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In Wunmi Durosinmi-Etti’s household, food is a big deal.
The single mum from London loves every part of it; from cooking to consumption, having spent her childhood making delicious Nigerian dishes at home with her mum and even dabbling in growing her own ingredients.
In 2018, Wunmi decided to launch a YouTube channel as a hobby, showing how to make classic dishes from her home country, like Jollof rice, Suya and Moin Moin, but with a twist.
It would end up changing her life forever.
We’ve partnered with American Express to celebrate the moments which have put people on a new path and given them much more than they expected. Here’s Wunmi’s story…
A passion for cooking
“I love food and everything that can be done with it,” explains Wunmi.
“I’d even argue that I’m better at cooking than my mum! Then again, she taught me everything I know.
“I was making Nigerian dishes in my YouTube videos and a lot of people got in touch to ask where they could order my food. It felt like something just suddenly came together and it was a sign that I should focus on what was in front of me.
“The idea gave me peace of mind.
“I thought, maybe this is why nothing else is working out, maybe this is what I’m meant to do.”
Wunmi went on to launch her very own West African fusion private dining and catering company.
At the time, she was not only known for her cooking clips but also for highlighting racial issues under the moniker ‘Angry Black Wunmi’. It’s an issue that lies close to her heart and even inspired her business name: Angry Black Kitchen.
“A lot of people ask why I chose this name, with many saying it was a risky move,” Wunmi explains.
“Calling a Black woman angry takes away our vulnerability and softness, it takes away our power to just exist authentically. Through Angry Black Kitchen, I am taking the power of that phrase back. It’s in everything I am, so it’s only right that it be a part of my future.
“My food is made with love, not anger.”
A proud Black woman, Wunmi also wanted to show her daughter, seven-year-old Adunni, that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it and that you should always follow your passion.
“My daughter is the driving force behind everything I do,” says the 29-year-old from London.
“I don’t want her to ever miss out on things in life.”
New opportunities open up
Wunmi slowly built a reputation by putting herself up for local charity events and doing pop-ups.
Soon enough, the mum was catering for Black History Month – which she has done three years in a row – and in 2021, she pulls in huge orders from blue chip clients.
Wunmi has even launched her own product range including Nigerian spices and sauces.
“Jollof rice is one of my most popular dishes; it’s rice cooked in a tomato and pepper stew,” she says.
“You’ve got this nice hot flavour but it’s not overbearingly hot, and each grain of rice absorbs the liquid. My jollof rice is so good my little brother says it’s better than my mums!
“I also cook a lot with suya. Traditionally, you soak and marinate meat in the spice – it can be chicken, fish or even vegan options – and then grill it on an open fire. It’s amazing.”
While being able to share her heritage and Nigerian flavours with the world is fantastic, the best part of Wunmi’s new career goes back to the heart of it all: her love for her daughter.
She says: “My daughter loves food and helps me so much – I call her my line manager.
“Adunni is my right-hand woman, a better version of me and everything I wish I could have been growing up. We have an amazing honest, open and conscientious relationship and I am so grateful that she chose me to guide her through this lifetime.
“Being able to teach her that no matter what life throws at you, you can create any reality you want with the right mindset, self-belief and a little faith is a blessing, mainly because I teach her through action and not words.
“She has had a front row seat to what I've built and I hope it's something that stays with her forever.”
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