VIVIAN NG­WODO

FROM BANKER TO FOOD EN­TREPRENEUR

Nomad Africa Magazine - - Africans In The Diaspora | Vivian Ngwodo - Words: RONKE LAWAL

Vivian Ng­wodo is part of a new gen­er­a­tion of women, par­tic­u­larly women of African de­scent, who are us­ing tech­nol­ogy to take own­er­ship of the en­tre­pre­neur­ial land­scape. Born and raised in Nige­ria, Vivian has al­ways been a so­lu­tions provider, a prob­lem solver and lover of food.

in 2010, Vivian re­signed from her For­eign Op­er­a­tions job in one of Nige­ria's ma­jor banks and em­barked on a jour­ney to Scot­land to pur­sue a Mas­ter's De­gree. She then be­gan her ca­reer jour­ney in the UK fi­nan­cial in­dus­try. She re­lo­cated to Lon­don in 2012 to start a new job and was ex­cited at the fact that be­ing in Lon­don also meant hav­ing more ac­cess to her beloved Nige­rian food. How­ever, Vivian soon dis­cov­ered how dif­fi­cult and frus­trat­ing it was to find Nige­rian or other African restau­rants in Lon­don. Even though she quickly adapted to Bri­tish and Asian foods, which were read­ily avail­able, once in a while, she craved Nige­rian food and wanted to in­tro­duce her friends to it as well.

When Vivian re­alised that there was very lit­tle vis­i­bil­ity or recog­ni­tion of African and Caribbean restau­rants, she was in­spired to launch a restau­rant blog and a sup­per di­rec­tory, where she re­viewed and listed African and Caribbean restau­rants and food busi­ness from across Lon­don in 2014.

By 2015 and 2016, there was a sud­den rise in African Sup­per Clubs in Lon­don and Lon­don­ers were ex­cit­edly look­ing to try the ex­otic and di­verse flavours from the African con­ti­nent. Whilst un­der­tak­ing an in­tern­ship with a dig­i­tal me­dia com­pany, Vivian be­gan de­vel­op­ing a Lo­ca­tion based app that would make it eas­ier for peo­ple from all eth­nic­i­ties to find and re­view African and Caribbean restau­rants.

Chop­streets is an ex­cit­ing new so­cial app, the first of its kind in the UK ded­i­cated to Afro-Caribbean food that finds and cu­rates the best African and Caribbean restau­rants, take­aways, pop-ups and sup­per clubs. With the so­cial net­work­ing fea­ture, users can eat their way around the African con­ti­nent and taste the del­i­ca­cies of the Caribbean. Now peo­ple can in­stantly see African and Caribbean food rec­om­mended by their friends and con­tacts and event share their own din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences.

“African and Caribbean cuisines have been un­der-rep­re­sented for far too long and I am on a mis­sion to make them fa­mous by us­ing tech­nol­ogy to pro­vide a plat­form for peo­ple to dis­cover Afro-Caribbean cui­sine eas­ily and also set a stan­dard for the AfroCaribbean food in­dus­try in the UK. My vi­sion for Chop­streets is that it be­comes an ac­tive so­cial net­work for both African and Non-Africans as I be­lieve eat­ing is a so­cial ac­tiv­ity and the best friend­ships are made over food,” says Vivian Ng­wodo, Founder of Chop­streets.

Vivian's in­no­va­tive so­lu­tion will make African and Caribbean Cui­sine more ac­ces­si­ble to the wider culi­nary world and change the way peo­ple view African and Caribbean cui­sine for­ever.

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