What’s Cooking in Urban Africa? A Michelin Star Chef Travels Africa’s Slums on a Quest for Cooking Wisdom

What's Cooking in Urban Africa?

Toxic smoke of household cooking with charcoal or paraffin kills 4.3 million people every year — more than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined — and primarily affects women and children. SDI’s clean cooking initiative – providing clean, safe, affordable cookstoves to slum dweller communities – improves public health in slum communities and adds to incremental upgrading efforts. This is a valuable intermediary solution for the poorest households – especially women and children.

To raise awareness for clean cooking, SDI’s co-founder Joel Bolnick has taken to the road, traveling across Southern and East Africa with Michelin Star chef Alan Wise, Clean Cooking Revolution, and Twins on Tour to connect with communities and produce a series of cooking competitions in slums and a cookbook featuring the winning recipes captured on the road.

Learn more in the presentation above and click here to pre-order your book today.

SDI partners with Twins on Tour to share stories of African youth


Next week SDI’s co-founder Joel Bolnick will hit the road with Morgan and Gabriel, the brothers who make up Twins on Tour. Read more below about how this project came into being and what this partnership hopes to achieve for the twins and for SDI. 

Guest post by Morgan & Gabriel Bolnick, Twins on Tour.

It all started with a moment of inspiration.

The idea that Gabriel stumbled upon some 12 months ago – then seeming like a distant, and highly unlikely possibility – is now only days away from becoming a reality.

What was the it? Simple: to piggy-back on the upcoming visits of one of SDI’s co-founders, Joel Bolnick, to SDI’s African affiliates and, while he discusses politics and strategy with the community leaders, we would document the lives, tell the stories of, and get to know youth living in Africa’s slums.

So, what’s it all about?

We are motivated by a belief that the world’s wealthy minority (us included) misunderstands the majority who live in poverty. Because of this, soul and hope-crushing judgments are often  (and, in many cases, unconsciously) made. Thus, by changing the perceptions that wealthy youth have of less privileged youth, and maybe even vice-versa, we hope to unify youth globally, irrespective of class, gender or race – making space for transformation and change.

And, who are these twins?

Twin brothers Morgan and Gabriel Bolnick are departing on a Cape Town to Kampala road trip on the 4th of June. This road trip will take them through cities and slums, towns and villages in their quest to explore what it means to be African.

“Born in Zimbabwe, I have always felt a deep connection with Africa. I want to use this opportunity to learn from this continent and other young people – to open space for the talents and creativity of all kids to shine and get the light we all deserve.” – Morgan

“I understood from a very young age that I live a privileged life. Not only do I want to see how other people live, but I want to find a way to give back – to feel part of something bigger than me.” – Gabriel


This is about the stories of Africa’s youth.

We are going to be telling the stories of Africa’s youth– with a focus on those living in the slums of Africa’s growing cities. We will do this through interviews, photos, and daily vlogs on our Instagram and Facebook pages. Follow us to travel Sub-Saharan Africa with us from your couch!

Who is helping us to make this happen?

Twins on Tour will be using the ION360 camera to document plastic pollution throughout Africa for environment organization Earth Day Network.  We will also document the What’s Cooking in Urban Africa? Master Chef series, featuring Michelin Star Chef Alan Wise, in collaboration with Clean Cooking Revolution and SDI.

Inspired to help? You can!

Head over to our Thundafund page for a more in-depth explanation of our 180-day expeditions, as well as to see how you can make this journey to the hearts of Africa’s youth, even better.