Proximity to Europeans is What Gave Africans Gari

I saw this on Instagram yesterday and my heart nearly jumped out of my chest.

I mean.

My God.

I could NOT believe what I was reading. How was I seeing what I was seeing? Who was the man who threw these words together to spout this nonsense? Surely, it had to be a white man, because no woman in her right mind (black, white or other) would be clueless enough to make this assertion. Only a man would do something this wicked.

Proximity to Europeans is what gave the Wapixana people gari???

Please, I’m not here to write a think piece about appropriation and Anglo Saxon’s propensity for hijacking culture. We are passed those days, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they can’t help it. Furthermore, I’m just tired. And add to that, they’ve been doing this since the days of Rome. Romans were notorious cultural and intellectual appropriators, going even as far as forcing their enslaved African and Greek captives to tutor their children and then forbidding them to use that knowledge to advance their own communities. (I swear. Look it up.) So this behavior is just a continuation of an ancient tic. Nevertheless…we have gari because of Europeans?

Sir! Which European country grows and harvests cassava? What is the European equivalent of fufu? Is there gari foto on any menu in Paris or Spain? Why do you insist on besmirching National Geographic’s good name with these lies? Is this the direction Rupert Murdoch is taking the once reputable publication in? Are we now to expect flagrant non-truths just because they are accompanied by a captivating picture?

Lies and deceit!

I tell you, I haven’t been this offended since some British man brought himself into the jollof wars and made the insidious claim that African’s never created jollof at all. I wish I could unearth that tweet, but it’s been two years hence and I hope he’s had the good sense to delete it by now. Concerning jollof: We all know it originated from Sene-Gambia. We know this, we don’t care. There are only two types of jollof vying for dominance in the jollof wars: Ghana jollof and its inferior counterpart, Naija jollof. We acknowledge Senegal’s contribution as the originator, therefore making their presence or participation in this culinary skirmish not required. But do you know what this obroni man said?

“Jollof was most likely created by French soldiers who required tasty, nutritious, one-pot style meals to feed their garrisons in West Africa.”

That’s what he said. That the FRENCH created jollof. Don’t worry! As for him, we chased him away! And then Jamie Oliver too went to throw lemon wedge on the side of his plate of anemic, soupy rice and dared to dub it “jollof”.



Now this gari-stealing Gerd Ludwig has brought himself too to claim that Europeans created gari. God in his golden kente robe. Why do these people insist on trying us like this? First they said Bo Derek created cornrows. Then they said Bjork created Bantu knots.

All the pleeenty appropriations in one horrendous shot. Source: xenecole

All the pleeenty appropriations in one horrendous shot.
Source: xenecole

Now they are telling us ‘Europeans’ created gari. Not the African slaves who had to live and work alongside the natives in Latin America ooo… Septimus dems. Next thing you know, they will claim that George Washington is responsible for the creation of grits.

Citizens. I don’t know how much of this my heart can take. They are trying to erase us and we are letting them. Instead of fighting for our heritage, we are fighting about whether a man and a woman have the right to physical intimacy after the performing of their traditional marriage. As if standing in front of a sweating priest in a white robe ever stopped any African from expressing their affections.

Don’t let them do this. Stand up. This Gerd fellow sounds Belgian, and those Belgians have been ruthless where Africa is concerned. The Belgians cut off the limbs and lips from Africans that they colonized. They burned people alive in vats of boiling oil. Over 200 years ago, they destroyed whole communities and those fractured states have yet to recover. Please don’t let them do this to gari.