Ali

Chad

This is
Ali Waday (1978)

Country of origin
Chad

In the Netherlands since
2000

Profession
Makes soup recipes under the name of Ali Soeperman

First impression of Amsterdam
I sit in a freezer (it was winter)

Misses
Culture: art, literature, music and the Chadian kitchen

Favorite spot

All theaters and museums

Would like to
Make all my dreams come true

“I’m someone who has always tried to attain my constant dreams. Sixteen years ago I decided to go to America. I come from a creative trading family and wanted to learn more about the world of trading. America seemed the perfect place, a beautiful country  with a range of cultures and possibilities. Unfortunately, it was impossible to get there. It was too expensive and getting a US visa for someone from Chad isn’t a simple thing. I decided to go to Holland. At first, I lived in Leiden. But I wanted to live in a larger city. I went to see Utrecht, Den Haag and Rotterdam, but it was only when in Amsterdam I had the feeling of, ‘Yes, this is it!’. Before I moved here I had no idea that it was full of so many different nationalities; I only realised this once I had been living here. I find this a wonderful aspect of the city and have written a play about it: The World has moved into my Street. I get totally inspired by all the different people with their dishes, herbs, tastes, humour, smells, rhythms, beliefs, rituals, art and cultures. Sometimes, when I watch the news, and see all these different cultures pointing the finger at each other I think, ‘this is so unnecessary’. I think it important that people try to work together and integrate with each other. I do my thing, you do yours. That’s the fun of it. Let’s learn from each other.

With my catering company , Soeperman (Souperman) the Singing Cook I try to create a bond between people. I offer conviviality and a thick soup to ease the pain of homesickness and loneliness. These soups are influenced by Chad, as I also miss the flavours of my homeland. Tasty, but most importantly healthy. My (great) grandparents in Chad always said that they didn’t need hospitals. Through healthy food and home made medicines from certain herbs my grandfather lived to be 120 and my grandmother to 125! I want to pass on this healthy diet. It is one of my dreams. And I shall write a book about myself and the what I want to give to the world - happy faces, healthy food, and positivity!.”

4 people in Amsterdam have the Chadian nationality. 

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