In the 1940s Augustine Amadi was a champion rice eater, having consumed fourteen plates of jellof rice. The plates were 12 inches in diameter and the rice was heaped onto his plate and measured two inches high and had to leave no more than a centre meter of diameter of plate.
Jellof rice is West African fried rice. It is cooked in onions, garlic, and curry powder. And other local spices; either with fish or chicken. Some people eat it with stew, but for an eating competition, plain jellof is preferable.
The day before the main event most contestants do not eat. They go for a one mile jog in the morning and then spend the rest of the day at home keeping their mind off food.
The next day a light breakfast in the morning is necessary. Apparently it actually increases the appetite and keeps light-headedness at bay in the contestants.
Jugs of cold water are provided for the contesters and bets are taken before the eating begins. There is no time limit to the eating. The contesters keep eating until they pull out. They are not allowed to leave the table unaccompanied. The reason being so that they do not try and throw up some of the food.
Invariably it is friends and family who bet and cheer the eaters on. The winner of the event can get anything from a few bags or rice to a cow or a second-hand car. It is not like making a basketball bet. Nba odds are there for us to make a try.