Breaking Stereotypes: Nigerian Muslim Chef Sherifah Yunus Olokodana Challenges Prejudice against Hijab-Wearing Women


Sherifah Yunus Olokodana is a renowned pastry chef in Lagos, Nigeria, who is on a mission to challenge the stereotypes and prejudices associated with hijab-wearing women in her country. Despite her success in the culinary industry, Olokodana has faced discrimination and bias because of her attire, which is typical of Muslim women who observe the hijab.

As a Yoruba Muslim from the southwest region of Nigeria, Olokodana has been a chef for nearly two decades and also sells food spices. However, she has had to overcome multiple obstacles in the predominantly Muslim north and the largely Christian south of the country, where cultural norms often discourage women from pursuing entrepreneurship.

Olokodana, who covers her body and hair, leaving only her eyes visible, said that she has to work ten times harder than the average woman. Despite her impressive culinary skills, she still faces negative attitudes and discrimination from people who look down upon hijab-wearing women.

In an interview, Olokodana shared her experiences of being judged for her choice of dress and how she aims to challenge stereotypes through her work. “I want to show that women in hijab can be successful and break barriers,” she said. “I want to inspire young girls and women to pursue their dreams, no matter what anyone says.”

To spread her message, Olokodana has been using social media platforms such as Instagram to showcase her cooking skills and share her experiences as a Muslim woman in Nigeria’s business landscape. She hopes that by doing so, she can empower other hijab-wearing women to challenge societal norms and overcome prejudice.

Olokodana’s story highlights the challenges that many Muslim women face in Nigeria and other parts of the world. However, it also shows how one person’s determination and resilience can make a significant impact in challenging stereotypes and creating positive change.

In conclusion, Sherifah Yunus Olokodana’s journey as a successful Muslim chef in Nigeria is a testament to the power of perseverance and breaking barriers. Her story serves as an inspiration to all women, regardless of their background or attire, to pursue their dreams and overcome prejudice.