups due to culture. It is disrespectful to call someone out for misbehaving in your group. If a family member engages in criminal act, we will cover it up. If our religious leader speaks about something they do not know well, we scream “touch not my anointed”. One way or another, we all do this to an extent.
Notwithstanding, groups, teams or societies when used rightly are a great force for good. The more people who are working together with complimentary efforts, the better. An individual, no matter his capabilities, cannot achieve as much as a group, except in the case of an anomaly. Dangote would not have gone as far if he relied on his individual effort.
It is based on this idea that LBS assigns all program participants into groups. Being part of a great team can multiply your efforts.
In the next blog, I will attempt to explain how LBS sets up groups. I will also look at the benefits of the system, and the development of some groups.