Governor Biodun Oyebanji Elevates Ekiti’s Culinary Heritage: Pounding Yam Atop Abanijorin Rocks

By
Wale Ojo- Lanre .

In a remarkable display of cultural pride and culinary celebration, the Governor of Ekiti State, His Excellency Biodun Oyebanji, recently showcased the rich agricultural heritage of Ekiti people by pounding yam, a staple menu of the region, at the summit of Abanijorin Rocks during the Ekiti Mountain Easter Tourism Carnival, an event powered by the Ekiti State Bureau of Tourism Development and Discover Ekiti Tourism Club . This symbolic act not only highlighted the governor’s connection to his roots but also underscored the significance of food tourism in promoting and preserving Ekiti’s unique culinary traditions.

Ekiti, a land locked State located in the southwestern part of Nigeria, is renowned for its fertile lands and the cultivation of yam, a crop deeply ingrained in the cultural fabric of its people.
Pounded yam, a delicacy made from boiled yam tubers pounded into a smooth, stretchy consistency, holds a special place in the hearts and palates of Ekiti residents.
Pounded yam is not merely a meal but a symbol of communal identity and unity, often shared during festive occasions, gatherings, and ceremonies.

The choice of Abanijorin Rock, Iyin Ekiti , as the setting for this culinary spectacle adds another layer of significance to the event.
As one of Ekiti’s natural wonders, the rocks stand tall as a testament to the state’s breathtaking landscapes and adventurous spirit. By bringing the traditional practice of pounding yam to such a majestic location, Governor Oyebanji not only paid homage to Ekiti’s agricultural heritage but also invited locals and tourists alike to appreciate the beauty of their surroundings while indulging in the state’s culinary delights.

Furthermore, the Ekiti Mountain Easter Tourism Carnival served as a platform to promote food tourism, recognizing the economic potential of showcasing Ekiti’s gastronomic offerings to a wider audience. In an era where travelers seek authentic cultural experiences and unique culinary adventures, Ekiti’s traditional cuisine, with its emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and time-honored cooking techniques, presents a compelling draw for visitors seeking to explore the rich tapestry of Nigerian culture.

Beyond its cultural significance, the governor’s act of pounding yam atop Abanijorin Rocks sends a powerful message about the importance of preserving and celebrating indigenous foodways in the face of modernization and globalization. As communities around the world grapple with issues of food security, sustainability, and cultural preservation, Ekiti stands as a shining example of how embracing one’s culinary heritage can not only nourish the body but also feed the soul and foster a sense of pride and belonging.

In conclusion, Governor Biodun Oyebanji’s symbolic gesture of pounding yam at the pinnacle of Abanijorin Rocks serves as a poignant reminder of the intrinsic connection between food, culture, and identity.
By embracing and showcasing Ekiti’s culinary heritage, the governor has not only elevated the profile of the region’s traditional cuisine but also paved the way for a thriving food tourism industry that celebrates the richness and diversity of Nigerian gastronomy. As Ekiti continues to welcome visitors from near and far, may its tables be laden with the flavors of the past, present, and future, ensuring that the legacy of pounded yam endures for generations to come.

……Wale Ojo- Lanre ,Esq is the Director – General, the Bureau of Tourism Development, Ekiti State

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