issues

WILL CALABAR LET ITS CHILDREN DIE?

calabar
Okay I admit that I have a flair for the dramatic as there really isn’t a need for the title of this article. But knowing Nigerians very well, we share this same flair and I am only playing to this national character. Calabar is not the name of a wicked woman who is aborting the destinies of her children; neither are children dying on the streets of Calabar, so no cause for alarm. However, my use of language speaks to another equally important issue that burdens my heart. For me to write about this, which is usually outside the scope of matters I consider ‘note-worthy’, it tells how concerned I am with preserving some of the products of the great city of Calabar. So I hope the right people are reading this; people who can influence change and ensure that we do not lose out in the future simply because we were not careful to invest in our endowments.

Apart from the successes of the state in tourism and entertainment, there remains a lot of untapped resources that we must start investing in. Between the administrations of Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, we have seen how government can bring prosperity to the lives of people by investing in those areas that are natural strengths for the State. Concentrating on other areas where we do not display comparative advantage is a huge waste of limited resources, and we are not unaware of the effect of this in times past. So this note is just to bring to the fore two other areas where we show relative advantage over other parts of Nigeria.  For these, I believe the State needs to create a strategic plan to enhance our position if none exists at this time.
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issues

Moin-Moin Babble

Last week my friend Chinwe decided she was going to make moin-moin and posted it on Facebook. This sparked a renewed longing to grind my kitchen and produce something of an American version, given the fact that I buy the local beans I find here. I haven’t worked at it yet, but this may well be the week I knock on my apron and get my wife laughing at my American moin-moin début. My Ijebu garri has been languishing and waiting for an appropriate companion for a while now 🙂

But this points me back to some thoughts of what made eating moin-moin exciting for me. As a child, my mum’s creation wrapped in nkong (what Efiks call the leaf used in wrapping the bean paste) was deservedly top-class. From the way she creatively separated the skin from the bean seeds using a mortar and pestle (although I soon became the point man for that part of the labour), to the blending with pepper and ground dried crayfish plus other ingredients to match, to the skilful apportioning of the paste into the leaves and finally to neatly wrapping the leaves, without a single drop of the paste leaking out, before placing into the pot. There was something near divine about the whole process and I usually observed it with strict attention.
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