Jambo Africa Restaurant wins Torchlight Award in Minnesota
Jambo Africa Restaurant, which is located at the Brooklyn Centre on Shingle Creek Parkway, beat other African eateries in the Midwestern region to emerge the overall winner of Torchlight Award.
The Torchlight Foundation recognises achievements made by African immigrants in the fields on culture, education, entertainment, fashion, and philanthropy.
“Our brothers and sisters are out here doing big things and we at Torchlight do not only honour their work, but inspire others,” said Stephen Ngang, the Foundation’s Director.
The winning restaurant is run by Mr George Ndege Jojo and his Liberian partner Mr Simone Chambliss.
Speaking to the Nation soon after receiving the award, an elated Jojo said the recognition was “an affirmation that good stuff can still come out of the continent.”
He said the restaurant has become more popular because it does not specialise in menu from a single region but on both East and West African cuisine, making it a favourite spot for the African immigrant community in Minnesota.
“The most popular item right now is fried tilapia fish. Customers from both East and West seem to agree on its unmatched flavor and presentation,” said Mr Jojo.
Besides the African dishes, the restaurant also hosts African cultural events.
“We host African-themed events including live music band, traditional percussion, dancing, poetry, story-telling sessions, book releases and more.
“When my wife and I get homesick, we come here to remind ourselves of motherland by eating Kenyan food and dancing to Kenyan beats,” said Basillioh Mogaka, who lives in Minneapolis.
Mr Jojo said the restaurant also hosts prominent African dignitaries whenever they visit the cities of Minneapolis and St Paul.
“We also have an American clientele especially those who have visited Africa as tourists, aid workers and missionaries. They drop in to satisfy their nostalgic food memories of Africa,” he said.
The Torchlight award also recognised Jambo Africa Restaurant’s high customer service standards.