The London Taste Of Africa Meetup Group

By West Africa Cooks, 21 March, 2019

This article is about the state of The London Taste Of Africa Meetup Group as of March 2019. Here you will find information, facts and comments from members. The following article can be considered a report on the past 9 years, the group present state and future ambitions.

  1. Background History Of The Meetup Group
  2. Meetups At African Festivals, Events And More
  3. Supperclubs
  4. Visiting African Restaurants
  5. Business Trade Show Meetups And Networking
  6. Product, Cookbook Launches Talks And Panels
  7. Diversity
  8. Measurable Figures
  9. The London Taste Of Africa Numbers
  10. SWOT Analysis Of The Meetup Group
  11. Next Phase New Objectives Of The Group
  12. About The Organiser
  13. More Information

What The London Taste of Africa is about

This meetup group called The London Taste of Africa aims to bring people together through celebrating food from across Africa and African culture.

Who should join?

  • Lovers of food, including vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians etc

Why join The London Taste of Africa meetup group? You should join because we are about

  • Food fun and †social activity around African culture
  • African food and drink education
  • Diverse representation. Pan African in countries, communities and languages
  • Supporting Enterprise, Employment and Empowerment

1. Background History Of The Meetup Group

The group started in 2011 as an African cooking classes idea called Akhaya Cookery School. The African cooking classes Akhaya were run by Jenny (Jennifer Okpapi), a young woman of Nigerian descent just setting up a business school for members to learn about how to cook recipes from West Africa and other parts of the continent. The organiser stepped down, the group continued in a new direction, the focus was on meetups in local African restaurants, members would gather for meals in the evening. From 2014 on wards meetups have included festivals, supperclubs and popup events. This in addition to meetups in cafes and restaurants. The meetup group has grown and provided members with good times.

Members feedback and comments

A massive thank you to Leslie for hosting a great event and for all the time/effort generously placed into this Meetup group!
What a lovely event this was, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, thank you, Leslie!!
Fantastic event! And great after party too ;)

So what next?

We would like to take this to the next level with more *resources. The next level is

  • Increase the membership. More members means more opportunities for the Pan-African community in all areas
  • Helping more businesses start up and scale up through providing customers who are passionate about Africa culture
  • Having meetings at the Africa Centre London

Since 2011 there have been regular meetups every month. The following are our meetup activities which can be viewed at The London Taste Of Africa Meetup Group

2. Meetups At African Festivals, Events And More

These meetups are supporting all those involved with African foodies and event organisers with their businesses and or organisations in London Europe, Africa and America. These have been African foodies traders.

  • The Africa Centre (festivals and markets)
  • Africa At Spitalfields organised by Popup Africa
  • Open The Gate (markets and music events)
  • African Food Week London organised by Essence 13
  • African Food Week New York
  • Africa On The Square
  • Africa Utopia
  • Sierra Fest
  • Naija In The Park
  • Yoruba Arts Feast
  • Kenya In The Park
  • Ghana In The Park
  • Africa Day
  • Kitenge Festival
  • Liberia Charity Concert
  • The Commonwealth Fair
  • African Street Style Festival
  • Trip to Paris (French Africa)
  • Visiting The British Museum
  • Visiting The Black Cultural Archives

The Africa centre festivals and markets etc. The group have provided volunteers for past events.

Read Three Reasons Why You Should Start An African Supper Club

3. Supperclubs

Over 100 different supperclubs and popups have been visited and supported as meetups:-

  • Zoe's Ghana Kitchen
  • Lerato Umah-Shaylor
  • Chale Let's Eat
  • Vegan Nigerian
  • My African Hob
  • Jason’s Little Kitchen
  • Kiro Kanteen
  • ChopXbeats
  • Lem Lem
  • Shellybelly Caribbean
  • Haitian Coffee Kafe1788uk
  • OniDodo
  • Mike Congolese Chef
  • Tokunbo Kitchen
  • Douceurs D’ivoire
  • Papa Spice
  • DCD Popup
  • Jollof Box
  • Chuku's Nigeria Tapas

African food

4. Visiting African Restaurants

Supporting many food brands and drink brands through meetups at business addresses:-

