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07.09.2005 Diaspora News

SPOTLIGHT - Nana Ama Gyamfi Of Afrikiko


"Excellent, very clean and they serve good food”

Afrikiko Restaurant in New York is one of the hotspots for the Ghanaian community in Parkchester; Bronx, New York. Afrikiko has been making a name over the years because of the hard work of one Ghanaian by the name; Nana Ama Gyamfi. Having realized the impact it has had on the community, Ghanaweb decided to put a spotlight on the brain behind such a concept thereby giving her the worldwide recognition she deserves.

On Thursday evening, August 31, this writer was invited to the famous restaurant to acquaint himself with why Afrikiko has been regarded as a great hotspot. In an exclusive interview, Nana Ama Gyamfi, well known as Nana Ama said she started this restaurant 3 years ago but 8 years in the catering business. Earlier on, she was involved in catering and decorating at home which she had been doing for years. As a result, many people started encouraging her to open up a restaurant. Upon taking that advice, she began to look for a place. When asked who inspired her to overcome those challenges she faced; she said her mother owns a business in California so she inspired her and also she inspired herself as she says; "I got tired of working for people and wanted to have my own place and let people have a taste of my delicious food”

Some of the difficulties Nana Ama says; she faces is within the Ghanaian community. It is very hard to satisfy every customer especially clients who want their food in a hurry and are impatient. She has a big clientele and her concept is; the restaurant is a sitting down place to be waited on to get food. That is hard for certain people to understand because they want fast food; "ready, done, let me take it and go" she adds. But they have to wait a little so the food is prepared nicely but unfortunately that is a difficulty.

When ask who her biggest competitor is, Nana Ama mentioned that she has none because of her huge clientele in the East Coast so she does not see any competitor because her name is everywhere.

Nana Ama has outlined her plans in the next few years; she plans to open up more restaurants and night clubs to go with the bars. Also she opens a franchise restaurant next year and another franchise restaurant in Ghana.

Her advice to those interested in the restaurant business and the youth is; "you have to love it in order to do it" she says. It takes sacrifice and just like any other business if you don't love it, you cannot do it. This is her passion and so it is easy for her to do. If you do not love it, do not try it because it is a hard work and a lot of determination that comes with it. She continues that feeding people and dealing with food "it is always a good feeling".

Present at the restaurant were some of her customers who were asked about what they thought of the restaurant and Nana Ama in general and here are their comments;

Jude - "Afrikiko is da bomb, good food, good music and the girls too".

Ras - put in a funny way; "Idey be wey Idey happen, live, for real"

Yaw Assinor - "Afrikiko is unique and everything is intact"

Effie - "Nana Ama is a nice person, she gets along with every customer and provides good hospitality"

Kwame Addo - "Excellent, very clean and they serve good food”

More grease to your elbow, Nana Ama Gyamfi of the famous Afrikiko Garden Restaurant, New York