Guest Post – Dodo, Far From Home

I know this feeling of being away from home and looking for plantain, and finding some from Colombia and other places and you sha buying and dreaming of Ogoni plantains – because they have the best ever! Thank you Francesca for sharing this funny, true in many ways piece. May you find plantain where ever you journey o. Amen

If you’re away from home, in Obodo Oyinbo, for example and the local grocery stores only occasionally have good ripe plantains, it is your patriotic duty to buy as many of them as will fit in your house. You must do it because only God knows the next time they will be in stock. And you really want to get them before Mary from the only African restaurant in the area buys them all and sells them  — shoddily fried and overpriced — to all those Oyinbo people that don’t know any better.

Obodo Oyinbo, meaning white people’s city/ place/ land [Igbo]. Of Obodo, land and Oyinbo, people

'Cooking' bananas

Oyibo or Oyinbo is a word used in Igbo, Yoruba, and Nigerian Pidgin to refer to Caucasians. In Nigeria, it is generally used to refer to a person of European descent or people perceived to not be culturally African. The word is pronounced oyinbo in Yoruba speaking areas and oyibo in Igbo language. Both terms are valid in Pidgin English; Source – Wikipedia

When you buy all the ripe plantains you can manage, cut them however you see fit. Your cutting preferences are between you and the Lord. If you have coconut oil for frying, well done, use it. The aroma of sweet dodo frying in gorgeous coconut oil might make you cry. If you don’t have coconut oil, then any oil will do (you probably won’t weep from sheer bliss, but that’s okay, save the tears for another time).


This is the important part: don’t half-ass the frying. Do you hear?

Do. Not. Dare. Half. Ass. The. Frying.

Fry the plantains until they are a deep golden brown.

But don’t you dare burn it like a pathetic heathen!

Fry until they are a perfect deep golden brown. Do you understand?


This is where that miracle can happen. That miracle where, depending on the ripeness of the plantain, the sugars in the dodo kiss the hot oil and create this incredible caramelized chewy edges.

Yes, there is justice in the world after all. As long as there is Dodo, hope and goodness still remain.


Now for decisions.

If you must share, share it with people, who understand. People that can truly appreciate your generosity – African and Caribbean friends will likely get it, share with them. Share with your other black friends because if they don’t already know about dodo, they deserve to, they deserve the love.

Whatever you decide, make sure you get to the grocery store and buy all the plantains before Mary from the only African restaurant in the area buys them all and sells them  — shoddily fried and overpriced — to all those Oyimbo people that don’t know any better.

Francesca Ekwuyasi is a writer and filmmaker from Lagos, Nigeria. Her work explores themes of faith, family, queerness, consumption, loneliness and belonging. You may find her writing in Winter Tangerine Review, Brittle Paper, Jalada/Transition Magazine Issue 05/123, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and Guts Magazine. Visit her portfolio at


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