Saturday, January 23, 2016

Kafui Adzah: Selling waakye to become 27th most influential young Ghanaian

Kafui Adzah has received many recognitions from the Ghanaian business sector. Recently listed as the 27th most influential young Ghanaian, the 31 year old has revolutionized the way people eat. Her company, Cookhouse GH, has been involved in a lot of corporate and diplomatic catering, including 5 branches of The Bank Of Africa, where Kafui used be an internal auditor. I sat down with Kafui in her "Red hot Kitchen" on Thursday the 21st of January.

 As I  approached the main gate of the premises at around 6am, the vaporized aroma of great Ghanaian spices hit me. I instantly became hungry, Kafui's kitchen was like a portal that brought African spices to life. It was hard to be unhappy here. As Kafui ushered me into her sitting room, I could feel how ready she was for the chat, not deterred by the fact that she had been up since 3am. I began by quizzing Kafui about her company and it's buzzing product, "Waakye on Wheels".

 Kafui disclosed that Cookhouse GH, was born out of her desire to make healthy and affordable meals, therefore the introduction of Jumbo Jollof and Waakye on Wheels. In between our chat, Kafui would sparingly pick calls to confirm orders. Her delivery bike had already gone on two trips and was waiting for a third batch. Business is obviously good for Kafui, who is empowering young women she  employs. On the side, Kafui has a  bunch of secret admirers, like the one who repeatedly called during the interview, to insist that he loves Kafui. 

This doesn't make Kafui lose focus. She told me stories of how her parents thought she was sick when she quit her bank job, barely a month after she was promoted. "They thought I was sick. They'd hold mid-night prayers to cast the demons behind my decision", Kafui said. It took selling waakye to help Kafui, a graduate of both the University of Ghana and Gimpa, realize that she could be a marketer. Kafui Adzah has reinvented indigenous waakye, coupled with the impressive packaging and revolutionary taste, Kafui and her crew aim to make waakye a "sexy" meal, according to her.

 Kafui is a beacon for the African woman who wants to rise, she has proven that entrepreneurial skills aren't a blessing reserved for men. Her work is beginning to garner recognition, as she has lectured the Ashesi university level 400 entrepreneurial class and continually gets requests for interviews. Kafui told me a story of how she was tagged as unfit to run a radio show on the university of Ghana's Radio universe during her college years. A few months ago, the same station had requested to have a as a guest. Kafui Adzah is slowly inking her name into Ghana's food industry, with plans of growth, which includes owning mobile food trucks in 4 suburbs of Accra and a food spot at each Ghanaian airport. 

Her dreams aren't held back and so is her will to achieve. Her acknowledgement as Ghana customer service award's "Customer Focused C.E.O" of the year 2015, built her parents' confidence in her, along with the confidence of her elite clientele. It was time for me to go, as Kafui had to get back to her cumbersome day. As I left, I took a mental note of my personal assessment of Kafui and her business. 

It was easy to refer to her as the Katanka  of the food industry, as she has had to build the trust in her company over 4 years, empowering herself and others, and  creating an avenue for people to appreciate indigenous Ghanaian products. Kafui has built a clientele, one she is thankful for, but there's a long way to meet the end of the rainbow. It would take investment from corporate Ghana, but until then, Kafui Adzah remains the woman who makes waakye sexy and continues to dream. "One day, we'd have an airline catering services", Kafui Said as she sent me off with a hot pack of delicious waakye. 

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