Nigeria’s international profile, tourism potential and export capacity can be raised significantly through its globally acclaimed cuisines.
Chidi Durugo, the American based philanthropist and Founder of the Afor Market chain of restaurants, said “with the right strategy mix and proactive intentional campaigns, Nigerian cuisines can be used to grow the country’s brand equity and destination appeal.”
Durugo noted that “ we have been completely focused on football, music and Nollywood entertainment as the principal sources of destination appeal for Nigeria. And we have failed to identify the reputations power of our unique foods and cuisines.”
He said the repositioning of Nigerian cuisines to maximize the benefits will include: “outlining a promotional agenda, organizing or actively participating in international food festivals, involving the Nigerian embassies abroad, and giving more international exposure to local food events such as the GTB food festival.”
As the CEO of The popular Afor African Market amongst other businesses, Durugo is also well known for his deep benevolence shown to several stranded Nigerians living in USA.
His food market is known to have kept home alive for many who are in difficult phase out there in America.
The Agor Market restaurant chain has also been in the forefront of showcasing the originality of Nigerian cuisines and demonstrating same to the world.
Durugo represents a strong rags to riches story. He started life as an ordinary Barber in South Orange Ave Newark while living with his cousin. He then went on obtain a degree in criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Human Resources and Development.
He advanced his career as a court service supervisor in New Jersey, while doing a real estate business as a side hustle.
However, food remained his first love. With sound planing, strategic collaboration and creative targeting, Chidi Durugo soon established the Afor Market Irvington NJ 07111. This soon expanded to Newark, Philadelphia PA and Dominican Republic. He is also the CEO C’Action Property Management.
Chidi Durugo is not only passionate about Nigerian cuisines, he is also driven by the need to be philanthropic.
He pointed out that the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, are not only famous for the amount of money they made but also how much money they gave. “It’s about time that ultra wealthy Nigerians stand out to also be counted for their philanthropy.”