Celebrating the Essence of Bibi through Flavour and Tradition

5 Reasons Ujamaa Spice’s Bibi’s Spice Blend is a Love Letter to Heritage - Promotions

With the launch of Ujamaa Spice’s latest creation, Bibi’s Spice Blend, I felt compelled to honour not just the blend, but the essence of Bibi herself.

The day Bibi (grandmother) left us, my world tilted, my anchor lost. She was our family’s matriarch, a lighthouse in life’s storms, radiating strength when ours faltered. Dementia had dimmed her memories, yet her presence remained my refuge. Her warm, gentle smiles, though void of recognition, always whispered that I was home, enveloped in safety. Those smiles, simple yet profound, were my solace on the hardest days.

My parents, ever-occupied with their ventures, left my brothers and me under her vigilant care. We cherished these times, not least because her forgetfulness often meant multiple rounds of pocket money, a playful nod to her loving nature. Her stories, however, were the true treasures.

During power outages, the darkness became our canvas, and Bibi, the master storyteller. We’d gather around her on the veranda, laying our mats, anticipation buzzing in the air. The youngest would always start, eager and expectant:

“Bibi, tell us a story!”

Her tales were threads woven through generations, anchoring our cultural heritage. They were repeated, not out of forgetfulness, but to imprint their significance upon us. I now see them as her way of affirming our collective experiences. Her stories, shared in many Swahili communities, were more than entertainment; they were legacies, guiding future generations towards our core values. Through them, I grasped the power of storytelling in forging familial and communal bonds.

Beyond her storytelling, she was a culinary artist, igniting my passion for food. I remember the excitement, the scramble for seconds, the plate-licking fervour when she cooked. Those flavours, that joy, linger in my memory, a poignant reminder of her love. Despite my efforts, no dish has ever matched the magic of her cooking. Her passing left a void, a fragment of my identity seemingly lost.

Yet, founding Ujamaa Spice rekindled my desire to recreate Bibi’s essence, not just through her food but in her spirit, encapsulated in my spices. I was thrilled to embark on this journey but paused, pondering what made my grandmother special. To me, she was magic and wonder, but what did she mean to others? Seeking to understand the Swahili community’s perception of Bibi, I discovered a tapestry of sentiments:

“She is kind.”


“She can be bold!”

“Doesn’t take sh*t from anyone.”

“She is my source of warmth.”

“Soup! She reminds me of soup! But like, the good, comforting kind.”


“My sense of calm.”

“A Source of sunshine.”

“Quite a mystery at times and quite the sass on her!”

With these reflections, I sought to distill Bibi’s spirit into a jar. Kindness and calm became cinnamon, endearment and warmth, nutmeg. Black pepper captured her no-nonsense boldness, clove her mystery, coriander her steadfastness, and cumin her sass. Thus, Bibi’s Spice Blend was born!

Perfect for traditional dishes like pilau and biryani, this versatile blend enhances any stew, curry, or soup. I encourage creativity; explore, experiment, and share your culinary adventures with us!

Bibi’s Spice Blend is my homage to grandmothers everywhere, a testament to my Bibi’s enduring legacy. I hope it brings you as much joy as it has brought me.

If your Bibi is still with you, cherish her. Embrace her tightly, or better yet, cook with her using Bibi’s Spice Mix and create new memories together! Because in every pinch of spice, in every shared story, we find the essence of our roots, the warmth of our heritage, and the timeless love of our Bibis.

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