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The blogging sphere has crowded up very quickly in the past decade and it even looks like YouTube is taking over. Starting a blog in 2021 se...

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Meet My Classmates 2

Hi guys. So this weekend I would like you to meet three of my wonderful classmates: Tawonga, Cheryl and Rosa.

My name is Tawonga Mwase-Vuma from Malawi. I have worked with Malawi’s Ministry of Health as a Nurse/Midwife before doing my undergraduate degree in Public Health. I chose to study MPH so that I can gain a wider understanding of other health contexts and ways of working so that I will be able to apply world-class healthcare solutions to the developing (health) systems in Malawi. I want to plan and manage health programmes that will improve lives and prevent tragedy. I want to see my country realise a reduction in the burden of diseases through prevention rather than cure. I like watching football,  playing volleyball and making new friends.

Me, Tawonga Savina & friend at the Cineworld cinema on Friday.

We went to see "A United Kingdom". By the way, y'all should see it. It's dope.

Hi. I’m Cheryll Smith! I’m a Japanese-American student from the US and I’m currently studying for my MPH in International Health. I received my bachelor’s degree from the US in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and worked in the hematology lab of a hospital for 3.5 years before coming to Nottingham. I chose to go into Public Health to be a part of the heath care field which aids in education, prevention, and maintenance of disease. I believe this coursework will give me the necessary tools so I can successfully practice my passion of helping others and making a difference! A little known secret about me is that I originally went to university for fine arts and somehow switched to medical science! I’m not only passionate about helping others, but I also love creating new worlds with pen and paper!
So I asked her this evening for a piece of her art and she did this portrait of herself in 15 mins. Isn't it amazing?

Hi my name is Rosa and I am in the same class as Chidiogo. I am studying the MPH course full time this year. I graduated from Liverpool University in July 2015 after studying Health, Nutrition and Well being and I have been working with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) since then. I am originally from Devon, South West England but I decided to move to Nottingham to study this interesting and engaging course as well as exploring the local area. I am also a European Champion Cheerleader and have joined the Nottingham Knights Cheer Squad here. When I am not training I am going for brunch, having fun with my flatmates or smashing the gym. This year, Manuel (you guys remember Manuel from the previous 'Meet my classmates') and I are course representatives for both MPH pathways and hope to be the voice of our courses.

Rosa doing her thing
It's interesting to see other aspects to people, to know what makes them unique and to share in their world. More to come.

Have a lovely week and don't forget to leave a comment.

©Radiant ~November 2016

Monday 21 November 2016

Preparing Ofe Akwu (Banga soup) in the UK

Wow. I can't believe I just devoured a plate of my most loved Nigerian meal: Rice and Ofe akwu (Banga soup as some call it) here in Nottingham and that prepared by yours truly. The wonderful thing about it is that I didn't have to break my back to get any of the materials I used. Actually, I've been preparing Nigerian meals (Semolina with Egusi or Ogbono soup, plantain porridge, beans and yam, e.t.c) since I came to the UK with ingredients I brought from Nigeria (crayfish, Egusi, Ogbono & Cameroon pepper) using spinach as my ugu, but I never envisaged that it was possible to prepare Ofe akwu here. Where was I to get palm kernel nuts? Even in Nigeria Ofe akwu cooking process is really tedious.

Now you can imagine how surprised and elated I was three weeks ago to see already processed akwu (palm kernel) sold at a shop where I had stopped to buy meat. So I decided to try it out today and I am very excited at what I made out of it. I'm so happy I didn't have to go through the ordeal of boiling akwu, pounding it, and extracting the oil. That onerous process had already been surmounted by one tin of palm concentrate from Ghana. How brilliant! Some people really know how to create value.

Here are  the ingredients I used:

1. Palm nut cream concentrate

2. Dried smoked catfish

3. Spinach (washed and chopped) 
Usually I love to have a lot of veggies in my meals, but since I couldn't go shopping this weekend, I had to make use of my left over. If I were in Nigeria, scent leaf (Arigbe or Nchanwu) would have been the best. I haven't looked for it here. But it still turned out really nice with spinach.

4. Beef (I didn't have so much as I haven't shopped for groceries in 2 weeks). I used my 4 pieces left over though. I always prefer beef for Ofe akwu to chicken.

5. Red onions

6. Ground Cameroon pepper (I brought this from Nigeria. I love pepper and it's the hottest. But any pepper can be used)

7. Ground crayfish (I brought this also from Nigeria but they sell them in African stores)

8. Knorr seasoning (2 cubes)

9. Beef seasoning

10. Salt to taste

So quickly on my recipe:
I boiled the meat with beef seasoning and some onions and salt to taste. Then I emptied the palm concentrate into an empty pot, added a little water, stirred and brought to boil. Here is how it looked after that (just as if I manually extracted the oil from the palm kernels).

Then I added my meat with its stock, dried fish, crayfish, pepper, Knorr cubes and salt. Allowed to boil a little while, before adding onions. Last of all, I sprinkled the chopped spinach on it, turned and voila!

Food was ready to be served with already boiled white rice.

Are there differences in how you cook yours, I would like to know. Please leave a comment below.

©Radiant~November 2016

Now with more preparation, I made Banga soup again, this time with Bitter leaves, fish and cow skin, here's the outcome. 

Check out my other meals at www.instagram.com/afribelly and place your order.