I should start with “Dear African literates, using my fingers to eat still makes me sane…”
A quick throwback to my days in secondary school (boarding house) – Fork and knife was the rule.
The school will deal with you mercilessly if caught not using this pair – you will be tagged as insubordinate.
Then the worse – your fellow compatriot (same people you call your classmates) will see you as not “tush”
This “how it should be” mentality as regards eating followed me back home, and my first holiday as a secondary school student was the best chance I had to prove to my parents that “they aren’t wasting their money”
It was time for dinner, got served Eba and Okro (I can remember vividly), everyone in the house washed hands to eat, then I, the new “oyinbo” in the house stood up to the kitchen and picked up fork and knife. – I became a “fork and knife” evangelist in the house; preaching to everyone how wrong it was to use fingers to eat; with Hollywood and the west as points. Everyone in the house laughed and knew that “last last, I go dey alright”
With time, I thought I had become a “fork and knife expert” – I joined the crew that laughed at people that couldn’t handle the fork and knife match – unfortunately for me, I was missing something…
I was missing the REAL TASTE of my continent’s food.
Eating African foods in a western way is like using toothpaste to spread bread – NONSENSE!
It took me time to get back to my originality, to be proud of the process I was born into.
Would you go to a Chinese restaurant or home and not use chopsticks to eat Chinese dish? – These things make me respect the Asians, they develop around their culture and I believe this is why the West feel intimidated by them.
My point is, we as Africans need to be proud of our own cultures and way of life before any other group takes us seriously. Enough of the copy and paste; let’s copy and modify to suit our own lifestyle if at all we need to copy.
With the trend of sustainable tourism, if you catch any black man using fork and knife to eat “swallows” please kindly carry the food away from the person, don’t let the person insult our culture –BTW, seems the person isn’t even hungry. Eat the food.
But if you get beaten up, I no send you. LOL