One would have thought the role of chefs and food enthusiasts only lies in the kitchen where delicacies are made. But, the #EndSARS Protest against police brutality in Nigeria proved this wrong.
It all started on October 9th, 2020 after a group of protesters who were protesting against the unit of the Nigerian police, SARS known as the Special Anti Robbery Squad decided to spend the night outside of the government house in Alausa, Ikeja Lagos. The courage and bravery displayed by them caught the attention of many people online after pictures circulated. Before dawn Feyikemi Abudu, made a tweet
“So @Mosopemi is making breakfast for the 50 or so protesters who are going to be in Alausa overnight. It’s a small gesture, but if you’d like to help, please donate or volunteer to serve them. The cost will be 40 – 50k and you can donate to…….”
to donate for the feeding of the protesters by daybreak, she however, involved Mosopemi popularly called Iya meto to make arrangements on how the protesters would be fed breakfast the following day.
Around 1:49am Feyikemi tweeted again,
“We are now at 200k. 12 minutes. Thank you!! This will do the breakfast for 50 people, plus snack/drink/glucose pack for 70- 100 more during the day.
We need 3 more volunteers please to help out with distributing the food in the morning and afternoon”
In a matter of hours, the following morning food oriented individuals; (food vendors, bloggers and chefs) swung into action to make food available to protesters across the country where protest was being held. Feminist Coalition as an organization supported this cause through donations made by people.
However, an account named The Food Coven , was created to oversee affairs of the food being delivered to protesters also helplines were created to make this effective and to make everyone get access to direct food and supplies as it pertain to the protest.
Physical and online protestors were delighted by the generosity of major food brands, eating outlets and culinary schools in Nigeria who catered and surprised protestors with food on a daily till the #EndSARS protest was stopped indefinitely. The generosity was celebrated online by many who felt the impact of the role the food industry played.
For me, it was a great time to be alive and also to be in the food space to see us partake in such an incredible way and showing support for our nation.
Even though the protest isn’t at its peak anymore, the fight against injustice and bad governance isn’t over. The Nigerian food industry stood out in this and gave in their best by lending their voice, time and resources to fighting a just cause.
History will never forget the role y’all played at this crucial time we fight an oppressive and dictatorial system in Nigeria.