Tag Archives: Festivals

The Corn Magic

The rain season had a strong appeal to me growing up. The appeal was more than the excitement of running outdoors half-naked, feeling the raindrops pelt my skin. It was more than feeling thrilled when we avoided getting whooped for tracking mud on the floors. It was the corn that grew on talk silky stalks.

Corn. Supple, golden, hot, and moist. One staple plant that comes with the rain season.

People have different consumption preferences. Some like it boiled in salted water till tender, others prefer it grilled over hot coals, and some enjoy it cooked with other foods like rice or beans. There are many ways to enjoy it

 

An amazing fact about this produce is the potential it carries for economic growth. According to USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, the United States’ corn exports in 2020 were up to 1.6 billion dollars. China and Mexico export a combined value of 9.73 billion dollars in 2021.

 

This amazing crop is versatile – from adhesives to medicinal teas. Its economic importance spans from importing and exporting corn-based items like food produce, livestock feed, and everyday items.

The Naija Corn Festival 2021 was held in Lagos State. It had a panel discussion that covered topics like the sustainable development for a nation, healthy ways to eat corn as a family, and business opportunities the product provides for individuals. It was a mix of shared knowledge and fun.

An exciting part of the festival was the booths spanned from end to end with a plethora of corn delicacies; thrilling games and tons more.

This year promises to be more. Click here to sign up today!

Egypt the land of attractions!

 

Africa has tons of amazing spots filled with scenic views, wildlife parks, beautiful beaches, ancient monuments and so much more, proving to be some of the most exciting tourist attractions in the world! However, so much of the World is unaware of this, unaware of how captivating Africa can really be!

 

When Rietha Matthee, an expert travel agent visited Egypt, she stated “It was a life-changing experience. All the things we saw and experienced were amazing and we fell in love with the country and would love to return.”

 

Egypt is an undeniable beauty to behold in the African continent. It’s found in northeastern Africa and arguably, it’s also home to the longest river in the world, the River Nile.

 

Egypt is a breathtaking destination with lots of wonderful attractions. This North-Eastern African beauty boasts scenic mountain landscapes, sun-kissed beaches, dazzling deserts, ancient pyramids, temples and so much more to explore.

                                                       

 

It’s worthy of being on every traveller’s bucket list because there are so many things to do and places to visit! If you want to relax by the pool or gleaming beaches or even prefer to tour the ultra-modern cities, exploring the ancient temples and pyramids, Egypt has it all!

 

Popular spots to visit in Egypt include the famous Ras Um Sid Beach and the beach at El Gouna, North of Hurghada filled with top-rated tourist attractions from cafés, Kayaking, windsurfing, Snorkeling, etc.

The Most Famous Beaches in Hurghada 2020 – Hurghada Beaches 2020

 

Other top attractions include exploring the great pyramid of Giza, Valley of the kings, diving into the Red Sea, White Desert National Park, Luxor temple, Egyptian Museum, etc

 

It is important for more people to explore the incredible African continent because there are lots of untold mesmerizing attractions in various African countries waiting for you to behold! It’s time to change the unpleasant narrative of Africa.

 

Book your next trip within the African continent and be that person to tell the world of just how blessed and attractive Africa is! 

 

Which other countries in Africa have you heard so much about and would love to visit?

 

Next stop — Bole Festival

Let’s play a game named: Live, Ditch, and Travel. 

In this game, you are given three states in a country. From these states, you select one you would like to live in, another you would rather ditch, and one you would love to travel to.

Are you ready? 

Let’s pick three renowned states in Nigeria; Port Harcourt, Lagos, and Abuja. 

Before you make your selection, I’ll tell you mine. But, because nothing can top the scale of excitement when it comes to exploring new things, I’ll give one fact about the state I would travel to.

After a 10-Hour Road Trip to Port Harcourt, the state was still unknown with her own cultural system, social preference, tourist sites, and local delicacies to explore.

I was excited to see what Port Harcourt had up its sleeves and one discovery that would take me back there anytime is actually what the state is most popular for.

There are certain things that are regarded as facts in life like how you’ll die if you didn’t breathe or the knowledge that the sun is scorching. This is one of them: the best Bole is found in Port Harcourt.

Hear me out, prior to my experiencing the orgasmic taste of Port Harcourt’s bole and fish combination, I was largely indifferent to it. 

Bole is a ripe or semi-ripe plantain that has been roasted on a metal mesh suspended over hot charcoal until it is well cooked on the inside and tan on the outside. Growing up, in Benin city, bole was sold by food merchants on the roadside with toasted groundnut. Although it is a nice combination, I wouldn’t lose sleep over it. 

Ripe and un-ripe plantain, all you need for bole.

