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Sylvester Osei-Fordwuo is a distinguished Ghanaian-born entrepreneur, accomplished author, dedicated philanthropist, and a revered Sankofa cooking scholar. Born on February 7, 1967, in Kumasi, the heart of the Ashanti region in Ghana, Sylvester's life story epitomizes his unwavering commitment to providing opportunities for underprivileged children and women in Ghana, a commitment forged through his own early-life experiences of scarcity and hardship. His journey also reflects his resolute dedication to making a positive impact on a global scale.
Early Life and Challenges
Sylvester's formative years were spent within a large family during the 1970s. He cultivated a profound appreciation for traditional Ghanaian cuisine under the loving guidance of his mother and six sisters. Remarkably, even before entering his teenage years, Sylvester had mastered the intricate art of preparing "fufu," a cherished Ghanaian dish. To support his family, Sylvester engaged in resourceful endeavors, peddling, and hustling to sell bread, oranges, and water along the bustling roadside.
However, Sylvester's path was not without significant challenges. Raised within a family of twelve children in the African context, he faced the unyielding realities of scarcity and limited resources. Despite these formidable adversities, Sylvester's determination to pursue an education remained unwavering.
Tragedy struck when his father, Nana Osei-Fordwuo, the family's sole breadwinner, passed away just as Sylvester was on the brink of completing his high school education at Opoku Ware Secondary School (AH 74). The loss of his father represented a profound setback, as Sylvester had leaned on his father's support to advance his studies. Tragically, two years later, Sylvester's mother, Maame Abena Antwiwaa, also passed away while he was visiting her hometown to collect the proceeds from the cocoa farm left behind by his late father. This tragic loss left Sylvester and his siblings orphaned and further compounded their challenges.
Subsequently, homelessness became a stark reality for Sylvester and his siblings when they lost their home overnight due to a devastating storm. Despite these adversities, Sylvester's indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to education led him to seek refuge with friends and family while pursuing studies in accounting. Financial constraints compelled him to resort to preaching in local transportation vehicles, known as "tro-tro," to evade the cost of commuting to and from school. Through these challenging times, hunger and deprivation taught Sylvester the profound importance of fasting and prayer. His unrelenting determination to build a brighter future eventually led him to Accra, Ghana's capital, despite facing daily ejections while residing with his uncle. Sylvester even resorted to scaling a high wall adorned with broken glass shards to avoid confrontations with his uncle, who had previously expressed a reluctance to take responsibility for Sylvester and his siblings despite being their maternal uncle.
Pursuing the American Dream
Sylvester's unwavering commitment to his dreams carried him through formidable trials and tribulations in Ghana. He carved out a career path, serving as an Accounting Auditor with a prestigious accounting firm, later assuming the role of an Accountant at a computer company, and eventually establishing his own successful accounting firm, which specialized in small business accounting and taxes during his eleven-year tenure in Accra, Ghana.
Sylvester's enduring dream of moving to the United States persisted, despite encountering the disappointment of visa rejections on two separate occasions. He envisioned a nation where individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures harmoniously coexisted. Ultimately, Sylvester's dream materialized when he migrated to the United States, embarking on an exciting new chapter of his life.
In the United States, Sylvester secured employment as a manager with the renowned grocery store chain, 7-Eleven. Drawing upon his rich upbringing in Kumasi and the culinary wisdom instilled by his mother and sisters, Sylvester channeled his adversities into a powerful source of motivation. Together with his wife, Theodora, they established the first all-African kitchen in the United States, known as "the Afrikikoo restaurant." Over time, this visionary establishment evolved into the celebrated African Grill and Bar LLC (AGB). Notably, AGB boasts two inviting dining areas with a combined seating capacity of 200, dependable catering services for all types of events, an event room available for rental for various gatherings, efficient delivery services, and the distinguished privilege of being one of the select eight restaurants entrusted with catering services at the esteemed Denver Botanic Garden in Colorado. AGB stands out as the sole restaurant in the United States that serves a comprehensive range of African cuisine, spanning from West Africa, East Africa, North Africa, South Africa, to Central Africa. During his initial year in America, Sylvester faced the extraordinary challenge of homelessness, enduring the rigors of his first encounter with snow while subsisting on nothing more than a gallon of juice and a bag of chips, consumed three times daily during this trying period.
Culinary Excellence and Philanthropy
Sylvester's life experiences have not only honed his culinary expertise but have also served as a wellspring of inspiration for countless individuals on their own journeys to pursue their dreams. Through his culinary endeavors, Sylvester passionately celebrates the richness of African culture and underscores the profound importance of preserving culinary traditions while uplifting communities. His philanthropic endeavors are most notably embodied by the Osei-Fordwuo Foundation, a dedicated initiative singularly focused on enhancing the quality of life for others. As a testament to their enduring commitment to making a positive impact, Sylvester and his wife, Theodora, have initiated the construction of a classroom for a deserving community in Ghana, marking a momentous milestone within their foundation.
In conclusion, Sylvester Osei-Fordwuo life journey stands as a profound testament to his exceptional resilience, unyielding dedication, and unwavering commitment to excellence. From his humble beginnings in Kwadaso-Agric, a vibrant suburb of Kumasi, Ghana, to his remarkable entrepreneurial triumphs in Colorado, United States, Sylvester's narrative serves as a potent source of inspiration to all who encounter it. His culinary achievements and philanthropic undertakings continue to leave an indelible legacy of positive transformation and vibrant cultural celebration. Sylvester Osei-Fordwuo, through his unwavering perseverance, has emerged as a shining exemplar of the transformative potential inherent in resilience and the capacity to surmount adversity while leaving an enduring, meaningful impact on the global stage.
