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The Vegan Nigerian Founder Tomi Makanjuola On Breaking Social Barriers Through Food

The Vegan Nigerian Founder Tomi Makanjuola On Breaking Social Barriers Through Food

Despite lockdown resulting in surge a of people adopting plant-based diets, stereotypes surrounding the “typical” plant-based chef are still anchored in images of white, hipster folk, reified by the whiteness inherent in the food media industry. But Tomi Makanjuola, a Nigerian-born, London-raised chef is carving out her own space.

Using food as a tool for education and identity reclamation, Makanjuola, who is also the founder of food site The Vegan Nigerian and author of the Plantain Cookbook, works to actively break down perceptions surrounding the plant-based industry while crafting unique spins on typical Nigerian dishes.

I spoke with Makanjuola about a new project she’s involved in, the mini-documentary series A Better Plant-Based Future, and why it’s crucial to make vegan Nigerian cuisine accessible to the masses.

Timi Sotire: What made you want to adopt a plant-based diet?

Tomi Makanjuloa: Before going vegan, I had a meat-eating, typical Nigerian diet. But when I was 20, I realised my diet was impacting the way I felt. I decided to give up animal products for a short while and noticed a complete difference. While that was going on, I started to really get into animal rights and ethics. So, both of those things just led me to go vegan overnight. I can’t imagine myself stopping. It’s been over seven years now and I haven’t looked back!

TS: What work are you doing to…

Meet The London-Based Chef Shaking Up Vegan Stereotypes

Despite lockdown resulting in surge a of people adopting plant-based diets, stereotypes surrounding the “typical” plant-based chef are still anchored in images of white, hipster folk, reified by the whiteness inherent in the food media industry. But Tomi Makanjuola, a Nigerian-born, London-raised chef is carving out her own space.



The Vegan Nigerian Founder Tomi Makanjuola On Breaking Social Barriers Through Food

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