Posts | The Alchemist Bar, Nairobi | Faces of the Alchemist [ FOA ]


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Meet Samantha (on the right) and Natalie Mwedekeli, the sisters who are behind the Mama Rocks wave sweeping Nairobi. If you haven’t tried their burgers yet, make sure you come to the Alchemist for some before the year’s out!

Samantha: We grew up in England, but now we are based in Kenya. Dad’s from here and mum is Nigerian, and we have the awesomest food truck in the world called Mama Rocks which sells gourmet burgers inspired by the flavours of Africa, so basically we are trying to excite the world with amazing flavours from a continent we love, and to rebrand Africa through food. Everybody eats, and everyone recognises a burger, so we thought it would be the best way to do it. We are trying to be a blueprint for how businesses should be run, because we are always trying to grow and develop our staff, and get them opportunities to better themselves.

Natalie: The name came first, then the idea to do burgers came next. We wanted to create a brand that stood for the values we stand for. We are very proud of where we come from, and we wanted to spread the love and share, and the best way to do this is through food. So we quit our jobs, I used to be a HR advisor for different media companies..

Samantha: And I was a learning and development manager for a charity, and we came to Kenya quite often. Around the world, burgers and food trucks were catching on and we saw a gap here, in that no one was communicating a narrative different from safaris and the Bush about Kenya. Our contribution is food, and showcasing the best of new Nairobi and young Nairobi. Eventually we would like to open a flagship store in every continent, and grow from there.


Natalie: Queen Bee will always be the one for me and Rihanna, basically all girl power music!

Samantha: I love South African house, me dancing outside the truck whenever it’s playing at the Alchemist is not an uncommon sight! And Grime!! But there’s very many upcoming Kenyan artistes that we love, like @kidmorebaker, who’s joining our team real soon


Samantha: So this was launched a few weeks ago, and it’s a film crew following us around as we go through the trials and tribulations of opening a restaurant in Nairobi. We were overwhelmed by the support of all the people who came out on launch night to see it! I had never talked in front of such a large audience so I was quite nervous. It was quite emotional as well because before then we never really stopped to take stock of all that we had achieved and how far we had come. There was a good 2 years of research and development before we even opened the truck.


Natalie: It is very difficult to find another place that has as diverse a crowd as Alchemist. That everyone can come here and feel welcome, and Creatives can better themselves from being in the space is great, because that is what our brand stands for. Then night after night the crowd does change ever so much, people who come here to seek a different experience from a typical run of the mill club, and I think they are pleasantly surprised!

The Island question!

Natalie: Barack Obama, to motivate me to figure out a way to leave the island, a real good book and a box of chocolates.

Samantha: Big packet of sausages, it’s a weird new obsession I have! Can’t live without eyeliner, and a way to build a fire to have a nice bath!” #FacesofAlchemist