The Gambia Surprises Culinary World with Victory At WAFFEST 2023

Adejoke Adebiyi


The global community of Jollof rice aficionados is abuzz with discussions after The Gambia’s unexpected triumph at the 2023 Jollof competition held during the West Africa Food Festival in Lagos, Nigeria.


Over the course of August 9th to the 14th, spectators witnessed the team led by Chef Saikou Bojang from The Gambia emerge victorious against 15 formidable opponents, including culinary powerhouses like Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia.


The festival, known as WAFFEST, not only showcased the intense culinary rivalry but also offered attendees a diverse range of experiences including four enriching master classes and delectable food and wine tastings.


As news of The Gambia’s victory spread, the Twittersphere exploded with mixed emotions. While some celebrated The Gambia’s underdog success, others were left in disbelief.


Ava Dadonness jubilantly tweeted, “Jollof champion: The Gambia reigns supreme! Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, take heed.”


Thatmarieaj, who had worked alongside Chef Bojang at the Senegambia Hotel, praised his culinary prowess, stating, “Congratulations, Team Gambia!”


Hussain Dada emphatically declared, “The JOLLOF RICE debate is settled! Gambia leads the pack, leaving Nigeria and Ghana trailing.”


Rachel Renee expressed astonishment, exclaiming, “Gambia claims the top spot in the Lagos Jollof Rice Competition? My mind is blown!”


Sheabuttaqueen boldly asserted, “Jollof from countries other than Gambia and Senegal just doesn’t measure up.”


Amie Bright, highlighting Gambia’s consistent success, tweeted, “Gambia continues to dominate this Jollof rice competition, clinching victory three times in a row. Our only hurdle is our small population; that’s why we’re not in the limelight! Lol, shaking my head.”


HelloPrincess, playfully teasing Nigeria and Ghana, quipped, “Alright, Gambia takes the crown for best Jollof rice. Nigeria & Ghana, time to end the banter.”


However, not everyone shared the jubilation. Some Twitter users expressed their incredulity at The Gambia’s win:


Ciatta Doe, a Liberian, voiced her surprise, “The Gambia beating Liberia in a Jollof competition??! Unbelievable.”


Obinna Et, in a colorful disagreement, commented, “The Gambia taking the top spot in the Jollof competition is as absurd as a fish riding a bicycle. It defies culinary expectations, hard to digest!”


Queen Etonde weighed in, stating, “I believe Nigerian Jollof doesn’t even make the top 3… Senegal, Gambia, Liberia, and Cameroon are the top 4 (in that order).”


Eman, in sheer disbelief, kept it simple with, “What do you mean Gambia won the best Jollof rice competition??”

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