Watermelon is one of the superfoods that comes from Africa. This delicious and nutritious food is enjoyed all over the word, but many people don’t know it originated on the African continent. It is widely believed that watermelons originated in southern Africa. This vine like plant was cultivate by Africans in the Nile valley at least 5000 years ago. It might be just a coincidence that it shares the same red black and green colors of the African liberation flag, but let’s take a closer look at this favorite of young and old.
Through migration, trade and colonialism the watermelon has been introduced to the rest of the world. There are many varieties and cultivars of water melon, some with stripes, no stripes and dots. There are also seedless varieties and some with red, yellow, orange and even white flesh. Watermelon has been considered both a fruit and a vegetable. Many parts are used for food including the flesh, seeds, and rind. Juice and even wine can be made from the melon. Watermelons are 90% water and contain many nutrients. Vitamins A, B6, C,
Vitamins A, B6, C, lycopene and antioxidants are some of the nutrients contained in this nourishing food. In desert areas where watermelon grows wild both people and animals use it for water and nourishment. There are many reported health benefits that this food provides including, lowering blood pressure, being anti-inflammatory and improving erectile dysfunction. Watermelon known by many names:“inhabe” in Zulu, “elegede” in Yoruba, “nwiwa” in Shona, “tikitimaji”, in Kiswahili, and “Georgia Ham” in the southeastern U.S.
Like all of our Natural resource watermelon can be another tool used in the development and liberation of African people. With the correct infrastructure in place, Africans growing watermelons, in Jamaica, Mississippi, Brazil or Nigeria, could send fresh melons along with medicine and clean water to drought stricken areas where African people live. We could send the same, to places like Haiti when disaster strikes.
With the true African development Africans in parts of Haiti and the Dominican Republic would be able to provide this relief. There are so many resources available to African people. With true development these resources can be used to benefit African People. Join AAPDEP so we can start to build real African development for African people.