Artist and Writer Tunde Wey

Artist and Writer Tunde Wey
Photo credit: Jon Peterson

Tunde Wey is more than an artist and writer.  He is also a cook who uses “Nigerian food to interrogate colonialism, capitalism and racism.”

We first learned about his work when new outlets began reporting on his social projects in New Orleans that charge White people at least 2x more for plates of food as a way of sharing the wealth disparity gap in the city.

But before he began cooking for people and using food to passionately advocate around issues relating to race and wealth, there is a story of an inquisitive young boy growing up in Nigeria. 

“So my, my upbringing was like, it was, um, it was great. I remember, you know, as a child, it’s just so funny. I remember thinking that I was. I didn’t have a concept of privilege. So maybe I was like seven or eight, but I remember thinking like I was the center of the universe, you know, like, I just remember like having this idea that, Oh, like, you know, I’m like, I, I am lucky,” he says in the episode.

Living in America

Coming from Nigeria to the states, specifically Detroit, to continue his education at the age of 16, when asked about what he thought about what he envisioned America to be, he says, “Yeah, I had all kinds of notions. Uh, all of the culture. Most of the culture that I consumed was American culture, American and to a certain extent, like British culture, but mostly American. Uh, it was just what was happening at the time, you know, um, with people like me, I guess, um, like the films we watched, the music that we listened to, um, the television that we watched, uh, all of that was, was American.”

A disappointment for sure… his first burger from McDonald’s.

Over the years, life would prove to be full of growth, challenges and ups and downs.  His journey into food began in after an opportunity to partner on a restaurant that was called Revolver. The concept welcomed different chefs and their menus in the space.

Tunde moved on from Revolver and at the same time also lived as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S. after dropping out of school. He would receive his permanent residency status until 2019.

His work around championing racial and wealth inequality would come into focus while living in New Orleans and would go on to inform projects to come and that he is working on today.

Funny, intentional and food for thought, be sure to watch the episode on our YouTube channel or listing below as well as where you stream all of your favorite podcasts.

The best way to connect with Tunde Wey and follow his work is to sign up for his newsletter on his website. You can also follow him for periodic postings social media via Instagram.

Full episodes are also available where you listen to your podcasts such as Hayti, Apple, Spotify, Google and more.

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