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FCT community where frying of Akara is forbidden

Akara (Bean cake) is a popular street snack and staple food in Nigeria and some other African countries.

Though its origin is said to be from the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria, it has found its way to the tables of other West African countries and even beyond. It is enjoyed in many Nigerian homes either as breakfast or dinner.

Akara, which is made from beans is peeled and blended with pepper and seasoning added, it is then fried and served with garri, custard, pap, oatmeal or bread.

Inspite of its popularity, some communities forbid the frying of Akara.

About 10 minutes drive from Gwagwalada, a University community in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), is Chukuku Village, a farming community, where it is taboo to fry Akara.

Even with the globalisation and modernity that surrounds one of the fastest-growing capital cities in Africa, FCT, Chukuku Community, still believes in the ancient myth and tradition of its forebears, which forbids the frying of Akara within the community.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) research shows that eating Akara was not forbidden in Chukuku, but frying or baking it within the community is a taboo.

The Chief of Chukuku Community, Malam Bikko Usman, said there were no particular or specific reasons why the residents of the community do not fry Akara, but a tradition handed over by their forefathers.

Usman, however, said that Akara could be bought from outside the community and eaten in the community. “It is the frying that is forbidden not the eating”, he said.

The Community Secretary, Sarki Tsugbaza, said the myth was an instruction handed down by the community’s forefathers, adding that it was a tradition to be respected generations to come.

“You can go anywhere to buy and bring here to eat but you can’t fry it here in Chukuku,” he said.

He, however, revealed that it was a delicacy eaten and sold in the community but no one was permitted to fry the Akara in the area.

“We learned from our forefather that people are not allowed to fry Akara in this community, and we asked why we were told it's their forefathers’ instruction.

“They didn’t explain to us the reason for it, we also believe that since our forefathers said that they did not know the reason and it was an instruction handed over to them, so shall it be,” he said.

The scribe of the community explained that they all grew up with the consciousness that it was a tradition not to be broken, and so, no one knew the consequence for disobeying the taboo.

Tsugbaza added that there was no record of anyone found to have gone against the myth since the creation of the village.

A resident of the community, Mr Sila Deka, who said he had been resident in the community for over 10 years, confirmed that it was taboo to fry Akara in Chukuku.

Mrs Junmai Leda, who was born in the community, said that she was told by her grandparents that history had it that a woman, who used to fry Akara in the olden days in the community disappeared without a trace.

“The Chief of the community then made a decree that Akara should not be fried in the community again. (NAN)

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