Tag: Adetoun_Dosunmu


Ghanaian Culture: Lets Get Gari Next To Curry…

Thanks to a certain someone and boredom I have really gotten into
watching TV! A couple of months ago I would only watch football and X Factor when its in season, but now I do marathon sessions of HollyoaksEastenders, T4OTB and all sorts and its getting pretty worrying. I had to mentally restrain myself from getting into the whole The Only Way Is Essex hype! I’m like a proper telly person now, it has very much become a big part of my daily routine.

Come-Dine-With-Me-Dinner-Party-Perfection

I consciously make time in the day to watch quite a number of programs these days, and I make full use of Catch Up TV on the weekends when I miss any of these programs during the week. One program I never miss is Come Dine With Me!. Love Dave Lamb‘s hilarious voice-over commentary – legendary!. I can do series of it all day and would not be bored and if I miss a few minutes of it, I will be flipping through from Channel 4 +1 through to E4, E4+1 and More 4 to catch up.

My love for this particular program however has nothing to do with my love for food. I am not very hard to impress when it comes to food. I would probably be scoring everyone a big fat 9 if I ever went on Come Dine With Me! But that is not to say I do not appreciate good food. I do but I do not take much delight in eating, if that makes sense. And thinking about it, I cannot figure out why I like this program so much. It must be Dave Lamb and just watching people getting pissed up whiles they cook.

Anyway, I have seen food from a wide variety of origin cooked on this program – Italian, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Greek, Thai and the list goes on and on. Dishes from every continent, well almost, and I’m yet to see any Ghanaian or even an African dish cooked on there. Well there is a £1000 at stake so I do not expect hosts to be experimenting with something they know nothing about.

So why has no Ghanaian or African dish made it into the class of well known cuisines around the world?


Gari_Waakye_Jellof_Rice_Chicken

Why and how has Indian, Italian and Chinese dishes become so popular. I do not have to go to India to order a good curry or go to Mexico to get some good nachos. I can go to any well meaning restaurant and order pizzas, curry, chicken chow mein, nachos and gyros.  But I cannot say the same for any Ghanaian/African dish. I struggle to find any Ghanaian/African cuisine that can rival any of these dishes I have mentioned in popularity. Gari, waakyejollof, injera, xalwo. Yeah all of these sound very very unfamiliar but these African cuisines have all it takes to make it into any western restaurant.

So why do these cuisines remain unknown everywhere else other that their places of origin? This I have put down to a couple of reasons. Many African cuisines may be a bit too spicy for foreign tongues. Again we do not serve our food in a three course meal standard, we do not do starters and desserts. We have just one big meal on a plate end of! Another thing is serving dishes with all the bones still on the meat and fish.

Levi-Roots-Reggae_Reggae_Sauce

On the first point, Levi Roots has clearly proven otherwise. His
Reggae Reggae sauce has been a hit and made it into unlikely places like JD Wetherspoon, Slug and Lettuce and Dominoes! But for all these problems there is a one word solution – ADAPTATION!

We do not have to change the way we cook our dishes in our homes but to make it to the world scene we definitely need to adapt it to the world taste. That is the secret of all of these foreign cuisines that have attained world wide popularity. These foods are tweaked to suit the local taste, wherever its been served. I have eaten curry from a typical Indian home and it tastes well different from the ones we buy from the restaurants. If only we can start tweaking our dishes here and there then our local cuisines can become attractive to many foreigners like all of the other popular cuisines.

So let the African chefs get to work. Lets get the gari next to the curry!

By Maclean Arthur

Is GHANA The New Napa…?

I was sat with my mates a couple of days ago planning how to spend the summer leave. We all agreed we had to go off on a really mad and crazy one somewhere. The kind your only recollection of is nowhere to be found in your head but on a memory card inside your camera, Hang Over 2 style! Well without the lady boy bit but definitely with the monkey and the monk! That we all agreed on but we could not quite agree on where to go.

Many suggestions have been thrown up: Magaluf, Tenerife, Ayia  Napa, Zante,Thailand and someone even suggested India and Egypt! Egypt?

Do you not listen to the news?

So I half-jokingly tossed Ghana into the mix, but everyone laughed it off.

That really got me thinking, how is it that Ghana is never viewed as a holiday destination?

To be honest I do not think India has much to offer in terms of holidaying as compared to Ghana. Ghana has it all- great natural attractions, great party people, great night life! So I have been chewing over this for sometime now and this is what I think.

Ghanaians_on_holiday
First thing is that Ghana has never been advertised as a holiday destination- neither by the surprisingly many travel & tour operators in Ghana nor the government. Contrary to the believe of many Ghanaians, our beloved country is not as well known, especially amongst ordinary party loving holiday makers around the world.

The only time Ghana comes up in conversation is when we talk about football – big up the Black Stars!, either than that Ghana is viewed as just another war-torn African nation with militia roaming the street with machetes, mud houses, no running water, no electricity, no internet and so no facebook! no proper roads and everyone drives old bangers, starving children with flies flying in and out of their mouths at will because they are too weak to beat them off- well basically they see Ghana as just another hellhole!

Ghana_Boat_Trip

The other time Ghana has been advertised as a sort of holiday destination, it has mainly been targeted at black Americans and conscious Caribbean’s wishing to trace their ancestry.

But Ghana is in a large part not like this. We have enough beautiful beaches, banging night clubs and indeed enough alcohol to match Magaluf, Tenerife or Napa! Our big problem in attracting holiday makers is an image one.

What will make people still want to go Egypt in spite of the recent political upheaval instead of Ghana which has always been absolutely peaceful?


Image! Mention Egypt and the first thing that comes to mind is the Pyramids! Egypt has through the years been associated with this splendid bit of edifice and everything great and beautiful so a couple of months worth of bad press about political instability does not do much to change the image ordinary people have of that country. Positive image branding is everything.

Volat_Region_Ghana

Ghana may not be a developed country but we surely are developing and we definitely have enough selling points to get us a place amongst the rankings of holiday hotspots! Thailand is not much different from Ghana in terms of social and economic infrastructure but it still attracts thousands of holiday makers.

We may not have lady boys but we surely have our own strong points to use to our advantage. And Prague is another great example. It’s a really amazing party town, attracting people from all over the world, I even met a Kazakhstani in a club in Prague! It was not Borat by the way if you were wondering. That is how good it is but its not a massively great city! It’s got dodgy roads, road signs hanging off and terrible terrible chicken donner kebab! In spite of all of this, it’s a really good party town.

So that’s it. Get the image right and people will come along and they will pass the good message on to others and we will get a ripple effect thing going. Whiles working on the image thing we may want to take a look at the flight fares. The cost of flight fares to Ghana is just as much as the cost of a week long all inclusive holiday to most of the hotspots in Spain.

So yeah lets work on the image first and then when demand for tickets to Ghana rises prices should move in the opposite direction. Hmm I sound like my former Economics lecturer now. But yeah let’s all do our bit to recreate a positive image for our beloved Ghana. Let’s spread the good news about GH! Big up to Sway he reps GH all day any day.

By Maclean Arthur