C002D5556 Sunday 15 April 2018 36BDSUNDAY Consumer Watch Agbo consumption on the rise despite alleged health implications NGOZI OKPALAKUNNE Consumption of agbo, a herbal mixture, has become habitual among some consumers in Lagos that a day hardly passes without them drinking it. It is also observed that the number of agbo sellers has increased. Take for instance, if you stroll along many streets in Lagos, you will likely see many agbo joints as well as those hawking the mixtures. The increase in the number of buyers may not be unconnected with the campaign that people should return back to nature. It could also be as a result of increase in the prices of orthodox drugs which include anti-malaria; typhoid; pain relieving drugs, among others. According to a report on herbal mixtures by the World Health Organisation (WHO), traditional herbal medicines are naturally occurring plant-derived substances with minimal or no industrial processing that have been used to treat illnesses within local or regional healing practices. The above is an indication that WHO recognizes the effectiveness of herbal-based medicines, but only when aptly prepared, under the right circumstance and with required standard. A survey by Consumer Watch on agbo consump- Tasty Coconut Rice Ingredients • Rice • Coconut milk • Diced tomatoes • Habanero peppers • Green pepper (diced) • Onion (diced) • Vegetable oil • Salt • Black pepper Directions . Boil the rice in water for about 10-15 minutes and drain with a sieve. . Heat the vegetable oil in a cooking pot. . Add the onions and stir with black pepper for one minute. . Add diced tomatoes, habaneros, and coconut milk with the salt and cover to cook for about 5 minutes (or when the mixture comes to a boil). . Add the rice and stir and cover for about 7 minutes tion among consumers in Lagos revealed that many lower class consumers prefer herbal medicines to orthodox in the treatment of ailments such as malaria; typhoid fever; pains; arthritis; rheumatism, among others. However, for whatever cause and with the current arbitrary sales of this stimulating drink, it is attracting more and more patrons from other classes in the society. In an interview with Consumer Watch, a primary school teacher, Monica Michael said she and the children have been taking agbo in the last three years for the treatment of malaria and typhoid fever and added that the perceived (or when the rice is almost dry). . Add the green peppers and let simmer until the rice has absorbed all the juices. . Garnish with diced carrot if you wish. efficacy of the herbal brew in addition to high cost of orthodox medicines made her to take such decision. “Before now, l didn’t take agbo and my children didn’t as well, but when l realised the effectiveness of the mixture and its affordability, l switched over to it and ever since then, l don’t often suffer malaria; typhoid and waste pain; the same thing with my children, they hardly fall sick because we take it from time to time . “I don’t buy from the hawkers on the street, rather l buy herbs from the herbalist and prepare it for the entire family; so far, it has worked very well for us,” she said. Lola Alawode, another user of the brew, said that she takes agbo first thing in the morning before breakfast, adding that it has helped to regulate her sugar level. “l always take agbo jedi, that is a brand of the concoction that crashes sugar in the body system and it strengthens me also,” she said. But Christiana Chukwudinma revealed that she has not tasted agbo and will not, explaining that it has no dosage and therefore could be detrimental to her health. “I am skeptical about the mixture; it does not have measurement unlike orthodox medicines. I am careful about what enters my mouth. Besides, some of the herbalists are fetish. Whenever l am sick, l do not want anything that will compound my problem. So, the only option whenever l take ill is to visit the clinic, whatever drugs they prescribe for me l will get the drugs and take them in good religiously and within a short time l will recover from the ailment,” she said. An interaction with some agbo sellers revealed that the herbs can either be mixed with alcohol or water. A seller around Surulere, Lagos, who identified herself as Mama Tosin, explained that most of her customers prefer herbs mixed with alcohol as alcohol seems to stay longer in the body than water. However, some consumers do not take agbo because it does not have prescribed amount unlike the orthodox medicine. Another agbo seller said: “We measure and sell to our customers and many prefer herbs mixed with alcohol except few who do not take alcohol based on their religious belief, they can buy the one mixed with water.” On the danger or otherwise of use of agbo, a medical practitioner who spoke on condition of anonymity, condemned the use of agbo in the treatment of any ailment, adding that it is detrimental to health. He attributed the increased cases of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), and liver problems to consumption of agbo. “Agbo does not come in grams like the orthodox drugs, you can imagine when one continues to take hard mixtures that do not have measurement, it will certainly destroy organs in the body,” he noted. Femi Aluko, a medical doctor with Imperial Hospital Lagos, described agbo as effective remedy for chronic diseases like asthma, hypertension, and tuberculosis, among others. “When you meet the right herbalist, he will give you the right prescription and if you can comply with the rules and regulations, it works very well,” he said. According to him, “herbalists are now becoming more refined unlike before when agbo was not well prepared. As a medical doctor, l will not discourage any patient from drinking agbo; l will advise that patients should meet the right herbalist and not hawkers who may want to compromise the quality by adulterating it with other substances that might not be healthy.” Eazy Coox redefines cooking with food condiments As part of its contribution to nutritional development and provision of a new cooking experience, Eazy Coox recently introduced four essential ready-to-use ingredients. The food condiments come in sealed glass jars of chopped garlic, chopped ginger, chopped scotch bonnet and chopped habanero chilli; all in 190g size packages. Eazy Coox’s mission is to help several upwardly mobile individuals, modern day women and families solve their cooking challenges with the provision of ready to use condiments. The products which come in glass jars are peeled, chopped and preserved in either white wine vinegar or olive oil for an easy to use experience. During a chat with the founder of Eazy Coox, Bolanle Akinyemi said: “Upon return from the United Kingdom, I searched for a substitute to the bottles of chopped garlic and ginger I used to bring back. Given that we are blessed in abundance with garlic and ginger with a higher nutritional value, we decided to support the buy-Nigeria policy by providing ready-touse food condiments in a way that will compete with those I used to bring back home.” Eazy Coox was established in 2014 with the vision to provide the most convenient food condiments to consumers in Africa. The company believes cooking should be fun, exciting and above all easy, creating an adventure with flavors that explore different tastes of the world.
