World Beat Cooks: Chicken-dodo and Hibiscus Tea with Ola Elkanah

Olajumoke Elkanah, fondly called Ola, is a native of Nigeria of the Yoruba tribe, which is in the Western part of Nigeria. Ola came to America – Laurenville, Georgia, to be precise– in 2005 with her husband and 16-month-old daughter. Excited and scared to start a new life, Ola worked in fast food services and her husband worked in retail. Later on, while Ola was working and braiding hair on weekends, her husband attended the Sleep Study School. When he finished school, he had a job offer from Willamette Sleep Center as a sleep technician. With the opportunity, they moved again, this time to Salem, Oregon.

While in Salem, she attended cosmetology school. She decided to have her own business, so she opened a beauty salon without any clientele. Ola said: “I knew of others not having courage, so, I took the risk.There were a lot of bad days, but it got better with networking and passing my card to everyone I see on the streets, mall, grocery store even at Chuck E.Cheese. I am grateful for my days of little beginning.” Now, Ola and her husband are successful owners of two companies including Flourish Spices and African Food.

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