Kadijatu Sesay started her business, Mama and Pikin, in 2019 because she wanted to share her passion for the cuisine of her homeland, Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry where she grew up, especially its famous sesame-based sweets. The name of her business, Mama and Pikin, celebrates Kadi’s mum as well as honouring their story of surviving as refugees before coming to Australia in 2010. Kadi was a teenager when she arrived and has since learnt English (she already speaks four other languages), and also started business studies.

Back in West Africa Guinea Conakry, Kadi and her mum would walk up to 35 km a day to sell her products. Now she makes it from home and with the support of her mum she sells her sweets at the Food Coop Shop and Café and other cafes around Canberra. As well as expanding to include sweets from other West African countries, and to sell at markets and festivals, Kadi plans to eventually open her own restaurant. “I love cooking and I would like people to taste flavours from my background,” she says.

For Kadi, Sister Tribe means being together, sharing ideas and learning from one another. “As women, we love to support each other.” 

When she’s not making sweets, Kadi spends time with her husband and her little son, with friends and family, and cooking and watching movies.