I grew up hearing the phrase, “The kitchen is no place for a man”. Unfortunately for my parents, that made me more resolute to outcook my sisters and my mother. I was always creating something that celebrates traditional Ghanaian or West African cuisine; dabbling in continental dishes ever so often. I also played around with creating my own dishes, recipes and masterpieces.
I truly believe that cooking is an art form; creating something from scratch, taking raw ingredients and constructing a dish that not only tastes amazing but also looks divine. My father, being a traditional Ghanaian man, struggled with my passion for most of my formative years.
He would constantly make jokes about my culinary interests, and insist that I should put aside ‘womanly things’ and focus on following his footsteps as a lawyer. After all, I would one day take over the management of his firm when he retires. You would think that having three other children would be enough to appease the man, but NO, his first son had to be the one to carry the torch.
So I did become a lawyer, but whilst I was at Uni, I joined the campus TV Station and fell in love with video production which I merged with my love for cooking, and created my own Cooking Vlog Channel. You see, those years were very exciting, because I could be as creative and adventurous as I wished to be, taking my camera with me on every trip and not having to deal with any corporate responsibilities.
Although it was not my first choice, I now know that being a lawyer has brought along its own insight, wisdom, and network growth, which I would otherwise not have had. Also, one of the things I’m realising as I get older, is that, there is no limit to how many things that can inspire a person. We learn everyday, or as my French teacher would say “Nous apprenons tous les jours“.
In fact, my next adventure is learning to scuba dive. My mother on the other hand is not happy about this new passion, saying “If you die there, I will kill you myself!”. I am not even going to lie, those words, uttered by an African mother still induce fear in a grown man. At the end of the day, all of these creative energies and corporate nuances have made me the man I am today.
My name is Kobe, a 36-year-old Lawyer, Chef, DJ and filmmaker. Join me on Saturdays, as we build our community of “Hippies in Suits”. I will be sharing my stories with you on how I have juggled my creative passions alongside my corporate expectations. I will also say a thing or three about people I have met with similar stories.
See you soon, and until next time, I send my love and solidarity to my Nigerian brothers and sisters. Thank you for giving a voice to the youth across the continent.
Stay safe and keep fighting for justice! – Sòrò Sókè.