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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Will the Real Foodies Please Stand Up?



I think we can all agree that the weekend flies by way too fast! One minute you’re jubilating as you pack up your computer on Friday evening, you blink and next thing it’s Sunday evening. There’s always so many things happening during the weekend – shopping, cooking, laundry, house affairs, watching soccer, weddings, birthday parties, work -related events – before you know it, you’re dragging yourself into bed, praying there’s NEPA power in the morning for you to straighten your shirt for work. My weekend was very chilled and the high point of my weekend was having TeetoCeemos and Praiz in the same same space with me at One Mic Naija yesterday. Having those two very hot specimen of male awesomeness was enough to put a spring into my step for the rest of the week! Then, I got home and a relative from my home town was around. Bummer! You know those visitors who just pop up uninvited and unanounced?  Growing up, we always had people coming around but one thing that struck me particularly about these visitors from the village was the quantity of food consumed!

Back then, we were told that people who stayed in the village ate more food because their bellies had a bigger capacity for food. Why? They said it was because they did more physical/rigorous work and as such their bodies burnt up more energy. So in my little mind, people who eat heaps of Eba, Semo, Pounded Yam and rice were people who work hard and burn up a lot of energy.  You can imagine my shock when I started attending weddings and I saw the way young, upwardly mobile professionals guzzling down food like they were storing it away for a time of famine! I used to wonder, did this person come here from a cocoa farm? How much rice can you eat? Wait, you’re asking them to bring pounded yam? What? After that heap of rice?

Another intriguing phenomenon of this food consumption issue is the idea of eating because food is free. I was discussing this issue with my friend Tolulope and she was the one who introduced the Free Food element. Tolu works in an office where they serve them lunch. You go to the lunch room with your access pass, swipe, and get served. However, there are some young ladies who specialize in asking for your access pass. “Shebi you’re going to client’s site today? Let me use your access pass na! I want to get extra food”. She said the day she heard those words she was weak. She explained that the lunch served in her office was proper buffet style lunch and you’d be full to bursting. She chucked it down to free food, saying she didn’t think that any one who paid for their own food ate that much. I said it’s just love of food and maybe we shouldn’t begrudge anybody.

There’s also the class of people who go for parties and leave grumbling “We even went for Femi’s party and we didn’t get food to eat”. My response “Shey you’re going home? You’ll eat when you get home na! abi?” I’m guessing the purpose of a party is food. *shrug*

I mean I’m a sucker for small chops! Nothing can separate me from puff puff and samosa; but everything should be done in moderation. I mean what’s the point of going for a party, eating so much that the other guests can’t eat?

So, will the real Foodies step to the mic and tell us how these things work? Please share your foodie experience stories. Remember, it’s all fun and bants!

Have a great week, remember to smile or find a reason to smile. Stay focused and positive; live and love!

Peace, love & 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. anonymous

    January 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

    lol!!!i have seen people packing their left-over in nylon bags and taking it along with them,you can just imagine.I mean, parties are organised to rejoice with the celebrant and not be all about the food.Unfortunately,the main essence has been misused.

    • Myne Whitman

      January 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm

      Indeed. We especially misuse that free food aspect

  2. Lola

    January 28, 2013 at 11:14 am

    LOL @ foodies.
    This is the most annoying experience I have encountered. When my mum passed away, my mum’s cousin came to stay with us under the disguise of sympathy. The woman had her own food motive men!! The evening she arrived she asked the cook to make her eba which is fair enough as she was coming from work. The stew was served in a dish she put 7 peices of meat on her plate. I was in shock cos this woman eats only 1 peice of meat when she is at home. The next morning she had 3/4 a load of a massive bread with loads of meat again and eggs.

    The cook is such a nice woman but can be v v rude. On the day of the funeral she packed food for my mum’s cousin in a plastic bag and said to her I had packed food for you in a plastic bag, its in the laundry room near the dirty clothes so you can relax now cos I know thats why you are here (the cook said that based on experience she had with her at a family function earlier in the year). My mum’s shameless cousin happily took the food home and she ate atleast 3 times that day that I saw with my own eyes from rice, to pounded yam to amala.

    I wonder how people do it.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      January 28, 2013 at 2:07 pm


  3. Neo

    January 28, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Hmmmmn. I used to work at Tolu’s office and i swear the way some people eat ehn? I like food oh, dont get me wrong but the sight of plenty food jus overwhelms me. I like to taste everything but i cant eat a lot. So when i started working at Tolu’s ofc, I was jus baffled.

