On the evening of December 2nd, 2022, the vibrant city of Nairobi played host to the grand opening of the new Mama Ashanti branch. Located in the serene environment of The Waterfront mall in Karen. The name ‘Mama Ashanti,’ takes inspiration from the Ashanti tribe. Which is associated with female strength, embracing maternal care and the provision of good quality home-cooked meals.
The venue was filled with excited guests and foodies. Eager to try the unique and flavoursome West African dishes on offer. The event’s key theme was ‘East meets West,’ acknowledging the differences and similarities between East/West African culture and cuisine. While still appreciating their unique nature.
The restaurant’s interior décor was beautifully decorated with traditional West African hand-woven colourful textiles. Creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. The menu was curated by director Nana Boateng and the head chef of the Waterfront branch Daniel Kodua . It featured a range of dishes from various West African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal.
Highlights included jollof rice, eforiro, egusi, pounded yam, light goat pepper soup Ghanaian-style okra & seafood stew that left most tongues satisfied yet craving for more takeaways.
Honoured guests such as the High commissioner of Ghana H.E Damptey Bediako. The first secretary of the Senegalese Embassy Mr Abdourahmane BA and Dr John Amodu on behalf of the Nigerian high commissioner to Kenya Alhajia Yusuf Yunusa. KLDA chairman. A member of the Association of Nigerian Women in Kenya, Mrs Ozioma Chijoke. And directors/ founders of the company namely Hawas Matta, Akuoamoah Boateng, Afum Matta, & Kris Senanu were all present for the event.
Mrs Afum Matta (Director at Mama Ashanti) was the night’s first speaker. She brought the event into being by welcoming all attendees and guests. Shortly after, she guided them through the identity of the restaurant, from the origin of its name (Ashanti) to the staff, services and plans she and her associates had for the new branch in the future. Finally, her speech was concluded with a tribute to her late brother Akudi Tseja followed by a minute of silence in his honour.
Mr Hawas Matta, one of the founders of Mama Ashanti pointed out one of the key reasons he and his partners started their business. Simply put, it was the lack of restaurants with similar dishes he and other West African diaspora were accustomed to.
Sharing intimate details of the first two years of the business. He recalled the financial struggles he and his partners encountered and the technical error they stumbled upon while paying suppliers that kept the business afloat.
Not long after, H.E Damptey Bediako, Mr Abdourahmane BA, Dr John Amodu & Alhajia Yusuf Yunusa joined Mr Senanu, & Mr Boateng (Directors of the restaurant) for the cake/ribbon cutting ceremony to officiate the event.
In addition to the delectable food, guests were also treated to live music performances by Nairobi-based band Mackinlay music. Who played a mix of classic African tunes and contemporary melodies. The energy in the restaurant was electric, with guests dancing and singing along to the upbeat rhythms.
The grand opening brought the vibrant flavours and traditions of West Africa to the heart of Nairobi in a warm environment. Reflecting their hospitality & provided a complete West African experience with authenticity.
Read & watch more about the Waterfront launch on various news sites.