One thing about Nigerians is that we are good at finding our way out of any difficult situation. Whether it is a place we have never been or an appliance strikingly unfamiliar, trust Nigerians to always find their way around the problem.
This special adeptness of Nigerians is also observed in the names we give common things we use all the time. Tools and utensils whose correct names we do not know are easily given our own Nigerian names to save everyone the headache of trying to find the right word.
This clever Nigerian way of naming things is manifest in what we call the foods we eat, our animals, fruits, our means of transport, etc. Sometimes, the Nigerian names of things feels easier and smoother to use so even when the real name is discovered, we’d still stick to the old one.
A good example is the kitchen utensil we call “turning garri” in Nigeria. Some people also call it “garri cutter” or “omorogun” in the Yoruba Language. It is the long wooden stick with a flattened head used in mixing garri with hot water to create smooth hot eba. A Nigerian singer called Rema once sang: “Amaka body sweet pass hot eba.” #NoDigressing.
So what is the correct English name for ‘Turning Garri’ or ‘Omorogun’ in Nigeria?
The correct English name for the kitchen utensil Nigerians call ‘turning garri’ or ‘omorogun’ is wooden spatula.
Though a spatula is usually flatter than the average turning garri at the head, it is still the closest kitchen tool to it. Kitchen tools are often made to serve a particular area’s culture, so turning garri or omorogun might just really be our own Nigerian kind of wooden spatula.
Note though that you should not use “wooden spatula” when you are in a Nigerian market to buy this object. Nobody will know what you are talking about. So, just better use what most people are already familiar with – TURNING GARRI.