    There was this day i was getting my lunch and this skinny guy was in front of me lamenting about how 2 wraps of amala were not enough. Mw one wrap of this amala would fit nicely into a GG cup bra. He ranted so much that one babe offered him her second wrap, I sat beside him during lunch and our entire conversation was on the crappy caterers and how they were “chopping” the office money and giving out small portions. I was relatively new then, if not i would have asked him if the Bermuda triangle was located in his core.

    As they say sha, na awoof sweet pass, cos if u struggle through a muddy market, sweat in your kitchen you will respect the portions you eat in your house.

  4. Jane Meadows

    January 28, 2013 at 11:25 am

    This made me laugh out loud! I grew up in the eastern Nigeria and my mum always served a massive portion of food at each meal time, I got used to eating this way till I became a nurse and discovered the health consequences of overeating. I still enjoy my food but all in moderation.

  5. Chattyzee

    January 28, 2013 at 11:37 am

    My friend once told me about how his mum used to cook in the house every time they had a party to attend. She’ll prepare various kinds of dishes and make them eat to their fullest and then send them off to the party so that when they got there, they’ll not be interested in whatever was being served. Apparently, the tactic worked every time!
    At the end of the day, it takes self-discipline and maturity to know when it’s time to stop eating.

    • nems

      January 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      My mom did this to us as kids to kill the LONG THROAT SPIRIT. I try to do it these days to make sure I don’t and eat junk when I go out.

    • x factor

      January 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm

      Reminds me of my mum…..

    • Miss Ruby

      January 28, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      my mum did this too. She never let us go out to a party without eating first. When you ask her why she is stuffing us when we are going for a party she would say “so you won’t out to start acting like you dont get food at home”.

  6. pynk

    January 28, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    I’m reading this as i eat my pre-gym puff puff. Yes i love food, free plus the one i have to pay for. I just remind myself that upside down triangle or round is not a shape i wanna have so i cut it off @ a point.

  7. Ngozi

    January 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    I remember attending weddings in Nigeria when I was much younger and it appeared to be a norm to bring a takeaway box just incase there was any food leftover. To some extent I agree with this article on the notion that some Nigerians are too focused on food but then there is the counter argument about wastage. I come from a family where we always advise guests to bring plastics to take home any food that remains from a party. I mean what’s the point of throwing the food away (a mortal sin by the way) when we can give it out to people who want it.

    On the office mongers though, that’s just plain ol’ greed!

    • Purpleicious Babe

      January 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Exactly…the wastage notion is the one am for.

      Me am a FOODIE… and i can consume food. Although, am very much aware of my surrounding, I take extra plate just in case nah.. lol *coversface* but the times I was a student, it definitely helped.

      In a massive function of someone I know, I go bring plate or freezer bag. If its a small gathering or massive function of someone I dont know I wont bring plate. lol. But maybe freezer bags. lol

      I dont like wastage but I only takeaway once most guests or all have eaten and fully satisfied. I am not shy when it comes to FOOD. FACT, but sha i use my common sense.

      I do think moderation is key sha. Over doing it aint right but sometimes u just have too to learn.. lol

    • Purpleicious Babe

      January 28, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      let me add that if the food isnt nice… nobody will eat much let alone takeaway. I think the older u get, the less appealing it is to pack @ least in my case.

  8. AMA

    January 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    I once attended a wedding where I was helping to serve the of the guests called me later on in the reception prog. that she hadnt gotten food to eat and if care is not taken she was going to spoil the wedding..she even added that she was a family member
    And worse are the ppl who want to eat twice when they know others havnt eaten

  9. shay shay

    January 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    God knows I love food and am slim, so when people look at my plate I cant imagine what goes on in their heads… like, where does it all go? But it doesn’t happen always. Apparently I have rapid metabolism, so even if i eat before leaving the house ill probably get hungry on the way to my destination. LOL and trust me, I will pay for food as far as its to my satisfaction. And as long as they are offering and am comfy enuf with my host to eat from them, then why not! Only thing I don’t do for sure is waste food, even if I get full while eating, I force myself to clear my plate cos wasting food is never a good thing.

  10. Bee Dazzler

    January 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    seriously, i love this…my every morning addict after prayers. i don’t comment when i can’t read thru computer but phone.

  11. ij

    January 28, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    free food really brings the worst out in people

    • Motun

      January 28, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Actually, free things do bring the ill mannered side of people…

  12. The critic

    January 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    One foodie right here,

    I love good food not overwhelming portions though.

