Eloquent Aisha Adaku Zakari is a communicator by profession and a chef by interest. In this interview with Stellamaries Amuwa, she talks about her desire to become a world class chef with a chain of restaurants to bring Africa’s different flavors to the world.
How it started?
My love for the kitchen and my resolve not to stick to the ‘thirty days make one pay’ system gave me the nudge to start my cake business. Wanting to be a part of the objectives of the organisation I work for got me into mortgage banking and it’s totally worth every bit of the stress and hassle.
What inspired your going into bakery and mortgage banking?
Knowing that I add to the joy of my clients on their special days just makes me look forward to the next one. Also, knowing that I’m a part of making people’s dreams of owning their own homes gives me joy. Knowing that I’m working to enjoy my family life and not the other way round, is a constant reminder that my family is my priority. Though there are times I’m caught up in a project and it takes up all of my time, I always make a conscious effort to make it up as soon as that phase is done.
Where do you hope to see yourself in the near future?
I see myself being a world class chef with a chain of restaurants that would allow me to bring different African flavors to the world. And also grooming many other youths in that field.
What is your advice to young Nigerians?
It’s never going to be more than a dream if you don’t wake up. Nothing is going to be handed down to you, you have to go for it and get it.
What does fashion and style mean to you?
Fashion is how you interpret your style, and style to me is how you express the inner you. It’s what you’re comfortable in and how you would like to be known with respect to how you dress.
How do you unwind?
Spending time with my girls and trying out new recipes are my favorite activities.
Tell us little about your family?
I usually call my family ‘One Nigeria’ because my father is Igbo, my mother Yoruba and my husband is from Plateau. I have two amazing daughters, each with her own personality but they can’t get enough of each other. I am a native of Imo State, but lived most of my life in Kaduna, Abuja and Jos.
What is your favourite meal?
My favorite meal is usually whatever I just ate and connected with.
What are your most memorable child experiences?
My most memorable child experience is story time with my grandmother. As a little girl, it was so interesting.
What would you consider as the highest point of your life?
Having my kids, each of them is a miracle with their own story.
What is your philosophy of life?
Do something to put a smile on someone’s face every day. No matter how insignificant the act is, it means a lot to someone.
What is your typical day like?
My typical day is getting the kids and I ready for the day, drop them at school and go to work. Heading to the bakery afterwards and sorting orders. Back home to make dinner and most of the time, back to the bakery when the kids go to bed.
How do you cope with multiple challenges?
It’s nothing close to being easy, but I just take a deep breath and remember my goal. Whenever I hit rock bottom, I take a nap and then get back to the challenge feeling a lot calmer and refreshed.
What makes you happy and sweeps you off your feet?
My husband has that ‘mumu button.’