Jiranileo. Marafiki Kesho!
How Jiranileo started
Jiranileo was cooked up by two friends with a vision of giving the world a taste of African hospitality, and in doing so, creating a new narrative about the modern African life we love. It all started with hours talking about the beautiful messiness of our day-to-day lives in Africa.
Our stories always had one common ingredient: No one could show hospitality or tell a story like Africans. We could name countless times of being welcomed into African homes with a warm smile, where we were given an extra seat at the table and told a memorable story. These stories around the table were not the same stagnant narrative of an Africa of safaris and politics and poverty, but instead were vibrant stories of a continent of rapid change, bursting with creativity and hustle, and flavored with a mix of tradition and modern culture.
The voices of these everyday African men and women became the recipe for Jiranileo: A way to connect people around the table to meet, listen, learn, and share their stories and give a taste of today’s Africa to your neighbor, your friends, and to the world.
Where Jiranileo is headed
Jiranileo brings people together, one gathering at a time. We’re a present-day take on African hospitality and the conversations that ensue when people meet over a meal. We hope through our platform we can promote shared values and demystify stereotypes about everyday life in modern Africa.
Jiranileo is a product of Kambirana Group. Learn more about our fast-growing Tanzanian startup on LinkedIn.
Meet the Jiranileo Founders
Our friendship started at a party in Dar es Salaam in 2017, where we quickly discovered that we had we lived in the same African cities at the same time, and we had enjoyed the same experiences, but from the differing perspectives of a Tanzanian man and an American woman. Since that initial meeting, we have spent hours talking about the organized chaos of our lives in Africa. (Ironically, most of these conversations happened in the kitchen, despite it having no chairs and neither of us particularly liking cooking.)
We unpacked ideas about how to connect people across Africa; how to expand economic opportunities for women; how much we hated eating alone on business travels; and how tourists never saw the “real Africa” that we loved. Eventually those long conversations in the kitchen turned into Jiranileo as our way to let others connect and experience Africa from new perspectives, too.
About Sunday Kapesi
Sunday is a patriotic Tanzanian with Rwandan/Burundian heritage and a Kenyan upbringing. (He is unapologetically East African to the core!) He works in business development and is a lawyer by training. Sunday envisions Jiranileo as a way to globally export, market, and celebrate the African culture of inviting strangers to feel at home and create a new platform for social connection. He hopes to create a community of food lovers who share cultures and values over a meal.
- Sunday in one word: Gregarious
- Formal title: COO, Kambirana Group / Regional Manager East Africa
- Informal title: Kaka Keshokutwa
- Favorite African food: Coconut rice with beans (tied with stewed chicken or fish), with lots of greens
- Extracurricular fun: Tennis
- Current artists on his playlist: Charlie Farren and Nyashinski
- Learn more about Sunday Kapesi on LinkedIn
About Elizabeth (Beth) Jere
Beth is an internationalized American who has lived two decades in East and Southern Africa working in public health and international development. Her favorite part of living overseas is wearing her kitenge and dancing with women in the community. She sees Jiranileo as a way to bring more women into the private sector by capitalizing on their culinary and hospitality skills. She also wants travelers in Africa to have the opportunity to experience the warm and friendly side of people in their everyday modern life.
- Beth in one word: Vivacious
- Formal title: CEO, Kambirana Group / Regional Manager Southern Africa
- Informal title: Dada Sasahivi
- Favorite African food: Pumpkin leaves. (Close 2nd: Tanzanian chocolate.)
- Extracurricular fun: Anything involving the ocean
- Current artists on her playlist: Sho Madjozi and Sampa the Great
- Learn more about Elizabeth Jere on LinkedIn