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Observations of a Young Nigerian Female . Powered by Blogger.

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I am young, "normal" and I like to write. People say I eat too much, people don't know what they are saying.

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The Eba Problem

Last year, I was at a fancy restaurant in Port Harcourt, and on the second night, I decided to swallow some Eba, for what do you call a Nigerian with no Eba in their system? Not-a-Nigerian
I got my Eba and Oha soup from the buffet table, and settled in to “chop life”. I looked around, and there was no sink, no bowl of water. I signaled a waiter over; he came over, good looking dude.
“I need a bowl of water, so I can wash my hands and eat”

This young man looked me over and probably thought to himself, “how did scum get in here?” then he said, “We don’t provide water, use the cutleries.” No please, no sorry, no ma’am. I’m pretty young, but it is standard practice for waiters and waitresses to “ma’am” guests. I don’t quite care about it, but this time I noticed the absence. Oh well, who cares? Not me.

The young man was looking particularly cocky and waiting for me to say, “Oh, sorry sir, I’m not used to civilization or .” I was having none of that. Eba is not the same without the taste of your own finger, and the opportunity to lick it thoroughly.
So, I said, “I want a bowl of water to wash my hand. I will not eat this meal with cutleries.”
I was still calm. The young man insisted, and stood there, feeling happy with himself. I’d never done this, but I asked for his manager; I was slowly fuming by then. The manager came over and nearly fell over himself trying to get me the bowl of water. I thanked him, washed my hands and proceeded to swallow my Eba and Oha soup with gusto.

Guess what? The restaurant did not turn upside down and stand on its roof with its butt up in the air. The moon did not turn red, I kid you not! The white guys beside me did not choke and die. At this juncture, we shall all sing the Hallelujah chorus to celebrate this great miracle. Proceed!
I have never understood what the fuss is about. Eat with your hands or forks and knives, why should anybody be inconvenienced because of someone else’s acute sensibilities? I could link this to colonialism and the white man’s representation of everything African as backward, uncivilized and barbaric; but I won’t.

We all eat pizza with our hands, how about some cutleries for that? When I go to China, I’d be expected to eat my noodles with two skinny sticks, and then drink the soup straight out of the bowl, without argument. Why? Oh why do world people think it best for me to eat my Eba with a fork and a knife in Nigeria?
It used to be because of the fear of being seen by the white man as inferior and unrefined. Now, it is because of the fear of being seen by the “refined” African man as too African. It is such a sad state of affairs.

The Eba Pledge
I, *inserts name*, do solemnly promise, that I shall swallow my Eba with pride, and I shall be grateful for it. That I shall not desecrate the food of my Fathers with metal devices, but I shall with my hands, gently conduct Eba to my happy mouth. I promise to enjoy my Eba, at work, play or home, with no fear or favour whatsoever. I promise that I shall proudly defend my Eba, at any place, in any gathering, before any audience. So help me God.


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  1. Worthwhile indeed. I enjoyed the read. Thanks.

  2. Tanks ma'am for really bringing this EBA stuff to my reminding. I promise I will eat my EBA with my fingers.

  3. Yeah. That's the only way to enjoy Elba.

  4. Yeah. That's the only way to enjoy Elba.


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