In Port Harcourt, Bole is like a standalone meal and sold in restaurants as part of the menu. It is usually served with spicy tomato and pepper sauce fried in palm oil giving it a unique taste loaded with spices alongside juicy and savory roasted fish. Together, the sweetness of the bole, the juiciness of the roasted fish, and the spiciness of the tomato sauce balance one another to give a sublime taste.

Bole – stand alone meal at Portharcourt restaurants

I can’t tell if it is because the tomato sauce is made with palm oil or this taste can only be unlocked in Port Harcourt because Bole anywhere else doesn’t taste like the variety I had in Port Harcourt.

Port Harcourt’s Bole and Fish delicacy are so popular there is a festival called The Bole Festival- a food celebration created in 2016 in dedication to this delicacy. 

There is no better hangout than one crowned with food. 

To celebrate the rich culture and heritage of the land, The Bole Festival is unrivaled in its scenic arrangement where people of all ages and social classes are joined for a day in laughter and sampling of culture through food. 

Bole Festival 2016

The best bonds are created over food and shared experiences, and it is an experience to have once in your lifetime. Even better with a group of friends to point out all you miss on this unforgettable trip.

That been said, I would Live in Abuja (why not? The delights here also need a movie creation of its own), Ditch Lagos (No offense to this state that never sleeps), and Travel to Port Hartcourt.

What State would you Live in, Ditch, or Travel to? 

The Naija Corn Festival

We have a dream, to create new tourism attractions for Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Thus the introduction of our flagship event named “Naija Corn Festival” which we intend to develop and deliver at a global standard to attract visitors from all over the world.

Corn festivals are not new as there are countries all over the world who currently celebrate this with history of the festival spanning over 40 years e.g. South Africa, United states, Canada, Britain and Australia. The United States is the largest producer and exporter of corn, accounting for more than half of world corn exports with production in the 2018 -2019 at an estimate of 366.6 million metric tons. Investopedia 2019. “Corn is sometimes referred to as “yellow gold” because it is used to make so many products and byproducts that end up throughout the economy from, food store shelves to gas pumps to industrial chemical plants” Reuters 

Maize aka Corn is the most important staple cereal crop in sub- Saharan Africa. It contains approximately 72% starch, 10% protein and 4% fat, supplying an energy density of 365Kcal/100g and is grown throughout the world (Ranum et.al 2014). Corn is rich in fibre and plant compounds that aid digestive systems and eye health. It is high in carbs but when eaten in moderation and cooked with methods to enhance the nutritional value, it can be part of a healthy diet. According to IITA – “Maize, Zea mays L. (corn), is the most abundantly produced cereal in the world. All parts of the crop can be used for food and non-food products.

How much corn did Nigeria produce in 2019 ? How much of this corn was utilized or wasted because we could not preserve nor process them into finished products to reach consumers timely. Currently the scarcity of corn for local farmers in poultry business is making the news.

The largest African producer is Nigeria with over 33 million tons, followed by South Africa, Egypt, and Ethiopia. Africa imports 28% of its required maize grain from countries outside the continent as most of the maize production in Africa is done under rain-fed conditions. About 50 species exist and consist of different colors, textures, and grain shapes and sizes. White maize fetches premium prices in Southern Africa where it represents the main staple food, whereas yellow maize is preferred as animal feed in most parts of South America and the Caribbean. Yours sincerely prefers yellow corn especially when it comes to making Pap aka akamu/ogi.

The desire to host a Naija Corn Festival came while reminiscing about the traditional yam eating festival in my village. I really do not remember nor recollect the details of the ceremony but remember vividly my Mum hammering on us not to eat the new yam until the festival in the village is done. Over time the tradition has worn off as being a Christian today this could be tantamount to idolatry.However, I miss the thrill, revelry and jamboree of having so many yam delicacies to eat all in one day.

There may be a counter argument as an organization focused on tourism which is in sync with preserving our cultures and tradition. But the truth remains that if we do not engage our youth and populace who are mostly not interested in the yam festival happening in the village, other world festivals and carnivals will have them travelling abroad to attend.

What started as reminiscing is actually  deeper when scratched, as a company we position ourselves as a hub for “education and rejuvenation “and this is what the event will achieve.

The Naija Corn Festival will be an opportunity to showcase our indigenous foods made with corn. We will also  highlight and have sessions on how to develop the available growth areas in food processing, how to create value,new products and business opportunities. . Also based on the need and awareness for healthy eating today, it is essential to enrich maize based meals thus we will bring nutritional experts to educate on how to avoid mal -nutrition and vitamin deficiency diseases.

Why Corn ?

Because Corn is everywhere and keeping it out of your shopping basket is a challenge.
Next time check the label of canned goods you want to buy and see how corn has sneaked in everywhere.
Derivatives of corn get used as a food filler, texturizer, emulsifier, sweetener, preservative, adhesive and many other applications.