News Brief

Lagos Customs Just Stopped Tons of Plastic Rice From Entering Nigeria

Sketchy "businessmen" attempted to smuggle plastic rice manufactured in China into Lagos, but customs services stopped them.

Yes—you read that headline correctly.


Nigeria's customs service confiscated 2.5 tons of plastic rice that got smuggled into the country by sketchy "businessmen."

The fake rice was meant to be sold in markets during the holiday season, according to customs chief Haruna Mamudu. 102 sacks in total with each weighing 55 pounds were seized.

"He said the rice was very sticky after it was boiled and 'only God knows what would have happened' if people ate it," BBC Africa reports.

Martin Patience of BBC News Lagos on the seized plastic rice:

Whoever made this fake rice did an exceptionally good job—on first impression it would have fooled me. When I ran the grains through my fingers nothing felt out of the ordinary.

But when I smelt a handful of the "rice" there was a faint chemical odour. Customs officials say when they cooked up the rice it was too sticky—and it was then abundantly clear this was no ordinary batch.

Customs officials are currently looking into how much of the plastic rice has already been sold, warning the public not to consume it as it could be dangerous.

Mamudu also called on "economic saboteurs who see yuletide season as a peak period for their nefarious acts to desist from such illegal" business activity.

All of that grammar to say, in other words—

'Tis the season to be trash and set your own fellow citizens up for poison all for money's sake.

Shame.

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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