Flavors of Tradition: A MobKilishi Diary at the Heart of the Jeun Soke Project

It's not every day you get to witness the artistry of traditional Nigerian food unfold in all its authenticity. The Jeun Soke Project by Olufela Omokeko was one such rare occasion. Held at the Center for Contemporary Art in Lagos on May 26th, 2023, the event was as vibrant and delightful as the flavours we create here at Mobkilishi.

A distinct, captivating wave of nostalgia washed over me as I stepped into the venue. This was not merely a food event; it was a heartfelt homage to the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria and West Africa. It was about capturing and preserving the essence of our culinary traditions in a rapidly evolving world.

The evening commenced with the unveiling of the Mobile Food Museum, Lagos - a testament to the adaptive exhibition structure that invited everyone to eat, smell, learn, and engage with food. The sight was mesmerizing. An array of familiar yet forgotten delicacies such as Adun, Kokoro, Moin Moin and Eko, Catfish, Puff-Puff, Baba Dudu, beckoned enticingly.

The highlight of the night? An adorable baby goat named 'Jeun Soke', parading around with its coat of dark beige, drawing admiring looks and chuckles from everyone around. The sight of the little goat navigating its way around the exhibit was a heartwarming symbol of our shared roots and common humanity.

Fashion, too, played a significant role in the evening’s activities. It was an extravagant display of contemporary African styles that mirrored the vibrancy and diversity of the food. The blend of modern and traditional designs, much like our approach at Mobkilishi, was a visual feast.

As the evening progressed, glasses clinked with palm wine, laughter echoed around the venue, and passionate conversations filled the air. It was a community of enthusiasts from around the world, united by their shared love for food and culture.

Reflecting on the event, it felt original, it felt authentic. It felt like a collective of people determined to keep the record of our traditions before they got lost. At Mobkilishi, we couldn't resonate more with this sentiment. We've always viewed our Kilishi as a form of food art - preserving our culture, one delicious bite at a time.

The Jeun Soke project, launched with the support of the Goethe Institute, will now tour around southwestern Nigeria, exploring unique traditional foods and documenting their experiences. It’s a journey we’re excited to follow and learn from.

I left the venue with my heart full, my mind inspired, and a renewed sense of purpose for Mobkilishi. We're more than just food; we're a movement, a lifestyle, a testament to the rich, diverse culinary history of Nigeria. Like the Jeun Soke project, we're here to celebrate, preserve, and spread the joy of our food heritage.

And as for that first 50 early birds who savored our Mobkilishi? Here's to keeping the traditions alive, one flavourful strip at a time!