Meals center on our culture, our ideas of home and family, they open up the community to a broader table. Sitting down to eat together can be powerful. Of all the questions that come up when opening a food business, though, Abudu of Kafé Mamai acknowledges that ’why’ is the most complex. For Abudu this may be especially true. While he loves to share his “culture and experience,” he is also passionate about using his small business to support others in his local community and around the globe. In August, Abudu worked to organize a fundraiser in support of Yemeni children.
Abudu, like several others who are aware of the Yemeni crisis, has felt called to action. Yemen lies at the center of concurrent crises. While war threatens the lives of citizens, cholera and the coronavirus remain critical concerns as well. Two-thirds of the population are at risk of starvation. The risk of famine and hunger in particular spurred Abudu to begin raising money for Yemeni children to support efforts to increase access to food.
“I come from a culture where it doesn’t matter where you’re from,” Abudu shares. “You always show hospitality. Even if you’re not eating, if someone comes here as a guest, you feed them.” In this case, Abudu is feeding people locally in order to feed families halfway across the globe.
Abudu originally lived in Lamu, an island off the coast of Kenya, significant in Swahili culture and history and noted for its distinct architecture. He has lived in the states since 2001 and moved to Utah in 2016, where he quickly joined the Spice Kitchen Incubator program. He officially launched his food truck in 2019.