In Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, the Jollof reigns supreme. (Courtesy of
In Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, the Jollof reigns supreme. (Courtesy of

Thinking about celebrating Thanksgiving in the spirit of Africa or just hanging around some African friends? Then try these sample traditional menu items and be the cultural “it” boy or girl for the evening:

• Angolans live for their fish soup or caldeirada de peixe and calulu, dried fish with vegetables.
• Attiéké is a traditional couscous made from ground cassava roots and dubbed one of Ivory Coast’s prized possessions.
• Senegalese fish and rice or thiéboudienne is a national dish.
• South Africans chow down on Chakalaka, a simple, spicy dish of onions, tomatoes and often beans.
• Ethiopians and Eritreans pair their injera or bread with wat (stew or curry that may be prepared with chicken, beef, lamb, a variety of vegetables and spice mixtures) of all kinds​.

Keep staples such as meat, fish, rice, stew, vegetables and sauce in mind, and your audience will never forget you.

With so many delicacies to choose from, pick wisely and from the heart and remember the African proverb: “Don’t take another mouthful before you have swallowed what is in your mouth.”

Africa Shops Black Friday, Too

With the increase in technology and access to the internet around the globe, places as far away as Africa are also anxiously awaiting the U.S.’s consumer-crazed Black Friday.

Mark Mahoney, manager of eCommerce services for delivery company Aramex Global Shopper, reported that Amazon remains the “go-to” site, with many consumers, particularly those in South Africa, looking for health and beauty items.

“Black Friday traditionally kicks off the global retail festive season — we saw a 31 percent increase in shipments over the festive season in 2016 and anticipate a similar spike this year,” Mahoney said.

Additionally, year-on-year growth in global shopping shipments grew by 96 percent, Mahoney said.

“While local retailers offer great savings over Black Friday weekend, retailers across the globe frequently cut prices to a mere fraction of their original price,” he said.

In places such as South Africa, other hot-ticket items include sports equipment, gadgets, technology and toys for those celebrating Christmas.

Barbie Gets a New Friend

Just in time for the holidays, the iconic doll Barbie is bringing home a brand new friend — all dressed up in a hijab.

Mattel, the doll’s manufacturer, is paying tribute to sabre fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics while wearing her hijab. The doll will wear a competition fencing outfit and headscarf, all done in the athlete’s likeness.

“Thank you @Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the @Barbie #Shero family! I’m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab! This is a childhood dream come true,” Muhammad tweeted.

Part of Mattel’s “Shero” line, which showcases female heroines who’ve shattered stigmas, surpassed boundaries and or acted as role models, the line is also expected to include Black U.S. gymnast and gold medalist Gabby Douglas.

The full line of Shero dolls will be available by fall 2018.

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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