19th November, 2010
A Canadian, Mr. Romeo Gongora has expressed his love for the local delicacy,Â â€˜moin-moinâ€™, widely eaten in Nigeria, saying that he is never tired of eating it.
The canadian demonstrated this during his visit to an Arts lover, Mr. Obi, at AjowaÂ community in Ojokoro Local Council Development Area of Lagos State, South WestÂ Nigeria. Mr. Obi was hosting a two-week workshop on arts with the theme: â€˜TriangleÂ Artist Workshop.â€™
Speaking with P.M.NEWS while eating moin-moin, Gongora described it as his bestÂ local dish.
â€œI like â€˜moin-moinâ€™ a lot. I can eat it three times a day without getting tired.Â â€˜Moin-moinâ€™ is so spicy. â€˜Moin-moinâ€™ used to make my mouth pepperish. Sometime, IÂ ate it thrice in a day and Iâ€™m never tired of it. Iâ€™ve requested the woman whoÂ prepared it to teach me how to do it so that when I return home, I will be preparingÂ it on my own,â€ he said.
He also expressed his disapproval for another local food, â€˜ebaâ€™.Â â€œWhen I first cameÂ here, I was eating light foods like rice, bread, fried plantain and others.Â I alsoÂ tried â€˜ebaâ€™ once but I could not eat it,â€ he said.
The Canadian spent a week among people at the grassroots and described hisÂ experience as an eye-opener. He expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of socialÂ amenities in the area. â€œThe community lacks good roads, water, electricity andÂ public schools. I am appealing to the government to come to the aid of the people byÂ providing them with these amenities,â€ he stated
According to Gongora, â€œI have come face-to-face with social problems posingÂ challenges before ordinary Nigerians. If what I saw at Ajowa community was happeningÂ across communities in Nigeria, the government needs to do more for the citizenry.
â€œI canâ€™t say I know Nigeria because I stay for just two weeks. I saw a goodÂ weather, a serene environment and a place that keeps one away from urban Lagos but IÂ canâ€™t understand how people are still surviving with their kind of roads. There isÂ no water and electricity. Our host spent much money on buying diesel to run theÂ generator. This makes living expensive, even in the community.
â€œThis environment is a very interesting world on its own. Everywhere is polluted;Â there is pollution of air from generating sets all over the place. I experiencedÂ pollution of sound from loud speakers from nearby churches. I saw young boys, girlsÂ and sometime mothers searching for drinkable water.
â€œThe state government needs to come and assist the people in this community. From myÂ findings, these people have been neglected and it corroborated what I have heardÂ about countries in Africa,â€ he said.
On the goal of the workshop, the Canadian explained that it was aimed at pickingÂ local artists for international exposure, adding that the workshop was vital forÂ Nigerians because it could create the desired changes for the society, particularlyÂ school leavers and young graduates.
The workshop focuses on Film, Dancing, Painting, Photography, Graphic design,Â Painting and Illustration, Painting, Visual-Art, Writing and Sculpture.
â€œI am a facilitator and we assist artists to move abroad because some residents overÂ there are ready to pay for the welfare of such artists. Art can change a lot ofÂ things and there are several opportunities in it,â€ said.