Nigerian food writer Yemisi Aribisala unafraid to stir the pot with taboo topics

Yemisi Aribisala an acclaimed essayist and food writer based in Cape Town, who has recently been named as one of the 100 most inspiring Nigerian women.

She has published her first book, a food memoir, called Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Tastebuds.

Aribisala uses Nigerian food as a lens through which to observe the complex nature of Nigerian identity and the status of women in her home country.

Read: Secret to making great Cape Malay daltjies, curry and more - from Fatima Sydow

She moved from a legal background - having obtained a Masters degree in Maritime Affairs and International transport - to following her passion for writing.

She has been described as having a fearless, witty and unapologetic voice, but still struggles to accept her profession as a writer, despite receiving awards and recognition.

I still don't consider myself a writer. Even to call myself a writer is a problem.

Yemisi Aribisala, author and essayist

My father was very specific. He said you cant't write as a career. I think I internalised it.

Yemisi Aribisala, author and essayist

I talk about things that Nigerians would not talk about... We are a very religious country and there are certain taboo subjects - I've written a lot about them.

Yemisi Aribisala, author and essayist

Nigerian women have a lot of power.

Yemisi Aribisala, author and essayist

Aribisala spoke about the creation of her book, the value placed on different languages and her discomfort with the feminist label.

Take a listen:


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