Sisi Èkó of San Francisco, by Similéolúwa Adébàjò
“To so brightly and passionately face one’s fears, and to be bold and honest about their feelings and challenges, is extremely worthy of admiration. Simi has captured the emotions and journeys of many people going through challenges, and has spoken out about the many things that can and have happened during her journey through life so far. “- Dare Art Alade
This story follows Similéolúwa Adébàjò, a 21-year-old Nigerian American, as she leaves her home city of Lagos, Nigeria and moves to San Francisco, California in search of better opportunities and to earn her Master’s degree.
She returns to America at a strange time. The country is at a sociopolitical crossroads due to a racist, ableist, and misogynistic president — leaving her with all sorts of confusing ideas about the idyllic country of her birth and how exactly she fits in America with her Nigerian heritage.
As fate would have it, this conflict led her to start Èkó Kitchen — the city of San Francisco’s first Nigerian restaurant — to permit people from all over the world to have positive encounters with African culture and to allow her to connect with her new community. In Sisi Èkó of San Francisco by Similéolúwa Adébàjò, we learn of Simi’s journey to become the most widely published Nigerian chef in the United States — and how she battled with racism, reproductive rights, sexual assault, and her mental heath to ultimately find herself, changed and victorious.