    What amuses me most these days is the way people gobble on desserts………….like it was a full meal. I’ve been at a wedding once ,and a waiter came with a tray with a variety of desserts and at a sitting ,one chic took 4 different pieces of desserts. I was shocked. Meanwhile the person that ordered the dessert probably at 1 per person. The highest order of “guluness” was when she was leaving, she went to the desserts caterer and asked if they had foil paper so she could take some away! Come on!! even if you love desserts, you wont eat it till you are sick!

    There’s soooo much waste at our parties in Naija because people dont want to hear their guests say they came for theirparty and they werent served properly.

  13. Wale

    January 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    I think the use of the term foodie is misplaced in your article. Foodies are generally people that appreciate food especially the quality and system of preparing them. For instance, I am generally called a foodie by friends because I will hunt for the newest restuarants and chefs in town and attend culinary events and gatherings on weekends. Some times, we just gather a few friends and try out new recipes together. I doubt it is about gluttony, greed or amount of consumption…but rather, quality, novelty, style, systems and cultural exploration.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      January 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      I agree.. i also think its for people that like eating. in this case, the article talks more on gluttony right?

  14. Tolani

    January 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    People and food! Personally I get so overwhelmed by too many options and smells that I cannot eat much. On the contrary there are some who cannot help themselves, they must eat copious portions of everything available and then get sick from eating.

    However, a great majority of people love ‘awoof’ food and will do ‘take away’ at parties and in your homes without any shame. Free food is always good it seems. Infact, free anything.

  15. Bee

    January 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I couldnt help a smile as i read this piece cos there is something about the term ‘free’ in nigeria context if anyone had noticed. I was discussing with a colleague of mine months back about how people that can convieniently go to a 5star hotel and feed fights over free stuffs. I work in an oil and gas environment and little wonder you see peeople waiting and tripping seriously over free food as if they will die if they dont have a taste. same with sharing of sourvenirs that might cost 50bucks or max 500 and we are pushing and shoving as if our last breathe depends on it (lwkmd)i have followed in d struggle before o (covers face) but i just ponder on why we have this element in us. my colleague said they were sharing cake in her team and she was fighting them that they gave her a small piece and they gave her a bigger piece which she kept in her bag and didnt remember until some days after and she was laughing so hard at the way she demanded for a bigger piece and its funny the cake is still in her

  16. Mz Socially Awkward...

    January 28, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    I agree with Wale above (1.21PM). I clicked on this article because I thought we proper foodies were going to be having the sort of serious discussion that activates the saliva glands 🙂

    But on the latter subject though, I’ll say that one of my new year’s resolutions is to say a big “NO” to party jollof rice – you know the kind I mean, it’s red, it’s oily and it’s oh so tasty. And filled with carbs like a motha! With all the naming ceremonies & dedications that I attended last year, party rice became almost staple in my diet and like someone pointed out above, most Nigerians cook even more than necessary at parties just so that nobody complains they went away hungry. But with so much food, there’s often plenty “take-away” on offer and I’d usually say yes because that means I can escape cooking that week and have an easy option for a pack lunch to carry to work or a quick dinner in the evening after work. Feeling clever, abi?

    WRONG! That rice (plus, let’s not forget that deep-fried delicious peppered chicken/fish) did so much damage to my waistline that over christmas, I started carefully perusing what ended up in my plate when I attended parties. Ended up losing weight over the holidays instead of gaining any, so “yay” for me!

    Too much enjoyment at these occasions where food is free causes havoc to healthy eating habits. Unless you don’t care, in which case, carry on.

  17. Joan

    January 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Foodie alert!!!!!!!!
    LOL. I can eat o. People often wonder where all the food I eat goes to and me sef, I surprise myself sometimes with the amount of food I consume *sigh* Everyone says I should enjoy the high metabolism while it lasts and that is exactly what I’m doing lol.
    Regarding free food, I had one of such experiences yesterday. Went to this baby dedication party of a close family friend. Of course I was comfortable so I ate and I was happy. 🙂 I think with this free food thing, the most important thing is making sure that you don’t eat like your house is in Somalia where there is barely any food lol

  18. chic

    January 28, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    LOL at these comments. Whenever I host something I always have plastic containers and freezer bags to pack left overs for guests. In my family we don’t ask if you would like to carry leftovers we simply pack for you as you leave . My mum says this not only avoids wastage and throwing food which to us is a crime; I was taught to serve only what I could finish and clear my plate from a very early age I was also taught that it was okay to go for seconds which is why you will never see me piling a mountain on my plate at parties. She also says that you may never know people’s situations at home that co worker you invited to your birthday party may have slept hungry and may be going home to an even emptier kitchen, the new friend you made at church and invited to your party may have siblings starving at home. This is also another reason other than the fact that it is common courtesy and good manners that we never visit anyone empty handed it doesn’t matter that it is our millionaire friend or our gateman’s wife who has just had a baby we always take something usually in the form of food with us when we visit others even if it is a bunch of bananas or a carton of milk.

