#NdidiaNnyin: Reviving The Akwa Ibom Identity
By Umoh-Obong Kingsley
Festivals are an expressive way to celebrate glorious heritage, culture and traditions. They are meant to rejoice special moments and emotions with loved ones. They play an important role in adding structure to social lives, and connect people with families and backgrounds, giving distraction from day-to-day exhausting routine of life, as well as giving some inspiration to remember the important things and moments in life.
All festivals are cultural in one way or another. Without culture, there is no identity. It is the culture that identifies the people, and part of the culture is the type of food they eat.
There are many who are not familiar with the local cuisines in Akwa Ibom State, while some cuisines are already extinct, and it takes events like the #IbomFoodFest to introduce and revive most of the cuisines in situations where people get to know foods that were predominant in the 19 centuries.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism seeks to interpret the vision of the state Governor, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, in making Akwa Ibom a strong international brain and a tourist destination in Africa, through culture – Ndidia Nnyin.
Ndidia Nnyin is a story being told in contemporary world about some of our foods that had been forgotten, but through research, we have brought them back to preserve our culture. To keep this culture, there is a recipe book for the 204 identified indigenous cuisines from the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State.
Ndia Nnyin, a tasty display of Akwa Ibom cuisines, is one of the events put together for the celebration of Akwa Ibom State at 30 with the brand #OrangeSeptember.
Orange as a colour, is the blend of red and yellow, a mixture of the energy associated with red and the happiness associated with yellow. Orange signifies brightness, a colour of friendship, optimistic, sociable, hospitable, industrious and adventurous. Those are the basic characteristics of an Akwa Ibomite, and orange is the colour of Akwa Ibom State.
Delicious and juicy orange fruit contains an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals for healthy growth and development and overall well-being. Oranges, like other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin-C. It is simplified in the body and person of Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel. His achievements in two years are remarkable. It is part of our movement to superior performance.
The effort of Governor Udom Emmanuel to ensuring that there is development in the state is very recommending. This will drag tourist attention to Akwa Ibom State. In no distance time, Akwa Ibom will be a tourist destination of choice in Africa.
Below are few of the identified indigenous cuisines in the state. Others are in the menu which will be launched later on the internet via www.orangeseptember.ng
1. Akara Mboro (Banana Cake): Each ball of Akara contains 71 calories.
2. Akara Iwa (Cassava Cake)
3. Asa Abre (Water yam porridge): Water Yam porridge lowers effect on blood cholesterol levels, decreases blood pressure levels. It is a good source of female, progesterone. It helps to balance female hormones and good for hormonal imbalance disorders and regulation of menses.
4. Oto Mboro (Banana Porridge) – cures internal heat, prevents illness
5. Nnya (Garden Egg)
6. Ukot Nsung (Palm Wine)
7. Ikang Iyak (Dry Fish)
8. Ndek Iyak (Fresh Fish)
10. Ntuen Ekpang
11. Ekpang Iwa
12. Ikpong Nwa-ekpo
13. Afia Ikpong (It is very good for diabetic patients, rich in Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorus, Vitamin 12 & B6. It aides digestion.
14. Ndandad Ikpong
15. Mkpurikpu (Edible Maggot species from the palm front, rich in protein and contains Omega-3 Oil)
16. Uboong Nkong (Pumpkin seed)
17. Mbokko (Sugar cane, contains natural sugar and does not have any side effect. It prevents stooling, malaria, and washes the system.
18. Mfang Aaya: This leaf has medicinal value and nice flavour. It can be used to wrap food like rice, moi-moi. It is has been abandoned for nylons which are proven to be possible cause of cancer.
19. Eben Atidong (pears which grows in the forest)
20. Ntuen Ibok
23. Iwele (Otong efere – rich in Omega-3)
24. Efere Obu (Crayfish soup – enhances and stimulates blood)
25. Fisherman soup
27. Ewuuk edesi (Jollof Rice)
28. Ntororo (Fufu)
30. Efere Editan (cures gonorrhoea in men)
31. Ukang ekwong (rich in protein and stimulates blood system
32. Ediang (groundnut-like seeds)
33. Ndube – rich in protein
34. Sukoro (Orange)
35. Mpuk-ifia (Mushroom)
36. Afia Efere (pounded yam soup)
37. Afang soup
38. Efere Atama (Banga soup)
39. Ewa (Dog meat) also known as 404 – rich in protein
People seen have forgotten or abandoned most of these foods to the new ones called ‘fast food’. It is imperative to revive those foods because they are highly delicious and nutritious.
Akwa Ibom is known anywhere in the world for the kind of food that we have. Nobody resists our food. Give a white man our Edikangikong and he will leak his fingers. With our food, we can compete anywhere in the world.