FOUNDER OF NANA NOKKI
Growing up in Nigeria, my mum instilled a strong work ethic in me from an early age. I studied law, then got a job at a bank in Lagos before leaving to start my own law firm. However, I have always enjoyed cooking. Mum was a great cook but a strict teacher – she was all about getting things just right. My grandmother made me fall in love with how food should be prepared and enjoyed. She liked to use a small number of fresh ingredients to make food that tasted amazing!
In 2008, I had to escape what had turned into an abusive marriage. I feared for my safety and that of my children. I didn’t have a well-thought-out plan. I just packed our cases and left for the UK. It was scary – I was 45 and my kids were 15, 12 and 9 at the time. My two eldest have now graduated university and with the other one currently studying for a degree, I decided I needed to do something for myself again.
When family and friends started asking to buy my food, I knew there was a business idea there! I’m diabetic so I mainly cook traditional Nigerian dishes with a healthy twist, but I also love fusion food. My chilli sauce is my speciality – my children love it and they are my fiercest critics. I want Nana Nokki to become a household name!