‘Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation’.
Finding reasons to host dinner parties, lunches etc in the comforts of your home should not be difficult.
Coming up with obscure reasons to host my guests gives me the inspiration to display my heritage. The conversation always gears towards knowing the history of my country (Ghana) and food.
With years of experience organising such private events, I have compiled a few videos covering table setting, how to set an African inspired table and how to include your heritage and personalise your table setting for the festive season.
After watching the videos were you inspired?
Tell me a bit about your culture and what pieces you will incorporate into your table setting.
Please your comments below with your answers and thoughts.
Imagine having a bad day and reading an email that changes your mood for the better. What bad day? Please ‘bad day’ my appointment with you is over, I’m busy filling my head with good thoughts ooh!
The email acknowledged and praised my sense of creativity including my style and an offer to visit Ghana briefly for a campaign shoot. Did I read ‘billboards in over 6 African countries, magazines etc…’ Mama where are you? I’ll surprise her instead.
My last visit to Ghana was to bury my little brother hence this email was a welcome distraction from my grief.
The realisation of seeing Mum again made me happy as I impatiently counted the days to immerse myself into this incredible experience.
Vlisco Group was founded in Helmond, The Netherlands in 1846 and produces fashion forward African Wax prints. Vlisco fabrics are an integral part in most African homes particularly in the Central and Western part of Africa. I grew up knowing about Vlisco from my Mum as it was her favourite in terms of design and quality.
Mums vintage African fabric pieces are from Vlisco and they still look new (I rummage through her wardrobe and wear them whenever I’m in Ghana).
Vlisco Group’s brand portfolio consists of four brands: Vlisco, Woodin, Uniwax and GTP..
Fafa Gilbert @ndudu_by_fafa puts Ghanaian cuisine on the world map via social media. Coming from the Volta region in Ghana but living in London, she skillfully interweaves both cultures in her recipes as well as in her unique fashion approach.
Fashion by @lumierewoman.
The positive energy on set was electric as each creative individual expressed themselves through the entire shoot. I’ll talk more about this later in another post; including the two amazing ladies I worked with during this campaign.
The theme for the campaign was ‘NEW BOLD ROMANTICS’ and they certainly made me feel like a ‘Queen’.
Link below to purchase the fabrics directly from their website.
The designers chosen for my outfits were Lumiere Woman and Sadia Sanusi, Hair by Kush Taylor, Jewellery by Chyba Jewellery, Make up by Woena Makeup Artistry, Photographs by Matthew Miziolek with Creative Directors Grietje Schepers and Sanne Huijsmans.
Yam Porridge (MPOTO-MPOTO) or Yam Pottage is a tasty one pot dish (popular in both Ghana and Nigeria), made with either Yam, Cocoyam, Plantain, Hannah Sweet Potatoes or Japanese Sweet Potatoes. I have made different creative versions of this recipe, however I kept to the authentic recipe this time.
An authentic Yam Porridge recipe is smoky in flavour (derived from the inclusion of smoked Fish) and has a distinctive mustard colour due to the inclusion of Palm oil or Zomi.
Please ensure your Palm oil is sustainably produced and it is best to use Zomi for this recipe.
Zomi is Palm oil infused with secret spices which adds a fragrant nutty taste to the dish.
2 large smoked Fish
1 large Onion
5 Green chillies
400g of peeled and cubed Yam pieces
700ml of Water
Salt to taste
6 whole Green chillies
1 sliced Onion
Watch how I made this authentic recipe on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ below,
Don’t forget to subscribe, like the videos and share with your family and friends.
The gentleman sitting opposite blatantly stared as I held his gaze for what seemed like eternity. His gaze told a brief story of worry and anxiety as I smiled to say it’s okay ‘today to shall pass’.
I sipped on my chilled glass of fresh Watermelon blend as another gentleman approached in a pensive mood. Oops! Why the stern look, I asked myself.
The conversation between the two gentlemen explained both their moods. My ‘konkonsa’ ears were activated 🙈
Seemed Mr. Worried Gaze has been naughty at work and was getting an earful of ‘blasting’. I decided to walk away from where I was sitting to save the gentleman from any further embarrassment.
I found myself by the poolside (which was quiet as I set my plan in action to surprise Mum and cousins for breakfast.
This surprise could go two ways, they either surprised me by declining my invite or better still honour the invite and interrogate me. I preferred the latter but not the interrogation.
The look on my Mums face was priceless coupled with the exuberant conversations that ensued thereafter. I managed to have an informal interview with Mum, however I missed recording most part of the interview (maybe due to my excitement 😢).
We headed to a local Chop Bar as I craved Fufu and Goat Meat Light soup with a chilled glass of Star Beer.
The next 3 days were packed with the main reason I went to Ghana (which will be revealed at the opportune time).
Accra’s aura felt so different this time round; maybe because I looked at it from an artistic and creative point of view.
Accra exuded confidence in its warm embrace of hardworking individuals who either gave you the occasional smile or blank stare.
It felt good to be home, however I knew I had limited time and couldn’t catch up with everyone (which was disappointing).
The atmosphere felt positive as mothers dropped their kids off to school, the Police doing their random checks on vehicles, hawkers balancing their wares on their head whilst skilfully dodging on coming traffic as we traveled to different locations across the city.
