Independence Day

Independence Day is the major national day in Benin. It annually falls on August 1 to celebrate the day, when Benin gained independence from France in 1960. The Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Benin) was a flourishing region since the end of the 15th century. The rulers of Dahomey sold their captivities to the Portuguese merchants, that led to the area being named “the Slave Coast”. After abolishment of slavery the kingdom gradually started to lose its status of regional powerful territory, that enabled the French to set their administration there in 1892. In 1899 France included French Dahomey to the French West Africa colony. Dahomey gained status of overseas territory of France in 1946, after the end of World War II. In 1958 France granted it autonomy, and the territory was named the Republic of Dahomey. Full independence was achieved on August 1, 1960, Hubert Maga became the first president of the Republic of Dahomey. The next 14 years of independence were the period of political instability. Four major figures dominated the region, that accompanied several coups. In 1975 the country was renamed to the People’s Republic of Benin.

Amiwo with Chicken

Serve 4


  • 4 chicken thighs and 2 breast cut in half
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup dried shrimp
  • 2 small cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 green peppers chopped
  • 3 cups cornmeal
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of red chili peppers
  • water
  • salt and pepper


In a large pan  add oil and brown chicken about 5 minutes a side, set aside and keep warm add to the pan  onions garlic and shrimp saute for 3 minutes, add back the chicken  1 can of tomatoes, 1 bouillon cube, green peppers and 1 cup water simmer for 20 minutes. In a separate pan add corn meal and toast for 2 minutes then add the other can of tomatoes, bouillon cube red chili peppers. salt and pepper ,water if needed. This should end up looking like porridge.  Plate with porridge on the bottom, sauce over top,then chicken.

Try this:

Sorrel or Sauvignon Blanc                           Gesondheid !