Sunday 15 April 2018 C002D5556 37 Arts The intrigue of the Stretched Terrains …as Lufthansa, Brussels airlines support West African artists in Dak’Art, residency tour in mobile museum OBINNA EMELIKE On April 11, 2018, a group of artists began a six-week journey from Lagos, Nigeria to Dakar, Senegal with a Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines branded, converted public transport bus, called the Molue Mobile Museum of Contemporary Art. The branded and converted public transport bus is housing the “Stretched Terrains – The Mobile Museum on its Way to Dak’Art”, a residency programme for young artists from Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Germany on the move spanning several countries in West Africa, which is supported by Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines. As well, the “Stretched Terrains – The Mobile Museum on its Way to Dak’Art” project is one of the many art development and exchange programmes of the Goethe Institut; the German cultural mission across the world. Explaining the rationale for the unique residency project, Robin Sohdi, general manager, Lufthansa, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, says, “‘Stretched Terrains’ is a great platform to show the strengths of Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines in West Africa working closely together and supporting the development of young African talents”. Robin Sohdi, Lufthansa Regional manager sales, Friederike Möschel, director Goethe-Institut Nigeria, Monsuru Alashe, Nigerian artist, Gabriel Goller, German artist, Emeka Udemba, curator of the ‘Stretched Terrains’ art project before departure of the Molue Mobile Museum road trip with resident artists to DaK’Art in Senegal, one of the continent’s most important biennals for contemporary African art at the Goethe Institute in Lagos on Monday. The artists who are going for a residency tour will cross through Benin, Togo, Ghana, the Ivory Coast and Mali, with a planned arrival in Dakar, Senegal at the beginning of May for the opening of the13th International Biennial Dak’Art” exhibition. They will be greeted at every stop by the Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines and Goethe-Institut teams. Furthermore, they will display their artwork at each destination they stop at. As well, when they get to Senegal, the artists will stay for the Dak’Art” exhibition until May 7, 2018, when they will start their journey back to Lagos. On their way back, they will make stops again at all the previous Goethe- Institut locations they visited on the way to the exhibition, and hope to arrive in Lagos on May 25, 2018. During their journey, the artists will examine diverse public spaces as communication zones of social, economic and political interaction. The project embraces the diversity of practices and perspectives of the participating artists, who will discuss and exchange their artistic interactions as they travel almost 10,000 kilometers on a road trip. The artwork, which will be created in Dakar and during the journey, will be presented and discussed along the way back to Nigeria at the Goethe-Institutes and cultural centers at Dakar, Bamako, Abidjan, Accra, Lomé and Lagos. Emeka Udemba, a Nigerian artist who lives in Germany, is the curator of the project. The whole journey can be followed on the weblog, Stretched Terrains, and on social media with the hashtag #Stretched- Terrains. “Stretched Terrains – The Mobile Museum on the Way to Dak’Art” is a project by Goethe-Institut Nigeria, supported by Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines. Brussels Airlines is renowned for its Africa-expertise and is now fully integrated in the Lufthansa Group. While Lufthansa is Europe’s only 5 Star airline, and founder of Star Alliance, the largest airline network in the world. Lufthansa Group operates 240 weekly flights to 42 destinations in 28 African countries. Unmasked still runs at the Wheatbaker Since March 11, 2018 the public areas and open spaces at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, have been wearing more glamorous looks with the many artworks on display. The artworks, which have added to the beauty of the boutique hotel, are courtesy seven female artists from across the world who are participating in the ongoing exhibition tagged ‘Unmasked’. The artists include; Djakou Kassi Nathalie, Koromone Yobaere Koroye, Nengi Omuku, Nyancho Nwanri, Queen Nwaneri, Reha Shishodia and Somi Nwandu. The all-female exhibition explores the link between our thought world vis-a-vis the pressures women face in society. It looks at how women break down societal constructs, what it takes to be a woman and how women present their true selves. The art explores the concept of the female mental health and multi-layered self. It will reveal and inspire women to tear down facades often put up to survive and be found acceptable in a world that would rather behold the mask rather than the flawed, truthful self beneath the surface. In the exhibition, what is behind the mask will be revealed boldly, unapologetically, as women stand up and out for who they really are. Taking a look at one of the works, particularly Reha Shisho- dia, the Mumbai, India-based visual artist depicts the spirit of woman through her series of “Tryst of Inertia”. The undeterred spirit of a woman, according to her, is the core of her inner beauty. She remains unperturbed by her circumstances and the inertia caused by the mundane things of life increases her resilience. Her tryst with life and everything that it has to offer becomes the quintessential factor of her existence. She not only becomes a woman of substance but becomes the epitome of grace beauty and strength transcending her call of duty. The Unmasked runs till May 4, 2018 and is supported by The Wheatbaker and Louis Guntrum.