A Battle in Africa’s West

A fierce battle wages on in the West of Africa, receiving little to no international media attention, between two power houses or better still nations: Ghana and Nigeria.The fact that Ghana is placed before Nigeria in the preceding line could even be a causative agent to intensify the heat of that battle. Some call it a rivalry so I guess using that term here will be a better option.

This rivalry cuts across many sectors including, but not limited to, music, movies, sports, clothing, and FOOD, yes FOOD. Instagram, and to some extent Facebook, for some time now have known no rest due to patriots of both nations causing a serious stir of who cooks jollof rice better. Well, we leave that argument for another day and time.

If you guessed that this post was going to be about food, you will be elated to know that this certainly is about food. This food is very different from jollof, made from cassava tubers, a companion to students, friends to both rich and poor and widely known across West Africa. It can be soaked, it can be molded, sweetened or salted, heated or cooled, eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack and supper, and almost have no expiry.

I won’t type its name yet because out of it arises a great controversy. It is this controversy I seek to address and for sure, both parties will to it NOT see eye-to-eye. According to phonetics, it can be spelt out as /ˈɡɑːrɪ/ which then can be translated as “Gari”. That actually is how it is spelt out in Ghana where as in Nigeria(and some other African countries), it is “Garri”. To those who refer to and spell it as “Gali”, all comments are reserved.

The stage has been set, the floor has been opened and now it is time. The question is this: Which is the right spelling: “Gari” to the Ghanaians or “Garri” to the Nigerians?

Let the games begin!


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