- Title: The "Naija" food ambassador winning converts online
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: VARIOUS OF SCREEN SHOWING FOOD VIDEOS AND COMMENTS
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 14:46
- Keywords: Nigerian cuisine Winifred Emmanuel Zeelicious Kitchen food vlogger jollof rice
- Location: LAGOS, NIGERIA
- City: LAGOS, NIGERIA
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Living / Lifestyle,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA004BAD70PJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Winifred Emmanuel is "vlogging" about making jollof rice, a dish that's popular across West Africa. It's made of rice and a mix of blended tomatoes, onions, various spices and sometimes, meat.
Winifred says she started cooking traditional Nigerian meals as a hobby but soon realized she could turn her passion into a business.
She quit her job as a tax analyst in 2017.
"When I decided to share my dishes with my friends on social media, I remember then I was using a Blackberry phone and I decided to share my food pictures that I make with my friends they would always request for the recipes, am like okay, there must be something here. When the requests became so much, I decided that I wanted to reach a wider audience and I am like I'm going to start a food blog and that was how Zeeliciousfoods.com came about," she said.
Winifred runs her 'Zeelicious Kitchen' in Lagos. The kitchen also serves as the studio where she creates content that's posted on her various social media platforms.
The 28-year-old food vlogger says what sets her apart is her ability to breakdown popular and exciting meals into simple recipes that many people who struggle to cook traditional meals can follow. She says she also wants to showcase the beauty of her country's culinary heritage.
"Whenever you hear someone not from Nigeria talk about Nigerian dishes, all you hear is aahhh -- doesn't look good and then people that were actually portraying the Nigerian dishes at the time weren't doing it in a very good way, and so you understand why someone who is not Nigerian will have something negative to say about the beautiful dishes we have here. So we took it upon myself to portray Nigerian dishes in a good light and let people know that, you know what we have beautiful food here and everyone has to know about it."
Winifred has over 180,000 subscribers on her food channel.
Apart from cooking, she also starts conversations on alternative ingredients, recipes, similar methods, and kitchen maintenance among other topics on her blog.
"Thanks to technology, technology makes the work easier. So for example if you are onugbu (bitter leaf soup), you make onugbu with cocoyam (arrowroot), then instead of pounding the cocoyam with your mortar and pestle, you can just break it down with your food processor and have it in a few minutes it's done instead of pounding and then having to clear your mortar and pestle. So food has really involved in the sense that technology has helped and then we have gotten more creative in how we put the food together," she said.
In a country with hundreds of ethnic groups, Winifred says she is certain she will never run of recipes to explore, and in a country with over 200 million people, there will always be a hungry audience for online shows.
(Seun Sanni, Nneka Chile)
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- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Footage contains computer game or software screenshots. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing this clip.