As the world continues to grapple with issues of sustainability, health, and food justice, there is a growing movement toward plant-based eating as a way to address these challenges. But for many people, the idea of going vegan can be intimidating or seem prohibitively expensive.
That’s where Chef Cola, also known as Nicola Kagoro, comes in. Based in Zimbabwe, Chef Cola is a pioneering vegan chef who is on a mission to prove that plant-based eating can be both delicious and affordable. Through her company, African Vegan on a Budget, she offers cooking classes, catering services, and even a line of custom-made chef jackets, all with the goal of promoting veganism and plant-based eating across Africa and beyond.
But Chef Cola’s journey to veganism wasn’t always smooth. She grew up in New York City and initially pursued a career in hospitality management, which took her to Cape Town, South Africa. It was there, while working at PLANT restaurant, that she was introduced to veganism and began to train in plant-based cooking.
For Chef Cola, going vegan was a natural extension of her passion for health, sustainability, and social justice. “As I delved deeper into veganism, I realized that it was about more than just the food,” she says. “It was about creating a more equitable and just world, where everyone had access to healthy, affordable food.”
With that goal in mind, Chef Cola founded African Vegan on a Budget in 2016. Her company offers a range of services, from cooking classes for individuals and corporate clients to catering for events and private dinners. But what sets Chef Cola apart is her focus on making veganism accessible to everyone, regardless of income or social status.
Through her cooking classes, Chef Cola teaches people how to prepare delicious, plant-based meals using affordable ingredients that are readily available in local markets. She also shares tips and tricks for meal planning, shopping on a budget, and reducing food waste.
By empowering people with the knowledge and skills to cook healthy, affordable meals, Chef Cola is helping to break down the barriers to veganism and make it a viable option for everyone. Our brand Ambassador Shelton Tafadzwa Tinarwo also known as Goddlyzeus Zeus got taste her scrumptious meal and from his report, he could not get enough.
In addition to her work with African Vegan on a Budget, Chef Cola has also been involved in a number of other projects that promote veganism and sustainability. Perhaps most notably, she worked with the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) and AKASHINGA, a pioneering vegan conservation program consisting entirely of female rangers.
As Executive Chef and Project Manager for the kitchen, Chef Cola prepared entirely vegan meals and ration packs for the female anti-poaching ranger force for five years.
The program is designed to empower disadvantaged women to restore and manage a network of wilderness areas as an alternative to trophy hunting. By providing them with the tools and skills to protect wildlife while promoting veganism and sustainability, AKASHINGA is helping to build a better future for both people and the planet.
Chef Cola’s work with AKASHINGA reflects her broader philosophy of using food as a tool for social change. “Food is a powerful force that can bring people together and create positive change,” she says. “By promoting veganism and sustainability, we can help to create a more equitable and just world.”
Another way Chef Cola is using food to promote positive change is through her Dinner with Cola mobile dining concept. Currently based in Harare and Cape Town, the dinner events showcase Chef Cola’s delicious and culturally rich cuisine, all while raising awareness about veganism and sustainability.
The events are open to everyone and offer a relaxed and enjoyable environment for people to learn, connect, and enjoy great food.
Through African Vegan on a Budget.