Mickey SIMBAKWIRA is 24 years old. He was born on August 22, 1995 in Bujumbura, Burundi. He currently works as a safety consultant for a Trucking Company, KG Logistics Inc. Following his parents’ entrepreneurial journey, Mr. SIMBAKWIRA has launched two companies of his own in the USA : Simba Entertainment which operates in events and promotions and Savory Saucy Cuisine, his cooking business.
Passionate about cooking since childhood!
As Mr. SIMBAKWIRA grew up in a family where both parents had hotels, he got passionate about cooking at a very young age. “We used to go to our parents’ hotels and ate good food. I used to pop in the kitchen and see how they were preparing food”, he recounts.
In 2017, he started experimenting about dishes. “I started grilling some brochettes and some chickens, making some sauces here and there. Everybody was saying that it was so nice”, he says.
Mr. Mickey kept on cooking until he reached Texas. “When I had moved from Florida, I came to Texas and started my life from zero. I had to restart everything from zero. The only food that was available was pizza, hamburgers, basically american, a little bit fatty. When I came back home from college I had added like 20 Kgs. That’s when I started going back to the basics of cooking”, he mentions.
“I started taking cooking to another level. I did some researches and then made new dishes”, he adds.
His cooking business is called Savory Saucy Cuisine. He asserts that it’s a name which can associate positivity, passion and growth
As he explains, he wants to put Burundi on the map. In that regards, he plans to make sure his food brand is recognizable all over the world. “As Burundians we can do something that can be global”, he puts.
Mickey says that cooking is a very profitable business in the USA.: “Food industries are ones of the biggest industries here in America. Everybody, Black and White, Burundians, Congolese … love good food. So, I tried to take different approaches from what we see traditionally in our country”
‘’I really like my food because I take time and pay attention to the details’’, says Mickey as we ask for what makes his food special.
If anything , Mickey SIMBAKWIRA is grateful for the support he gets from his family : “My family is very supportive of my cooking. I am very thankful. They understand what I am doing , they had been there before. I think they see themselves in me . They really appreciate”, he points out.
Food and entertainment hand in hand!
Mr. SIMBAKWIRA is not limiting himself to cooking. He is also building an entertainment company. As he explains, his company is designed to promote any artist who feels like he has something to give to the world.
In collaboration with Ernest Kassim from Ghana, he organizes events every Friday in Texas where party people bring their own drinks to enjoy good African music mixed by Oral the Music.
Why would he combine food and entertainment , you would ask. “My goal is to make sure that when I do an event, I have a restaurant of my own. It’s not only about the food but also about the music, about the ambiance”, he states.
A throwback to Burundi!
“I would like to say that I didn’t realize how blessed we are as Burundians before I went to America. I feel proud to be a Burundian and throughout this pride I want to incorporate it in whatever I do, whether in cooking or in promoting the arts so that I can project this image of a positive and beautiful country”, he tells.
He adds, “I’ve not been home for six years and every single day, I have realized some of the best things we have in Burundi that we take for granted. We have awesome organic food, we have a great weather, and beautiful landscape all along the year. Every single day abroad make me reminisce about it”
Mickey can’t wait for the day when he’ll come back home and build something where several people can come to enjoy and share good food. “One of my projects when I come back home will be to get products made in Burundi to show what we have and what we can do”, he concludes.
Mickey SIMBAKWIRA advises that everyone should find something they love. Something they would do for free but then go ahead and make a living out of it.