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It was a breezy evening on the last Thursday of the month in October when I made my way through the mazy narrow streets of the Barbican/Clerkenwell area in Central East or East Central London – however you want to call it. My destination was the Nomad Club; Toast2YoungLondon were hosting their first networking event – good vibes, great speakers and a plenty of wise words and useful advice to scribble down on one’s phone, note pads and/or memory was a common characteristic of the audience on the night. It was an excellent event.
An aunt of mine use to tell me a few years ago; “the faintest ink is better than the smartest brain” so I certainly made use of taking notes ahead of memorising; Emeka & Ifeyinwa Frederick’s presence was a heartfelt. The Nigerian and Grenadian Twins are multi-talented and certainly well travelled. Emeka spent a year in Spain whilst Ifeyinwa spent some time in France – great to meet this French speaking sister by the way Very Inspirational!!! Anyways – back to the read; It was their shared experience and passion for food that birthed Chuku’s – The world’s first Nigerian tapas lounge.
The sophisticated and dynamic duo’s birth of Chuku’s is certainly a fresh and original concept and has flourished and gone from strength to strength ever since. Chop, Chat, Chill pop-ups are about exploring their Nigerian heritage, showcasing and sharing it with others through the medium of food. They were joined by Nathaniel Holder, the Founder of Sophisticated Knots who spoke of his unique vision to create a company dedicated to providing a service of tying knots with a difference. Nathaniel spoke about consistency, determination and being ‘not afraid to do you’ as key attributes for aspiring entrepreneurs. Nathaniel can also show you how to knot a tie in less than a minute here.
For more info about Ife and Emeka’s Chuku’s Masterpiece cuisine and experience; check them out here:
Aaron Mufasa and Lina Gadi are another combined team turning heads and gaining a whole host of features on their journey with Shear & Shine: Britain’s First Black Owned Grooming Brand – so strong was their passion and advice to us about how and why Aaron started this grooming brand which targets Afro-Caribbean skin and hair – that I tweeted a lot of what they were saying! (as seen below).
LUPUS UK is the only national registered charity supporting people with systemic #lupus and #discoid lupus and assisting those approaching diagnosis. It is also a disease significantly more common in the Asian and Afro-Caribbean ethnic groups.
Surveys in the UK, for example, suggest that the prevalence of lupus – 1 in 750 Caucasian women – rises to a striking 1 in 250 Asian/Afro-Caribbean women. As many cases remain undiagnosed lupus must rank as one of the major diseases of the Asian population. On the night; we had a great presentation from Paul Howard (below) about Lupus, signs and symptoms, how it can be treated and how we can be support the organisation to help those in need. I had never heard of Lupus – a disease that has now been identified as common and important.
There is currently no cure for SLE however the improvement of medication has allowed practices to distribute medicines that stabilize Lupus. It can take up to seven years to finally be diagnosed and certain medication is used to sustain the illness and keep episodes to a minimum. #LupusAwarenessMonth is a hashtag worth following on Twitter; please do support them – every little helps does count.
Yinka Odukoya – Wow and Wow again! I wouldn’t say that Toast2YoungLondon saved the best speaker or speaker testimonies till last – but goodness me it felt like that with Yinka’s story behind YinxTastys. The well travelled and seasoned #GoodChef is a professional, driven and talented cook and caterer.
The modest and diligently hardworking Londoner (pictured above on the left) spoke about how she has always wanted to be a chef since the age of 7 – up and down journeys with events , working across the country and west Africa, suffering with anxiety and depression and being ‘real’ with the audience about the harsh realities of starting a business makes this lady – a winner! I look forward to seeing what God has in plan for her for the future. A specialist at Pan-African Dishes, A lover of Homemade African-inspired food and has an eye for detail. Find out more about Yinka via her YinxTasty Food Festival event here.
Entertainment from Mina West; the spoken word poet graced the audience at the end with performances centering on love, relationships and natural hair. Mina has been writing since a young age. ‘The Crown’ is a thought provoking piece on the perceptions of society (men in particularly) towards black women who rock their natural hair – I hope to feature/interview with Mina soon – it’s a poignant piece – you can check it out here
Find out more about Mina West here:
It was a remarkable event from Toast2YoungLondon! I am looking forward to their next one. And a big shout out to Mo Chunks @Mo_Chunkaay who hosted the event. Toast2YoungLondon produced this event as a networking evening in partnership with LupusUK to motivate those who want to learn or be inspired to start / grow their own businesses. The night showcased inspirational speakers to share their business stories.
Toast2YoungLondon recognise and promote Young Entrepreneurs in London through live networking events. To get in touch and to find out more:
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