Nakupenda, Njeri

I often find myself somewhere between a captivating story & a decadent dessert.

What's in a name?

That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet

self identification at twenty-six

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Technically, this is my middle name…and by technically, I mean legally. Semantics. Although, I was baptized and given a biblical (and English) first name, I’ve always gone by ‘Njeri’.

My family is from Kenya, and ‘Njeri’ translates to ‘Warriors Daughter’ in Swahili. A warriors daughter would never change her name simply because it's take some practice to pronounce. "If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say [Njeri]".

**Quote from the talented Uzo Aduba’s mom. Uzo plays Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren on the Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. 

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At an early age, my parents nicknamed each one of their three kids and my moniker was ‘Captain’ which means ‘[s]he who is in charge’. I am the eldest by 5 years and I do, thoroughly love being in charge. From being the creative director for family Christmas dance performances [1994-2001] to holding leadership positions through my life, I have always taken the lead. Also, as already mentioned, my name literally means ‘warriors daughter’. On her last trip to Kenya, my mom bought me a personalized Kenyan bracelet that says ‘captain’ in big capital letters.  1 point to the Kimani parents.

 

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Declaratory statement: MY MOTHER IS THE BEST COOK. The one thing she does not do is bake and that is where 12 year-old Njeri comes in. I found myself whisking, scoping and drizzling at an early age and then my Godfather gifted me my first only KitchenAid mixer (Lucy), and the rest is history in the making. You know that moment when someone declares their non-dessert-eating status but then tries your masterful whipped vanilla icing and is released from their affliction? That is what I live for. 

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Nakupenda, Njeri translates from Swahili to ‘with love from Njeri’ and encapsulates the main ingredient in everything I do and bake - love. Through Nakupenda, Njeri, I will joyfully share my enthusiasm for food, travel, loving others and lifestyle, in hope that you too will join the journey with both your tastebuds and curiosity. As Frank Sinatra said, "The best is yet to come and babe, won't it be fine?"