Joana Yeboah-Acheampong’s passion for cooking – and her love for traditional Ghanaian food – led her from a career as a civil engineer into the world of food blogging with Aftrad Village Kitchen. “What you eat as a people says a lot about your history and background. To learn who you are as an African, look at what you traditionally eat in your home.”
In Yeboah-Acheampong’s homeland of Ghana, recipes are generally passed by word of mouth, rather than written down. Her mother taught her to cook, but when away from her, she had nowhere to go for advice and recipes. While living in London, she started formulating, experimenting and writing down her traditional recipes for herself and others.
The collection became a blog called Aftrad Village Kitchen, with recipes and step-by-step instructions for soups, snacks, main meals and sweet treats. Ghanaians living abroad and at home have welcomed it, as have other food lovers from around the continent and world.
Yeboah-Acheampong’s took a break from her job to raise her young children and develop her blog. Her passion to help people connect with their African identity through food has blossomed into a business. She’s started making her own sauces, which are now available in some London retailers, as well as through her website, blog and Instagram account.
Her dream is to expand the blog to include the traditional foods of other African countries, to document and share their recipes, and encourage people to cook the national dishes that are such an important part of their identity.