  • Dark Sugar
  • 805 Old Kent Road
  • Ethiopian Coffee Company
  • Karma Cola
  • 1788 Haitian Café
  • Buna Oromia Cafe
  • Little Baobab
  • 208 Degrees African Restaurant
  • Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Wolkite Kitfo Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Brixton Market

Read Modern Nigerian Restaurant Secrets Revealed

5. Business Trade Show Meetups And Networking

The meetups have been about seeking out and supporting African foodies in at these major trade shows:-

  • Lunch (Olympia)
  • International Food Event IFE (Excel)
  • Food And Drink Show
  • The Restaurant Show
  • Food Matter Live
  • Casual Dining Show
  • London Wine Fair
  • Rumfest
  • Organic Food

6. Product, Cookbook Launches Talks And Panels

  • Food Tech Week at WeWork 2016
  • Facebook 2017
  • Google 2018

Read What Do Africans Like To Drink?

7. Diversity

The Group has supported businesses from heritage all over the continent of Africa including:-

  • Congolese
  • Sierra Leone
  • Liberian
  • Senegal
  • Cameroon
  • Nigerian
  • South African
  • Ethiopian
  • Eritrean
  • Jamaican
  • Cuban
  • Ivory Coast
  • Ghana
  • Kenyan
  • Moroccan
  • Brazilian
  • Caribbean

8. Measurable Figures

The online platform called Meetup started after the year 2011. The following are growth figures of Meetup users

Year 2010 2013 2017
Users Millions 8 25.5 35

There are about 225,000 Meetup groups in 180 countries.

9. The London Taste Of Africa Numbers

Categories on the meetup platform 2019

Category Africa Food Supper Clubs African Culture Ethnic Food
Position in the world 1st 1st 2nd after London Black Professionals (Noire) 6th largest in the world

Topics categorize and describe what each Meetup Group is about in a word or two. Picking up to 15 topics for a Meetup Group.

Facts and Numbers Numbers
Year Started 2011. Over 8 years experience
Members 3870
††Active Members (Monthly) 300
*†*Active Members Percentage approx 0.4%
Demographics Mostly women approx 60%
Age **25-35 years
Members Location Most members are from London, Greater London 80%
Cost Of Running The Group. Money $18 per month

One organiser and one active assistant organiser

African Meetup

10. Meetup Group SWOT Analysis


  1. Ready market for African food businesses, restaurants, supperclubs, popup events etc
  2. One of the biggest African meetup groups in the UK and world
  3. High engagement
  4. African diversity in membership
  5. African diversity in meetups types events
  6. Many positive role models black women in business as members
  7. Knowledge of African and Caribbean food culture
  8. Strong network built up over time
  9. Supports black families and female entrepreneurs


  1. One person/two people cannot do this alone
  2. We have no legacy plans
  3. We need to spread the costs
  4. We need help realising a long term plan (10 years plus) know how
  5. Mission statement/broad aims to take advantage of this platform
  6. Need more young talent
  7. Need more and improved visual help, video images, social media etc
  8. Need more organisers, women, French African and or East Africans inline with the Africa centre's needs


  1. Meetup is an international brand
  2. Scheduling of week or month Meetups sponsored by The Africa Centre can instantly add over 3000 people to its market
  3. This will be a new way of communicating, a new platform which has a large reach
  4. Will support the new centre restaurant can have a say in the business
  5. Combined marketing with other enterprises/events etc and the Africa centre
  6. We can do more with more resources like supporting more Caribbean enterprises
  7. Other groups can be created in addition to this group
  8. Aligning with the Africa Centre's four of five pillars. Social, culture, employment and enterprise
  9. About 28% of Meetup organizers have sponsors that provide venues, drinks, and event content
  10. There are many successful sponsors that use the platform to give back
  11. There is a demand for African heritage and food from the UK population
  12. Encourage Africa travel, holidays and business trips
  13. Encourage African design buying of African fashion
  14. Encourage design, create and selling African cookware
  15. Through food and drink telling the African story the best diet in the world
  16. Caribbean, southern and soul food story
  17. Long term create a Meetup group for families African children's supperclub
  18. Teach your children how to cook and bake healthy African food
  19. Fasting from fast food
  20. African/Caribbean or soul food restaurant promotion in the Southwark area
  21. Offer taste cards discounts for a network of foodies
  22. Inspire role models in the food and cooking business
  23. Create wealth generation in the Pan-African community
  24. Encourage International trade between the African diaspora and the motherland
  25. Enhance fair trade, share knowledge and education
  26. Capitalise on the business, interests in South African wine and African coffee
  27. Cut crime, mental and physical illness by retraining adults in African food
  28. Create chefs and give young people something to do which pays
  29. Valuable Meetup back links to Africa Centre website which will increase search results and traffic to the website


