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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: The Chicken Overdose



Christmas lunchI’ve read a lot of things recently about Christmas and a common thread that runs right through people’s understanding of Christmas is FOOD; those with lots to eat and those who are championing the cause of people who have not enough to eat.  Hold your horses; I’m not about to tell you about a manger and wise men and all that! I actually just want to talk about food and the consumption of it therein during the Christmas holidays.

Last week, I had Christmas lunch with my sister and her work mates and everything in this picture on the left was spread out. Turkey, Stuffing, Gravy, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots and  Mashed Potatoes. We had pudding for dessert and a little wine which is always good for the heart. Anyway, so as I gingerly worked my way around the food, trying to avoid the hideous Brussels Sprouts, someone on the table noticed I was using my fork to dance Azonto around the plate. “I take it you don’t like vegetables much.” I replied that I loved vegetables, I just didn’t understand why this was the standard Christmas meal. I mean, the same thing every year? At this point my sister must have noticed I was trying to get uppity, she stopped me right in the middle of my tirade with “Isn’t this the same as the standard Jollof Rice and chicken that is associated with Christmas?”

Then it all came flooding back! Christmas in Ogbomosho was not complete without pounded yam, efo riro and chicken for lunch and jollof rice AND chicken again for dinner. My young mind associated every Christmas with pounded yam and efo riro, such that  ‘Harking of the Heralds’ became synonymous with ‘Harking of Chicken Consumption’.

Now, because I had asked for what the food on the table symbolized, and gotten something about the three gifts that the Wise Men brought to the manger, it was our turn to explain the importance of Jollof Rice and chicken. My response? “I don’t know! It’s sha sweet!” glaring at the horribly blanched out carrots on my plate.

Anyway, how will you be spending Christmas? What are you cooking/eating? What’s going to determine your choice of meal? How are you gonna spread love and good cheer this Christmas? Oh, and if you know why we eat Jollof Rice and Chicken on Christmas day  please share so I won’t go and disgrace myself and you people at the next Christmas dinner I’m invited to.

Me? I’m going to make peppered gizzard, mashed potatoes, drink lots of cider and watch re-runs of Big Bang Theory!

Have a wonderful Christmas. Live, love and find a reason to smile.

Love, peace and cupcakes!



You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. Gbemi

    December 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Reason? For what naw? Why do we need a reason?!
    Jollof Rice, or Orange Rice, like my kids call the good stuff, just because.
    Eat drink and be merry!
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Toks

    December 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Some things don’t have any reason, they just stick from generations and thus become tradition

  3. Anonymous

    December 24, 2012 at 11:19 am

    God bless you for your comment “It’s sha sweet!” , that perfectly describes how I feel about our Nigerian dishes no matter how monotonous they may seem. I can’t seem to develop a liking for the “white” mans food (except probably their desserts!)

  4. TobechiStyle

    December 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Atoke, that was simply being ungracious.We all have what we like- next time just be gracious about it, eat what you will and leave what you won’t. Don’t show out your sis(self) like that. From what I see, there is no collared greens- be thankful about that:).Have yourself a merry Christmas:)

  5. ada

    December 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

    this article is complete drivel…..u just woke up and decided to write the first useless thought in your head sha…people all over the world all have their own Christmas traditions..for a writer, u seem very ignorant and even stupid with it..anyooo..merry christmas…read a book my friend

    • sade

      December 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      woooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww……. you know u can critic something wiout bin downright rude and nasty

    • Neo

      December 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Why so bitter baby geh? Life is not that hard. It is called banter for a reason Besides its Christmas, don’t be such a grinch. Keep calm and eat jollof rice and chicken.

    • Funke

      December 24, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Ada o, who annoyed you this early morning? Thunder fire the person or matter.

      Take a chill pill. It’s Christmas, have a drink and be merry biko.

    • Adanma

      December 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm

      How come BN doesn’t approove my own “unnice” comments? My comment on Ruki Sanda’s interwiew never got approved.

    • ada

      December 25, 2012 at 1:48 am

      sorryy oo, i now realise i came off very rude, it was the alcohol talking..merry christmas everyone

  6. Berry Choco-Latte

    December 24, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Stewed gizzard and plantain’s what I’m contributing this year! Oh and the loveliest fruit cakes ever (not made by me though :p)

  7. Lafunky

    December 24, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I will be making fried rice, jollofrice, roast Duck, roast Chicken and meat pies. And I will top it up with a bottle of Malt drink. I actually spice up my Christmas foods every year. Maybe next year, Pounded Yam, efo elegusi with tons of assorted meat should be our Christmas dinner.

  8. abla

    December 24, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Atoks,so funny! Thinking of it, maybe we’ll do chicken and chips this Christmas. Too tired to cook jollof rice jare.

    Ps: why is this Ada person so bitter sef. Surprised u guys posted her dead comment.

    • Lafunky

      December 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Abla, it’s like you read my mind as well. I’m too tired to be cooking jollofrice but I will cook it sha. Rather than chicken and chips, roasted sweet potatoes mixed olive oil/ur choice seasoning with thyme will do.

  9. Amazeballs!

    December 24, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    What a dry post!

  10. hava

    December 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Hey Guys! All Lovers of the ArtS wud enjoy dis »

    Merry Xmas!

  11. purplepearl

    December 24, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    I’ll be preparing fried rice, chicken pepper soup and egusi soup. Merry Xmas Bellanaijarians

  12. abla

    December 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Lafunky, thanks for d sugggestion! Nice, wld probably do that. Hugs!

  13. Ade

    December 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Do have a lovely Christmas Atoke and all and please do remember that Christmas is all about God coming as a Man (Jesus) to save us from our sins-if you beleive with your heart that Jesus is Lord and confess with your mouth that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Saved from the wrath of God against sin which is hell fire-eternal separation from God in unquantifiable pain forever). Please see Romans 10 verses 9 to 13. God bless you.

    • nomad

      December 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Could you wish someone a merry christmas without bringing down fire and brimstone and hell to everyone else. Gosh Nigerians and their irritating sanctimoniousness hiding an intensely corrupt, selfish and dysfunctional nation.

  14. salsera

    December 26, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    so her comment now means ‘nigerians’. yet this ‘corrupt’ nation produced enough web content to bring u here?
    If its so irritating – please go elsewhere

    • cynthia

      December 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      This is me liking your comment

  15. Nshina

    March 16, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    My mom spent Christmas with me in Abuja and we had basmati rice with sweet and sour sauce.’Twas a first trial of a new recipe and it came out fantastic. The meal for New years’ was rice noodles and shrimp stir fry. It was so good that she had a little too much to eat and had to take a walk to quicken digestion…hehehehe! I’m a bad ass cook o jare! 😀

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