One otherwise regular day in my final year in university, I’m hungry for a good cooked meal – local cuisine (swallow) to be precise. But I’m tired of putting in any efforts. I’m absolutely disinterested in going to the market.
I have about one month left to graduate but I can’t shake off this desire to have a bowl of soup delivered to me. More accurately – I want rich ogbona and okro soup with chicken. I can’t shake it off. Yet I’m irritated at the thought of going to the market. I want to be pampered.
My friend, Courage, puts up an advert poster of a cook on his WhatsApp status. I save the number and chat up the person, having no clue it was someone in my campus fellowship who knew me.
Lady tells me a certain price for the soup and I think ahnahn! I’m instantly thinking, “babe, I know the price of okro o”.
I tell her “its above my budget right now and I would find my way to the market”. What’s good? she says it’s okay, with grace.
Then she offers to help me cook when next she goes to the market (If I recall properly, cook for free though I pay for the food stuff). I’m blown at that.
It’s that kindness, that virtue that draws me to Iyanu at first. I never did get to taste her soup but hopefully soon enough when she becomes Nigeria’s No 1 irresistible chef. Because I tell you that no one resists grace, and Iyanu of Iyzzy’s kitchen treated me with grace.
Oh, and with the price, apparently, it was lack of good communication. she was calculating the price of the bowl of soup with assorted meat already. I was being very Ijebu-like*, with the tactic of pricing the soup first (armed with knowledge of the price of okro , forgetting ogbona) before knowing if I’ll proceed to tell her what type of meat!
I have Iyanu of Iyzzy’s Kitchen here today to give us some fine gist on her personality, ambition and passion.
DB: First off, Iyanu gives us six facts about herself. I figured some familiarity with the guest is crucial.
I’m IyanuOluwa Ruth Komolafe aka Bosslady Cookist!
- I love to cook, I’ll never give up on cooking, no matter what happens, but I’ll keep trying.
- I’m into students politics; at the moment, I’m an Honourable member of the University of Ibadan, Students’ Union 8th assembly.
- I love Jesus.
- Purple is my favourite colour
- I can make the world’s most amazing sweet potato porridge.
I hope to,I’m going to Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, France by Abba’s grace.
DB: I have a major preoccupation with your age. How old are you?
I’m 18, my birthday is November 11, a really special date.
DB: You’re 18 and you have everyone calling you boss, boss lady. Did you pick up this name yourself? I know you write it often in connection with yourself.
Bosslady is short for ‘Bosslady Cookist’. Most people leave out the Cookist part. My friends started calling me Bosslady and I allowed the name stick while adding Cookist to it. Perhaps you shouldn’t bother checking the dictionary for the word Cookist, I coined it myself.
DB: So you’re one confident 18 year old. This confidence has some relation to your career ambition, am I right?
Yes, I’m confident, I know what I want and I go for it with all my energy.
DB: Now, I’m curious about you because I’ve seen you write down that you want to be a law librarian. That’s not conventional at all.
What inspired this? What are the prospects of this your dream changing in the future?
Why a Law Librarian? I have heard this question more times than I can count.
I really fancy libraries. I was the Library Prefect in my secondary school before applying to study law at University of Ibadan. There, I was admitted to study Library, Archival and Information Studies. I spent a year in that department before crossing over to Law to continue my university degree. I can say that I’m convinced beyond doubts that being a Law Librarian is just it for me; yunno in touch with the law and the library.
If at all, this stance will change, that’d only be because I need all the time I can garner for cooking.
DB: Cooking. Did you attend any culinary schools? What exactly about cooking draws you in?
I didn’t attend any cooking school although I made attempts during a union strike. The strike was called off before I could start.
I’m proud to say that my wealth of experience is from exploring with food.
I have read a whole lot of articles on food and cooking, I watch videos and I ask questions too.
I write on food and cooking on my WhatsApp status. I’ll be launching my blog soon to cover a wider range of audience and for posterity’s sake too.
“…what exactly about cooking draws you in?…“
I grew up with nannies from different tribes and they each cooked their traditional dishes. I tasted and loved them. I remember the first time I wanted to fry plantain, I peeled the back off and then rinsed it thoroughly. I wonder what was going through my mind.
Ozoz Sokoh of Kitchenbutterfly.com is a major inspiration for me. I love how beautifully well she talks about Nigerian cuisine. Reaching out to her, she encouraged me to let people see what I love doing with food and I’m very glad I’m in touch with her.
In addition, the feedbacks I get from people who try my recipe, a cooking tip, or kitchen hack I told them about or the people who call me when they are stuck while cooking; these things always gives me joy.
I cook when I’m tired, sad, happy, energetic – any mood at all.
I strongly believe that There is more to food than eating. Food is a means of survival; physical and economical.
DB: Tell us one of your craziest experience about cooking or a client you’ve had.
I have had quite a number of crazy cooking experiences but the memory I’m most fond of is when I was nine (9) years old, we had a Ghanaian house help at home. She was cooking amala on this fateful day, I entered the kitchen and met her at it, I told her:
“This not how to make amala, my mommy doesn’t make it like this“.
She left the pot for nine year old me to prepare it. I eagerly sat down to turn a pot of amala for seven people. The first stir was with the amala sitting in the pot, the second, landed the hot amala on my leg! I screamed out, the amala burnt my leg for what seemed like forever. She ran to my aid, cleaned the amala away from leg and put cold pap ( DB: pap is reputed to be the fastest first aid relief for kitchen burns) on it but the deed had been done. I have a scar on my leg that concludes this story.
DB: Give us a simple recipe/ cooking hack
Thank you, Iyanu.
So Iyanu has this easy confidence around her, and I found the bulk of campus fellowship brethren when I was in University calling the young lady, ‘boss lady’. That’s some chill 18 year old vibes.
To also have found her precision with her career ambition and in an unpopular path among law students had me further interested. All this, of course, was only made possible by her kind personality in the encounter I led up this post with.
Apart from other lessons, if there are any morals to this, I believe you have a great story yourself, but sometimes your channel to so express it is hidden in your everyday gesture towards people.
Perhaps if you’ll offer to cook a meal for someone today, we’ll hear about how amazing you are.
*Ijebu-like : Ijebu is a town in Ogun State, SouthWest, Nigeria. The term ‘Ijebu-like’ is commonly used among the Yoruba people of Nigeria to illustrate a person who is miserly with money.
With Love and Light as always,