Meet Nicola Kagoro, the pioneer leader of a vegan movement in Africa

Founder of African Vegan on a Budget Nicola Kagoro, aka Chef Cola, is one to watch.

Kagoro challenges the common misconception surrounding plant-based diets in Africa.

She is a graduate in hospitality management whose path and journey have led her not only to veganism, but also to be at the culinary forefront of presenting vegan food and lifestyle in Africa and promoting it. of its great benefits, both nutritional and environmental.

One of Kagoro’s main goals through his work with African Vegan on a Budget is to spread awareness of vegan culture across Africa and to equip people with the tools and knowledge to actively integrate diet based on plants in their lifestyles.

Her love for cooking started at the age of 16, and that’s when she knew she wanted to be a chef.

“I had a passion for everyday cooking for my family and for experimenting with different ingredients.

“This led me to start looking to join the hospitality industry in high school and finally study hotel management for three years.

“When I started working at the factory, I had no idea what veganism was.

“As I started to train as a vegan chef, my interest in her grew and I started to understand what the vegan way of life was.

“I started to incorporate the vegan lifestyle into my own home life while cooking,” Kagoro said.

When asked why spreading veganism is important to her and how it changes people’s lifestyles, she said working alongside rural communities in Zimbabwe showed her that unfortunately people do not have access to meat and fresh produce compared to downtown individuals.

Kagoro said the main reason they don’t have access to it is that basic necessities like electricity are not available.

“If they keep wild animals, they don’t slaughter them for daily consumption and meat drying practices are not that common in the rural areas where I work.

“I spread veganism because I present affordable meals – nutritious and tasty that everyone from all walks of life can enjoy to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

“This is important to me too because most of the illnesses people face are due to poor diet or can be managed well by changing their diet.

“This is a positive change in people’s way of life.

“Vegan science in Africa is booming and developing more and more.

“We still have a long way to go compared to other global markets and the way vegan brands are presented in the market, but we are in a good space.

“More and more brands are coming out and showing up in traditional supermarkets and other distribution channels.

“The scene can be better by adding more diversity to the brand developers and market researchers who make the decisions.

“For example, chefs should be more involved in the marketing of vegan brands.

“The faces behind the vegan brands that present these products seem to have masks. More diversity is needed.

“I am changing veganism in Africa by making it more accessible to people of different cultures.

“My mission is to bridge the gap between rural and urban dwellers and show that vegan food can be affordable, tasty and nutritious wherever you eat it,” she said.

Another game-changer when it comes to the herbal lifestyle is Kamini Pather.

Also interested in the technology surrounding the food we eat is Masterchef South Africa season two winner Kamini Pather.

Pather recently launched a new primarily plant-based food delivery service called Fudy, the first of its kind in South Africa.

She said Fudy is the solution for people who are committed to healthy eating but don’t have time to cook.

“Each signature dish uses carbohydrates, fats and proteins (plant and animal sources) to provide a well-balanced meal.

“Meals are appealing to the taste buds with items like the spicy black bean and quinoa bombs with cumin and coriander seeds or the plant-based vegan made with cashew cream; Coconut milk satay with fresh lemongrass, bay leaves and soy.

“The difference is clear. This food is made with simple ingredients but made in a conscious way, ”said Pather.

When asked why she decided to go primarily with plants, she said that in addition to being better for the environment, her body felt lighter and performed better.

“I’m not 100% vegetable, I appreciate a piece of meat when I know how it was raised and where it came from.

“Living a plant-based lifestyle has also tested my cooking style and my abilities as you have to retrain the brain to think in plant terms.

“I need food a little like – I like the challenge.

“I hope more people eat better foods that will help them achieve their goals.

“I hope that by providing this easy way to make better food choices, people will make those choices,” said Pather.

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Jamie Collins

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