Tuesday, December 10, 2019 3:44 pm
“With smart foods being an integral part of our budding e-commerce platforms, now the largest producer of rice in Africa, our food styles and swaggz and of course the population, we have the necessary element to make Jollof a Nigeria’s brand collateral by becoming an undisputable authority in it. The benefits are immeasurable, in tourism, rice value chain, innovation, even job creation.”
These were the world of Taiwo Oluboyede, the Project Director of #IAMBRANDNIGERIA during a public announcement and presentation of the design of the 4.5 meter diameter pot that will cook 6 tons of Jollof rice with which they are setting a Guinness World record for the largest serve of Jollof Rice and also feeding over 10,000 children here in Lagos.
According to him, this has been described as one of the largest humanitarian endeavour in Nigeria, touching that quantity of people in a single day.
He said. This will be happening at the #IAMBRANDNIGERIA National Food festival, a trilling food & drink event, where thousands will be exciting their taste buds with plethora of Nigerian dishes.
It is also a Jollof + Music with popular Nigerian performance entertaining guests at the event.
Taiwo said, we see Jollof as a common language and unifying factor among the consuming countries (both Anglophone and francophone), however, we are taking it as a national heritage, such that whenever Jollof subject is mentioned anywhere, Nigeria is part of the conversation. Ultimately, we are using this important subject as a brand collateral to make positive and compelling narrative about the Nigeria brand.
Buttressing his points, he said, history has shown that record breaking is a strategic way of attracting attention to People, Places and Products and Guinness World Record has become a marketing tool for nations and businesses looking to attract customers and investors. More important in a most sensational subject of Jollof
This world record is an awe-inspiring PR and media marketing that attracts large audience due to the noise Jollof rice has generated in recent times.
From every indication, this is expected to be one of the top 3 most talked about and engaging events of 2020 in Nigeria, because of the popularity and the social media frenzy that always accompanies the subject.
He said, this world record is expected to create a global media awareness and appeal about us, our opportunities and tourism sector as the news breaks on global and local news platforms. It’s also a sense of pride for us as a people as we showcase opportunities in our rice value chains.
Other very important benefit is that it enhances innovation and creativity, considering the fact that the record pot, one of the largest in the world, the rice and every other ingredients and process are all Nigeria made. This makes many people strive for excellence and aspire to set or break records at different areas of endeavor.
He concluded that ‘I look forward to someday that Nigeria can use record breaking to make enticing narrative about the country as the Emirates did here….. ‘we are the centre of shopping and entertaining’… Now when you come to Dubai, you land in the largest airport, which is a record, you can take the metro which is the longest driverless metro, to see also the largest shopping mall in the world, next to the tallest hotel in the world… ‘
“Aside from politics and religion, no topic sparks vigorous conversation like the subject of food, and Jollof in our part of the world.
Jollof has become more than just food, it is now fashion, a common language and a heritage to about 500 million people across West Africa mainly and in the Diaspora. It is becoming the most engaging topic in both Anglo/Francophone African countries, just like football. Food brings people together!
Almost every global celebrity that visits us has been made to be part of the Jollof conversation. From Prince of Wales- Prince Charles, who was diplomatic about naming the best Jollof between Nigeria and Ghana, Mark Zukerberg – Facebook founder/CEO, Thierry Henry, former Arsenal legend who had to cook his own Jollof on live TV and was quick to please the gods by acknowledging that we make the best Jollof, to Akon, the African-America pop singer who almost evoked the wrath of the gods. Thanks to His Excellency, Dr.Obafemi Hamzat, the Deputy Governor of Lagos state for his quick intervention with the reaffirmation of Naija Jollof supremacy.
Richard Quest of CNN business virtually got our Honourable Minister in a cross fire, but for the quick ‘disclaimer’ and further clarifications from Quest himself. It took the intervention of the presidency, in person of the Vice President, His Excellency, Prof.Yemi Osinbajo for the e-warriors to sheath their swords. As for Jack Dorsey, Twitter Co-founder and present CEO, but for the love we have for him and the street, why would he Tweet some stingy Jollof that have to substitute Onion slices for meat, I mean.
Jollof has created a healthy ‘rivalry’ almost as football between Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and others. And we wouldn’t pass any little opportunity to show we have the best of it. You can understand why every food and seasoning brands are delighted in putting us against each other. It is also a sensational trending topic on social media, particularly on Twitter and Instagram.”