‘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.
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.
The smoky smell of barbecues, the chats, laughter, the odd loud drunks scream, the happy music and general ‘feel good’ atmosphere across the country is intoxicating to say the least. The walk through parks, trying to find a secluded place for a picnic can be challenging to say the least, however it’s a great opportunity to make new friends or better still invite a few friends over for a West African barbecue experience.
I’ve carefully selected 10 unique recipes of West African origin or influence for your next picnic. Most ingredients are readily available across the UK in either independent grocers or supermarkets.
Jollof rice cannot be omitted from a West African picnic basket. It’s an identity badge saying ‘I’m West African’, however be warned, you might be addicted to this dish or better still caught up in the ongoing dispute of ‘Which West African country makes the best Jollof’. Best way to win that argument is to say ‘Shh! Jollof originated from the Wolof tribe of SeneGambia’. How can you beat the originators of the dish?😜 Watch how to create this Jollof rice recipe infused with Corned Beef above.
The next dish which should be included is the ultimate Ghanaian Meat Pie. It’s best served with a bottle of chilled Coca Cola, Muscatela, Mirinda, Fanta (you know where I’m going with this). This dish is filled with nostalgia as it was and still is a favourite served at most parties. Ensure your pies are packed with a good amount of filling (no stinginess) and a crumbly crust by the following the recipe above.
Moinmoin (a gluten free steamed pudding) is made from deskinned black eyed beans mixed with Peppers, Tomatoes and Spices. Include smoked Mackerel, Prawns or Eggs for that added flavour. this classic Nigerian dish, I fell in love with it. I’ve included it to the list as it’s nutritious, packed with flavours and filling. It can be eaten hot or cold and works perfectly with any grilled Meat or Vegetable.
Now what’s Agbeli Kaklo (Cassava Fritters) doing here? Agbeli Kaklo is made from grated Cassava/Yuca/Manioc that’s spiced, fried and enjoyed with Coconut.
Do you want to see the remaining recipes that made this list?
Watch the video below for the full list and more.
Don’t forget to subscribe, like the video and share. All photos, recipes and videos are by the owner of this blog.
This recipe is inspired by both the Ghanaian raw pepper recipe and my Mums advise of using Char grilled Tomatoes for cooking.
This is my ‘go to’ sauce that keeps for up to a weak in the fridge, in an airtight container. You can include Beef stock cube for a meaty flavour or omit it altogether for a vegetarian version.
Charring the Tomatoes enhances its natural sweetness and incorporates a smoky flavour to your sauce. You can enjoy the sauce without frying it, however frying it in Coconut oil gives the sauce a distinctive taste.
3 large charred Tomatoes
1 tablespoonful of Chilli flakes (You can reduce the amount to your heat tolerance).
1 large Onion
20g of peeled and chopped Ginger
1 teaspoonful of Aniseed
1 small Beef stock cube (optional)
1 tablespoonful of Coconut oil
Salt to taste.
Add the Ginger, Aniseed , Beef stock cube and half the Onion to a blender. Blend into a silky smooth consistency.
Add the remaining Onion, Chilli flakes , Charred Tomatoes and half a teaspoon of salt. Using the medium to lowest setting of your blender, blend everything into a rough consistency.
Place a saucepan on a medium heat and melt the Coconut oil. Add the spicy Tomato mixture and fry on a medium to low heat for about 15-18 minutes or until the oil separates from the mixture.
Leave it to cool down and reserve it in an airtight container for at most 7 days and use when a recipe requires it.
Watch how to make this sauce on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ and don’t forget to subscribe and share.
This dish fills me with nostalgia, as it was my Mums favourite dish to make on Fridays. The dish is usually paired with a mixture of boiled ripened Plantain and Yam thinly sliced.
The best part of the dish was sharing it with my cousins, as we all ate from the same bowl. Yes! We ate from the same bowl with our fingers. My mum was very strict with hygiene and especially when one had to eat with their fingers. Actually I’ll do a separate write up about eating with your fingers in my next blog.
When I finished preparing and filming the dish, I called one of my cousins to relive the nostalgia of eating together. She quickly advised she had some Yam (I didn’t have any, as I served it with rice) and I should drive 45 minutes to her to relive this memory. Sadly I had to decline the offer and arrange it for another day; as I had to edit the video and write this piece for Friday.
This recipe is somewhat of a ‘topsy turvy’ one, as I made it after filming the ‘The Ghanaian Fried Chicken’ recipe. I used the stock from the Chicken to prepare this, hence I didn’t add anymore spices. I loved the simplicity and quick way I created this. Watch how I made it on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ and don’t forget to subscribe.
Traditionally this dish is prepared by making the GHANAIAN STEW of frying the Onions first, adding the tomatoes, then the cabbage and Corned Beef, however enjoy the ‘twisted version’.
Enough of my chit chats let’s start cooking.
250g of Tomatoes
50g of Tomato Purée
30g of Ginger
1 clove of Garlic
1 large Onion
1 Habanero chilli
10ml of oil (optional)
200g of sliced and washed Cabbage
340g of Corned beef
100ml of Chicken stock
20g of Spring Onions
Half a teaspoon of salt
Blend the Tomatoes, Onions, Garlic, Ginger & Chilli into a smooth paste.
Warm the Chicken stock up and add the Tomato purée
Add the optional oil (if the sauce requires it).
Cook gently for 5 minutes and add the spicy Tomato blend.
On a medium heat cook for 15 minutes and set aside.
Avoid adding any salt at this stage, as the Corned Beef is salty.
In a Wok or Saucepan, add 500ml of water and place it on a medium heat.
Slice the Cabbage into medium sizes and boil for 7 minutes.
Strain the water from the Cabbage by using a colander and add it to the Tomatoes sauce.
Divide the Corned Beef into sizeable chunks and add it to the Cabbage and Tomato stew.
The Corned Beef should be the last but one ingredient you add to the sauce; if you want the Corned Beef chunks to retain the their shape.
Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, cover the Saucepan with its lid and cook the stew for 6 minutes.
Taste the stew and if it requires salt , add no more than half a teaspoon to salt. Stir gently without breaking the Corned Beef chunks and serve with your favourite carbohydrate.
I served mine with some boiled rice and also ripened Plantain.
Watch the full video on my YouTube channel, ‘Ndudu by Fafa’ and don’t forget to subscribe.
All recipes, videos and pictures are by owner of this blog. Unauthorised use of any of my images , recipes and content are strictly prohibited 🚫