The smell of charcoal roasted ripened Plantain filled the vehicle as we all had a bite of this wonderful Ghanaian snack, whilst driving past the Accra Supreme Court
The entire crew had dinner at the Gold Coast Restaurant and we ended the night at Carbon Night Club which was an incredible experience.
The final filming was done as the crew headed back to Europe and I had 12hrs free to spend with Mum before heading back to London.
Watch excepts of my short time spent in Accra. Hope you’re intrigued enough to visit Ghana soon.
I arrived in London on Monday morning, dropped off my luggage’s at home and dragged my tired self straight to the office. Phew! What a memorable weekend and a priceless experience.
Watch Accra through my eyes in a compiled video and photography below;
Don’t forget to like the video, share and subscribe.
All photos, recipes and videos are by the owner of this blog.
Ghanaian recipes are varied and I seem to find new recipes each time, like this stuffed Crab known as Akotonshi. I was rather intrigued about this dish as I could not place it to a specific tribe in Ghana, (apart from the name suggesting it might have originated from the Ga tribe) which is a hazard guess. Please share your knowledge about this dish as it is easy to emulate with my added twist. Fresh Crabs are readily available in Ghana hence this recipe is a must try.
The easiest way to prepare this dish is to get a packet of fresh Crab meat from your fishmongers. I used my Jollof stew recipe as a base for this stuffed Crab recipe, which you can watch below. A perfect dish to serve as a starter to impress your guest.
100g of White Crab meat
50g of breadcrumbs
20g of chopped Spring Onions
20g of chopped Parsley
2 large chopped Tomatoes
150g of Jollof stew
2 tablespoonful of Shrimp powder
1 deseeded finely chopped Habanero chilli
1 tablespoonful of Coconut oil
Salt to taste
Watch how prepare Akotonshi below;
Serve the Akontonshi with either Green salad or Vegetable stir fry.
Don’t forget to like the video, subscribe, try the recipe and leave comments with your feedback.
All photos, recipes and ingredients are by the owner of this blog.
Today is going to be a ‘Me’ day, said ‘I’ who stretched out of bed at 5am. Can I make it to the Carnival today? I knew the answer already (🤫) if I had to even ask myself that.
I spent yesterday spring cleaning the house and my wardrobe; which meant today was scheduled for a self indulgent ‘dress up’ day!
The few bags of clothes could wait till tomorrow for the charity shop as I began to run the bath for a long relaxing soak.
Why am I writing this?
Over the years I have been working relentlessly towards my dreams and pushing myself even when I should have taken a break. I achieved most of the things I wanted but I also lost a great deal. I lost the little priceless things that made me feel alive, connected to my spirit and outrageous.
I did not realise this till I lost my little brother and became grief stricken. I could not hide from this pain, I couldn’t brush it aside… I tried picking myself up but I couldn’t… So I decided to write a letter to my brother instead. The one letter has turned into 6 letters so far. I didn’t realise I had so much to say…phew
I decided to do some self loving this bank holiday weekend, (feeling lighter and positive) by changing the ambience of my environment starting with the house.
Just as I was about to put on something comfortable after my bath, I had the thought to dress up instead and go about my day. I grabbed my puffy Gold Kimono gown from Lumiere Woman, cowrie necklace from Malene Birger and cloth from Vlisco (head wrap).
Wrapping the headpiece took me back to my childhood, where I dressed up wearing my Mums vintage dresses (and quickly placing them back before she got home) and dreaming of being a Princess one day 😂😂😂.
Dressing up for me was a perfect escapism for a life I wished for, a dream I held close and the courage to pursue them. Growing up in an environment where being different (especially with your thought process) wasn’t encouraged, made it difficult to be expressive and creative. However I found a way of expressing myself with no inhibitions by dressing up (this time not hiding from my Mum) as I imitated her mannerisms and looks which made her laugh, to convincing my cousins Francisca and Jeanette to sing ‘Long Time Ago in Bethlehem ‘ at an Aunts wedding 😂😂😂 inclusive of the dreaded dodgy dance.
I had to take a few pictures for my memory bank about today. I feel lighter, I miss my brother (I told my cousin Juliet whilst writing this piece how much I miss Theo) I’m actually ‘welling’ up…phew.
My weekend is usually packed with filming, editing and researching; hence the idea of giving a Kitchen tour filled me with both excitement and dread. Over the years I’ve had requests for a Kitchen tour but I declined each offer or suggestion due to my packed schedule.
Each month, I do a spring clean of my Kitchen, hence I knew it will be only natural to film this episode, especially when Sisi Yemmie requested a tour.
My Kitchen is what I describe as an organised ‘mess’ and contemporary. I hope you enjoy the tour coupled with my dodgy dance and ‘Rap’.
Blackberries are nutrient packed berries, including Vitamin C, K, A, Manganese (which is vital for a good brain function), high in antioxidants, fights against skin ageing , great anti inflammatory capabilities and an Immune booster to mention but a few.
Lassi is a yoghurt based drink from the Indian subcontinent. It can be enjoyed just by adding salt , Mint or your preferred fruit.