The sounds coming from the main stage blended with the gentle murmur of the crowd, sizzling of the cooking, and the wafting Suya fumes. People scattered around the field standing, sitting on wooden benches, picnic mats, sipping palm wine, eating, and chatting about the live acts they’ve just seen. The smell of fried chicken, jollof rice, and a combination of other varieties of African cuisine saturated the air.
For one day African Food Network transformed Abuja into a celebration of African food culture. The Maiden Edition of the African Food Festival was held to sate hungry foodies on September 26 at Tobix Gardens & Park, Abuja, Nigeria.
Hosted by African Food Network, the largest community of African Food lovers on the internet, this event aimed to celebrate African culture through food. “For years, we at African Food Network have been passionate about promoting African food and culture, the African Food Festival stands for everything that enriches our lives and makes them worth living, moments with wonderful people, good food and music for the soul” Ifeanyi Onyeka, from African Food Network says.
At the location, an array of fun and mouth-watering delicacies was made available by various food Vendors and African restaurants from Nigeria and all over Africa displayed all kinds of tantalizing menus, ranging from wafting barbecue fumes to iced bottles, the scene was set to attract fun-seekers who yearned for outdoor recreation while staying safe.
For the entire day, the African Food Network took over 5000 food lovers on a culinary journey across the continent – from Abuja to Dakar, from Cape Town to Accra. This fast became the city’s largest celebration of contemporary African cuisine and culture.
Food vendors showcased their homegrown recipes ranging from traditional cuisine, seafood, and vegan cuisine in an atmosphere of camaraderie, while restaurants offered meals that combined modern and traditional kitchen, local and international, presented in an attractive and entertaining way. Menus ranged from Acheke, Fufu, Jollof rice, Moin Moin, Koki Beans, Eba, Akara, Akple, Kelewele, Tuo Zaafi to mention a few. With the perfect pairing of food and refreshments comes the entertainment. Event attendees were serenaded by live music from the Shyne Band leaving attendees excited for more.
The iconic Styl Plus and Faze uncaged their energy as they belted hit songs to nodding heads, hitting the crowd with a feeling of nostalgia at the throwback jams. A few stand-up comedians present delivered hilarious jokes and punchlines that further thrilled the audience. Also in attendance were top entertainers, social media influencers, and On-Air-Personalities in the city of Abuja.
The festival’s orientation is one of the things that make African food unique, explains DJ Thriller, one of the organizers of the festival. He stresses the importance of transglobal cooperation to the worldwide success of African culinary culture. “The spotlight is on Africa right now, which is a big chance for all of us,” he says.
Every member of the African Food Network, Sponsors, and even the attendees contributed to the success of this event. “We couldn’t have asked for a better team or a better day, the smile on the faces of everyone was really amazing to see”, Kevin Eze concludes.
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