  1. Big threats. KFCr*p, Mcshi&ty, Pizzahurt and Coca Killa. These global corporations constantly destroy our business end to end
  2. Powerful brands, powerful experts in marketing and big business control
  3. They put group of people back, on all fronts, health, social, cultural, educationally, economic, media, politically, independence, dead end jobs etc
  4. Local chicken shops put lives at risk. Poor health of black children, obesity, diabetes
  5. Economic uncertainty. Anytime there is a downturn in the economy black people are hit first
    Access to meetup database can be lost of Terms and conditions change

Read Who Are Our African Foodie Superheroes?

11. Next Phase New Objectives Of The Group

  1. Obtain immediate sponsorship
  2. Increase members to 10,000 in 3 years time
  3. Increase *†attendances rates from under 1% to 3% in 3 years time
  4. Offer discounts to members. Money off events (Work with business like lovejamii card)
  5. Provide investment to businesses
  6. Web development through API data leveraging automation. Integration with other sites
  7. Legacy planning
  8. Others to be planned
  9. Upgrade to Meetup pro. See benefits

Offer to Sponsors

Build brand awareness
Showcase thought leadership among people who are living, loving and part of today's African culture
Educate attendees
Demoing products. Opportunity to engage with interactive, live demos, meet with other experts and participate in hands-on sessions
Network with leaders at places like the Africa centre and across industries to build relationships and spark new ideas

Read Is £35 ($40) For An African Dinner Value For Money And Worth Paying For?

12. About Organiser

The organiser Leslie family background is West African. Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. He can trace his family back to the African slave who became the first black Anglican bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther.

Owner Of

Based on Aunty Pamela Green and mother’s inspiration. West African food, drink and cooking. You can search for recipes, cooking tips and local restaurants. Follow the discussions about African cooking and eating with Cuisine Nadia and find food events. Order African food from online shop. Compare food prices online and save money.

Leslie has supported World Jollof Rice Day, discovered and helped launch publishing careers for Nigerian Chef Lope Ariyo, the Vegan Nigerian Tomi and Nadia Maddy plus inspired others. Supporting with money new start up Jollof box. Due to open this year.

There are other opportunities with other Meetup groups also. I have contacts with other organisers. Meetup also host organisers meetups.

I have contacts through food and drinks in the UK, America and Africa for example Michael Twitty author of the Cooking Gene tours Ghana with Roots to glory.

Technology Background

Over 20 years as a web developer and designer. Working in the publishing and gaming industry.

Other site is West Africa Phones which list technology events in Africa plus sells phone and pc hardware. He is a member of the meetup group called ukblack tech and promotes Mark Martins initiatives. The Group has around 1200 members.

Finally Inspiration From Malcolm X

So our people not only have to be re-educated to the importance of supporting black business, but the black man himself has to be made aware of the importance of going into business. And once you and I go into business, we own and operate at least the businesses in our community. What we will be doing is developing a situation wherein we will actually be able to create employment for the people in the community. And once you can create some employment in the community where you live it will eliminate the necessity of you and me having to act ignorantly and disgracefully, boycotting and picketing some place else trying to beg him for a job.
Anytime you have to rely upon your enemy for a job you’re in bad shape.

West Africa Cooks

13. More Information Meetup Group
The London Taste Of Africa Meetup Group

† Society activity would be a meetup at popup events, festivals and restaurants
*Resources. A supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by the organization The London of Africa in order to function effectively
††Active Members are member who respond to a meetup message (going+not going response)

*†*Active Members Percentage is the activity(going+not going response)/members total *100
**Facebook post for a meetup event, age and gender stats 35-44 Women 23%; 16% Men 84% Women
*†attendances rates is the number of members divided by the number saying they will go


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