Theodora-Fordwuo, an administrator, a businesswoman, Co-owner, and main chef of African Grill and Bar was born in Abura Dunkwa, the capital of Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District in the Central Region of Ghana. However, she prefers to be called Adwoa, which means a female born on Monday in Ghanaian culture. Adwoa's father, Mr. Samuel Kobina Kwegyir, was a mathematician, and her mother, Mrs. Agnes Efua Kwegyir, was a professional midwife
During Adwoa's childhood, her father accepted a job offer to teach math in Northern Nigeria, leading the family to migrate there. They settled in the village of Argungu in Kebbi State, situated along the Sokoto River. Growing up being the first daughter and coming from the Fanti tribe in Ghana, she was brought up alongside education with cooking skills since it’s a must in her tribe. Adwoa had the opportunity to learn how to cook traditional healthy food at a tender age from her mother and the local women, who generously shared their culinary wisdom with her.
In 1983, Adwoa and her family witnessed the "Ghana must go" saga, which made life difficult for Ghanaians and other African nationals in Nigeria. Fortunately, Adwoa and her family were legally residing in Nigeria and were not directly affected by the expulsions. However, they extended their support and sheltered many Africans fleeing for their lives during that challenging time.
In 1987, Adwoa and her family returned to Ghana, settling in Abura Dunkwa. Her father resumed his work as a math teacher at Aburaman Senior High School, and Adwoa also enrolled as a student there since her mom decided to pursue her midwife career around the same time, which forced Adwoa to take on the role of the caretaker in her household, at the same time studying for her high school diploma. She cooked and cared for her father and others. Adwoa cherished the cooking lessons passed down from her mother, grandma who also used to run a restaurant and a bakery as well, she turned all those lessons it into a hobby. She also felt blessed with it by God, as she always says, “I am just the instrument of God being used for His glory.” Little did she know that this responsibility was an opportunity to sharpen her culinary skills for her future endeavors in the United States of America. After her five years of education at Aburaman Secondary School, she went on and pursued two years of business administration career at Archbishop Porter Girls Polytechnic.
Adwoa's father, Samuel Kwegyir, played a significant role in shaping her life by instilling discipline, perseverance, consistency, persistence, truthfulness and capability to pursue everything in life so far as you are willing to achieve it, notwithstanding excuses as a typical African father; he challenged Adwoa to be a better example for her three younger sisters. Although such demands were sometimes difficult for a teenager like Adwoa to navigate, she ultimately grew to appreciate the lessons he imparted. On her vacation, she travels to different regions of Ghana to visit her uncles and aunts for a change of environment.
After graduating from business school, she moved to Accra- Ghana’s capital city worked and lived independently.
In a poignant moment, Adwoa introduced her father to her current husband when he was frail and nearing the end of his life. Despite his weakened state, he graciously accepted their union and welcomed Adwoa's partner into the family before passing away and joining his ancestors. In the Akan tradition, such acceptance from both parents before the traditional ceremony held great significance and honor.
Before migrating to the United States of America, Adwoa worked as an administrator for various companies in Ghana. Coming to America, her goal was to attain a medical or engineering degree, but due to circumstances beyond her control, and didn’t want to be a burden in her marital home with two kids by then, she decided to tap back into her passion for cooking and turned it into a business to support her lovely family. In 2004, Adwoa and her husband took a bold step and co-founded Afrikikoo restaurant. They later changed the name to African Grill and Bar, the first all-African kitchen in the United States. The restaurant quickly became a popular destination for all Americans and Africans living in the United States who yearned for the authentic taste of home-cooked African food. She catered to weddings, parties, and events not only in Colorado but also in other states.
Adwoa's culinary skills expanded beyond Ghanaian and Nigerian cuisine to encompass a wide range of African cuisine. She firmly believes that all West African food shares commonalities, with slight variations in names and ingredients. Alongside her husband, they co-founded the Osei-Fordwuo Family LLC and the Osei-Fordwuo Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and women in Africa.
AKWAABA is our way of welcoming you to “The Osei– Fordwuo family restaurant” in our native Akan dialect -Ghana . Since 2004, Sylvester and Theodora have serve Colorado with real authentic food, beers, root drinks, bitters, wine, good African music and amazing drummers & dancers from the continent of Africa. We have specialized in most popular cuisines from the continent of Africa, such us; South African “pap” and Chakalaka, East Africa “samosa and chapatti, North Africa “Couscous”, West Africa “Fufu” and “Jollof” Central Africa “Cassava, Plantains and peanut dishes. WE DO NOT COOK WITH ANY DAIRY PRODUCTS, FLOUR OR SUGAR. Currently, we cater for most of the universities, office parties, ceremonies, birthday parties and occasions. We also donated food for school cultural programs, Church programs, the police and the hungry among us. Please visit any of our locations to experience “unique african food & culture.” We are more than glad to serve U 2.
Order Online Africangrill@gmail.com
Contact owners for big orders
Lunch menu: price range $5.00- $12.00 time: 11am to 3pm (Monday to Friday) only
Our restaurant is available for private events: weddings, business lunches, dinners, cocktail receptions, and more. We would love to discuss how to be a part of your next event.
We refuse to compromise on quality in our restaurant. That's why we source our ingredients from local Africa.
With 16 years of experience cooking african food to our customers, the osei-fordwuo family are excited to present to you and all our guests, the finest, and all natural African cuisine from the continent of our Motherland. Our caring and committed staff will ensure you have a fantastic experience with us. At our african restaurant, we serve vegan food, vegetarian food and halal meat,
NOTE: WE ARE CLOSED ON SUNDAYS
Who said Africans don't have cocktails?
check our Ag cocktail menu and enjoy deliciously
-Old African cocktail
- "Ghana Must go" cocktail