    • Ides of March

      January 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      I love your comment!

  19. chinco

    January 28, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Well, I love food, and I love to experiment with food(cooking skills), I love to try all kinds of food especially when I travel. So its jst something I love, not so much of quantity but I jst love d experience of trying all kinds of food. I guess ppl who eat large quantities do so 4 all sorts of reasons, frm filling a void(which could b sexual or emotional) to using up a lot of energy.

  20. Iya

    January 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Or is it the ones that combine a main meal with dessert….was at a get together yesterday. See peeps heaping rice, sauce and BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING ON ONE PLATE!! Chai…

  21. Dee

    January 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    its poverty mentality actually, most of us grew up with in situations where most of the nice food were regarded as luxuries and even though you can maybe afford it now a lot of people are still stuck in the poverty mentality zone. You will notice that this type of behaviour isn’t as common in the west because for the average family food wasn’t an issue. Here as kids meat was rationed for us and things like soda so unfortunately most adults still tend to hoard. Even those using waste as an excuse, abeg no one needs to eat 3 plates of rice just so it won’t waste! I’am sure you can find a homeless man who hasn’t eaten at all that day to give the extra to.

  22. esti-li

    January 28, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Most events d women take extra food while the men take extra drinks

  23. liily

    January 28, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    i love this article! I am a FOODIE! I love to eat BUT some people sha there own is too much! My co-worker lawd have mercy! is like she’s also struggling for food! Whenever she comes to the office everyone in the office hides their food/snacks because if you mistakenly leave it on the table she will assume that it is for everyone and by the time you know it she will finish your food. The worst part is that she is not even considerate. If someone should bring food/snack at least you take some and leave some for others. but in her own case she takes everything. By the way she has her own food oh! Just this past Friday you need to see her. she ate the food the owner brought for all the staffs, that was not enough, she ate 2 BIG plastic bowls of rice and spaghetti respectively. OMG!!! infact i taya oh! Some people sha!
    It’s okay to eat BUT to behave like you like you have not seen or eaten food before is just alarming and crazy. Like I said, It fine to eat at party or any occasion but respect yourself when you are out there.

  24. Triangle

    January 28, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I’m not ashamed to say I love meat oh. If it’s a buffet style event, I might hv just a spoon of rice and a heap of meat, fish, shaki, ponmo gbogbo tigbo. Lol
    I think the idea of eating till u drop is a nigerian thing, its not like we can’t afford d food, but d thought dt its free combined with that party spirit just brings out the worst in us.
    My company held an event last year at Transcorp, and we had d option of buffet for lunch, my plate was so scanty, aside d plenty meat of course, so I was annoyed wen d bill came (though on d coy’s tab) to about 16k for I and a colleague! Suffice it to say dt I scolded myself for not eating down dt place, I mean if we’d have to pay that much, we for justify d money. 😀

  25. molarah

    January 28, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    FOODIE (noun) – a person devoted to refined sensous enjoyment (especially good food and drink)
    syn: epicure – gourmet – gastronome – bon vivant – epicurean

    I think what you are referring to are gluttons. However, I believe every one knows what is good for their own stomach. People’s metabolism rates and feeding patterns differ – so who am I to say someone else is being a glutton if I see them ask for another serving of food? Some actually over-eat at parties because they don’t know where the next food is coming from (Yes, that’s the reality of the poverty situation we face in Nigeria.) Abeg, to each his own. Its your mouth you are using to eat, its your own wastline that will form tyre tube shape, so which one concern me? Its only if greed gets into play – when someone is overeating at the expense of others – that I’d consider it a real issue.

  26. Adeola

    January 29, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I’m a foodies over to an extent depending on mood, type of food and area. If hunger dey nak me, I go chop die especially if it’s all you can eat, aka buffet…..that’s my weak point. I love to taste from everything in little amount though, but that packs up to be a whole lot. With my guilty pleasure been meat….i can chop meat for Africa, but so so so UNHEALTHY. What I do now, trying to be healthy, so very health conscious…..about half my plate veggies, with protein and carbs. Also, take REDUCED and SMALL portions. That works out so well…..lost some pounds:). Hey, am not the shameless glutton foodies that got no integrity outside especially after doing fine girl and packaging……at al.

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