The battle between Ghana and Nigeria about which country cooks better Jollof Rice is more than just food.
The battle between Nigeria and Ghana on which country has the best Jollof Rice has reached almost epic proportions online. There is a constant argument on Twitter between Nigerians and Ghanaians about Jollof Rice.
Nigerians think their Jollof Rice can cure cancer. Ghanaians believe their Jollof is made in Heaven. If the war between Nigerians and Ghanaians ever turned physical, plates of Jollof rice would be tossed as ammunition.
While the war hasn't gone physical, it has been heavy online. In May 2016, a Ghanaian singer Sister Deborah released a song called 'Ghana Jollof' which took shots at Nigerian Jollof Rice. An accompanying video was released months later.
Nigerians had their pound of flesh when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg visited Nigeria in August and gushed about the country's Jollof Rice. Coupled with the fact that Zuckerberg didn't visit Ghana, Nigerians used this to taunt their West African neighbours.
To outsiders it seems two nations locking horns over a plate of Jollof Rice is absurd. Truthfully, on the surface, it is but the rivalry between Nigerian and Ghana runs deeper than a hot bowl of rice.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a genre of music called Highlife was created in Ghana which was formerly known as the Gold Coast. Highlife music is a style of dance music that mixes African rhythms with Western-influenced pop melodies.
By 1930, Ghanaian workers had spread Highlife music to other West African countries including Nigeria. This led to the emergence of many Highlife legends in Ghana and Nigeria.
Now there is no historical text that says Nigeria jacked Highlife, ran with and commercialised it more than the Ghanaians. Music historians have orally passed down the popular belief that Nigeria hogged Highlife much to the annoyance of Ghanaians.
The resentment which lingered for several decades reared it's ugly head when Chris Brown stated that Nigerians invented the viral dance move Azonto in 2013. Ghanaians quickly lashed out at Chris Brown and set the record straight.
Before Nigerians and Ghanaians started battling over Jollof Rice, they clashed on the football pitch. Black Stars of Ghana versus the Super Eagles of Nigeria is the equivalent of Argentina versus Brazil in South America.
The rivalry was at its height in the 80s which saw both Ghana and Nigeria win one Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 1980 and 1982 respectively.
Prior to that, Ghana had won two African titles in '63 and '65. This was a period when the Super Eagles wasn't a force to reckon with.
Nigeria would have an edge over Ghana in 1994 when it won its second continental title. In 2013 Nigeria won its third title in 2013. While Ghana hasn't won any title since 1982, the West African derby is a do-or-die affair between the neighbours.
Nigeria and Ghana have clashed over the years in music, football and food but the real reason why the two countries are bitter rivals is because of the proud culture of the two nations. Ghanaians are passionate and Nigerians are equally passionate about their culture too.
An average Ghanaian on the street believes the Ghanaian way of life is the only thing that matters. Nigerians believe their culture is supreme. So, you kind of get the picture why Nigeria and Ghana are rivals. The population of Ghana is 25 million, and the nation refuses to be bossed by the big brother next door. Nigerians are dominating by nature, but Ghanaians won't play easy and roll over. It's the big brother-little brother relationship dynamic.
However, it's not always competition between the two countries. The movie industries of the respective nations have collaborated so many times that many Ghanaian actors are referred to as Nollywood movie stars.
Nigeria and Ghana can fight about whose Jollof Rice is better and who plays better football but the two West African neighbours are more of brothers with sibling rivalry than enemies.