Moderator: Happy New Year and welcome to 2023! This year, we have a long list of people who want to make their case in front of the judge. For our first debate of the year at Zikoko HQ, Amala, Eba and Pounded Yam will go against each other for the title of “Best Swallow in Nigeria”. To make it more interesting, Semo will make a case for why they should be included as one of the top swallows. 

As usual, there are two rounds. The three parties will present their arguments to the judges in the first round. They have two minutes each, so they have to be as brief as possible. In the second round, they’ll go toe-to-toe. May the best swallow win.

Eba, you’re up first. 

(Eba walks to the stand) 

Image credit: Tribune online

Eba: Good morning my able panel of judges, accurate timekeeper and moderator. My name is Eba, and I’m here to assert the motion that I’m the best swallow in Nigeria. You see, I’m a staple food in every Nigerian home. When there’s nothing to eat, I’m there. And unlike Amala, I’m not limited to one soup.


Eba: I’m the cheapest swallow, and I come in many variations — yellow, white and Ijebu garri — so people get to experience me differently. Oh, and let’s not forget I’m easy to make. I’m ready in five minutes, and you don’t have to use all the power in your body to turn or pound me. 

(Eba walks back to their seat as Amala walks to the stage) 

Amala: There is this constant debate about whether I’m trash or not. But the people who say I’m trash usually haven’t tried me yet.

Exhibit A

I may be tough to make, but trust me, I’m worth the wait.

Pounded yam: Are you flirting with the judge?

Amala: Shut up. What are you saying? 

Like I was saying, I’m not a common commodity eaten by everybody, like eba and pounded yam. I’m a rare gem. I’m mostly seen at parties where people rush me. My dear audience, how many times do people ask for eba at parties? Are they even invited for parties? Exactly. I’m the most talked about swallow, and if I wasn’t the best, people wouldn’t be out there fighting for me.

(Amala walks back to their seat as pounded yam mounts the stage) 

Pounded yam: Good morning, everyone. My name is pounded yam, and I’m THE best swallow in Nigeria. First of all, I’m the only sweet swallow; people can decide to eat me without soup, and I’ll still taste delicious. My skin is smooth, so unlike eba, I won’t get stuck in your throat. Swallows like semo and fufu tried to copy me but they didn’t turn out right, and that’s why many people don’t like them. I’m wanted both at home and at parties, and that’s why I’m the best.

(Semo walks to the stand)

Image credit: Business day

Semo: I’m tired. I’m tired of the constant semo slander. Many years ago, people loved me. I was one of the top swallows in many households. Then the Gen-Zs and younger millennials came around and started tainting my name. Now, pounded yam has the audacity to tell me I’m trying to be like them. Me!

Amala: Ermmm. This isn’t supposed to be a movie monologue. It’s a debate. Get to your points.


I need people to stop slandering me. Not only is it affecting my mental health, but also, everything bad being said about me comes from Gen-Zs. So clearly, there’s an agenda against me. How can you say I taste like ass when Fufu exists? 

I look and taste good. If not, why did Brighto always cook me in the Big Brother Naija house that year? If I’m that bad, why are factories still producing me? Clearly, I’m wanted. It’s 2023, time to stop with the insults and grow up. I’m a good ass swallow (no pun intended), and I deserve to be added to the list of best swallows. 

(Semo walks back to their seat, and the moderator returns to the stage) 

Moderator: Well done on the first round. Now, it’s time to face one another. You have five minutes.

Amala: Pounded yam, how do you expect to be the best swallow when people have to suffer from body aches every time they pound you? 

Pounded yam: If you had some sense, you’d know there are new methods that don’t involve pounding. 

Eba: I don’t even know why this debate exists. I’m clearly the best. Do you know how many times I’m eaten in a week? Some people even eat me for breakfast and lunch. 

Amala: Being cheap and available to be used by everybody doesn’t make you the best. It just means you’re low-quality.

Eba: Coming from the person who’s constantly called trash? Not the pot calling the kettle black. 


Semo: I don’t care about all these things you people are saying. I just want everyone to agree I deserve to be at the top just like all of you. 

Amala: See this plagiarised pounded yam talking. Abeg, shift. 


Eba: Please, don’t make pounded yam feel important. *Looks at pounded yam* People barely eat you or talk about you. Sometimes, we even forget you exist. Even semo is more talked about than you. Even if it’s slander.


Pounded yam: What is this one saying? You that tastes like sand. You’re only good for sticking things on the wall.  

Amala: And you have a serious case of identity crisis because you can’t decide if you want to be yellow, white or Ijebu.

Eba: Are you mad? 

Amala: And Pounded yam, you make people feel too heavy. That’s why they don’t like to eat you. 

Pounded yam: People don’t like to eat you cause you’re black.

Amala: Wow! The colourism jumped out. Not that I expected better from a light-skinned person anyway. 

Moderator: Okay, that’s enough. Time’s up. Let’s take a short break to give the judges time to collate the results and decide on a winner. 

(One of the judges walks to the stage) 

Judge: You all did well in your arguments. But a winner must be decided.  

Judge: And the best swallow to exist in Nigeria is… Amala!


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