For an average Nigerian woman, cooking [should] come easy. This widely accepted notion serves as a bragging right among women. In fact, marriages stay or break because women can -or cannot- cook. It is only natural that incorporating such for entrepreneurial purposes should be more dominated by the female gender.
However, some men are giving the women entrepreneur a run for their money. Recognised far and wide, some of these men are even patronised by women who may have a particular craving but are unable to satisfy it due to diverse reasons.
Male students who find joy in cooking are not left out of the kitchen industry. In AAUA, students find it hard to distinguish meals made expertly. But these male cooks have their stories and struggles, which they shared in interviews with AAUA INSIDER.
Adahunse Jide Reuben, a 400-level student of English studies, is better known as CeeJay Fries. His industrious spirit led him to make a brand out of his cooking ability, which officially began on February 14, 2020.
“Cooking is not a gender calling but depends on how good and delicious the food tastes and that has always brought my customers back.”
He confesses that being a chef as well as a student is not an easy task when he was working alone and growing bigger. He skips the classes he is best at and sticks to the hard ones until he got some workers to assist in the kitchen.
He said, “I really don’t know how to manage the stress now that we’ve resumed, I just hope to graduate and lay a better structure so we may grow bigger and better.”
Ceejay further advised his fellow male students not to be intimidated by a supposed gender-based business. Lastly, he hopes the females kill the idea of needing a man to spend on them as financial independence comes with great self-confidence.
Many students may not know the easy-going Bamidele Abefe Emmanuel, a final-year student in Accounting Education. Wait till he handles a spoon, and you’ll know why he’s popularly called Bambam. He found his path in the kitchen since his JSS 1 days.
Bambam opened up that cooking is not stressful as it’s a passion for him. He emphasizes how easy it was coupled with being a church worker and class representative. He advises his fellow students to “make God the first choice, figure out their passion, and be focused and also diligent.”
Bolojay Fries is already a household brand among students in AAUA and the Akungba community generally, though this is his first semester in the business. But Fabiyi Opeyemi Joseph, from Business Administration, never planned to be a chef and baker from the start. He only wanted to partner with a female friend, but the ASUU strike had other plans for him.
He said, “The ASUU strike inspired me to be a chef and I started the struggle. I focused more on chicken and chip, Ewa Agonyi, and plantain & chicken – though this will be my first-semester doing business in school.”
He advises the male students to be consistent, committed and to work harder. The females should develop their ability as they have the structure already and an edge that should not be neglected into a liability.
Alabi Aishat Adebimpe, hailing from Iwo Osun state. A sociologist and a poet who has always wanted to pursue a reporter as a career. An outspoken and a dedicated lady who is keen on exploring unexpected angels.