Salisu Abubakar is a 27-year-old criminologist from Nasarawa State who decided to set aside his certificate for his passion to cook. The young entrepreneur said he hopes to cook for President Muhammadu Buhari someday. In this interview, Salisu talks about his passion for cooking, among other issues.
Tell us about yourself briefly?
My name is Salisu Abubakar Oloko popularly known as Salisu Sarkin-Samari. I was born in Keffi Local Government Area of Nasarawa State. I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Security Studies. I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in Forensic and Correctional Psychology.
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What motivated you to choose cooking over your professional career?
Cooking has always been my passion and thus I consider it my professional career. Actually, I find fulfillment in cooking and, to me, it is a double honour because my religion taught me that anyone serving food is rewarded for his or her services. So, I earn a reward for serving others with food and at the same time earn money.
What is the nature of your business?
Well, I operate a restaurant that goes by the name “Nasarawa Kitchen” registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). The restaurant serves a wide range of local and continental dishes. I have 9 staff working under me to help the business grow. I believe someday I will cook for the president.
Have you ever been mocked for being a cook?
The era of people getting mocked for choosing a particular trade is over; we are in a modern world and everybody is doing what he or she deems right as much as it doesn’t contradict traditional and religious provisions.
As a cook, I have never been mocked by anybody. To be honest, I get commended for being a hustler and a pacesetter for the youths to follow in being self-reliant.
Why do you want to cook for the president?
I have always held both the person and office of the president in high esteem. Moreover, given the heavy responsibility on the president’s head and the eminent role he plays in moving this country forward, I understand that like any other human, Mr. President needs good food to keep him strong and to continue to serve us better. In addition, I will be greatly delighted to be the one to cook for him as part of my little contribution to the nation.
How did you acquire your cooking skills?
I have been very passionate about cooking for quite a long time and when the opportunity to venture into my dream profession came, I didn’t hesitate to grab it and you know with modernity one can learn different skills using modern technologies. However, I acquired training as well as practical experience from people who have gone far in the business. I can prepare different types of dishes, ranging from local to international dishes.
Would you accept a government job if offered?
It depends on what kind of job is being offered to me and even at that, I will not discard my food business. Remember, I told you that it is a passion and I wasn’t forced to be a cook, I am a cook by choice. I have already established my business entity and it is doing well. I have people working for me as well; by extension, I have provided job for others and my concern will always be their plight if I decide to close the business to take up a government job.
If you happen to be a cook for the president, what difference would that make?
I am ready to keep aside my educational career as a criminologist to cook for the president, and it will make a lot of difference. First, it will make a difference to me by giving me a sense of fulfillment, having achieved my dream. Secondly, because I am determined to serve him with all my heart, so I shall apply the requisite discipline and skills, while not forgetting to be as passionate as possible.