BY Ben Ebuka, 1:00pm March 08, 2023,

Get to know Gbemi Giwa, the Nigerian wellness expert promoting African foods in Dubai

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Gbemi Giwa is a Dubai-based Nigerian food and wellness expert and entrepreneur who founded successful businesses and is now focused on her main project – Catfish, an African food restaurant with the sole mission of promoting African meals as an important option for good health and wellness.

Young Giwa left Nigeria at age 16 with an initial plan to study civil engineering at the American University of Sharjah. But her longtime inner calling and creative mindset, filled with ideas and passion for creating impactful content, led her to graduate with a major in design management and a minor in marketing, going against the usual norm and expectation of an African family that has a high preference for engineering, law, and medicine.

Her relocation to Dubai created vast opportunities and a friendly environment to explore her God-given talent and abilities. She told Forbes Africa that Dubai “is one of the easiest places to do business in, especially if you know the right people and have the money… I always tell youngsters it’s better to partner with the right mentor, as they have the experience and you can keep learning from them.”

In 2014, Giwa started her first business Dubai Fit Foodie, an award-winning online food and wellness blog offering healthy food and fitness tips. “The really smart thing that I did –without knowing– was that I had a really good SEO name. People searching for “Dubai’ and “fitness’ and “food’ would find my blog, so it started generating traffic,” she told

The success of the blog brought opportunities for product and restaurants review and connections with lots of people in the hospitality industry. After she graduated from university, she secured her first job in 2015, as a branding and customer executive in BOCA DIFC, where she spent a year and three months. She moved on to work with Seven Media as a digital media manager, where she spent two years and a month. The experience she gained over the years and her creative instinct was the driving force that made her quit working any more for any organization to follow her passion and focus fully on building her business.

Giwa, who is often referred to as a “serial entrepreneur”, went on to launch a series of successful online and offline ventures. She co-founded a Dubai-based social media platform in 2017 that assists brands and businesses in launching and maintaining online visibility and community.

It was during this period that she met Nathan Gbemisola, and together, they launched various businesses including Catfish, Vegan AF, and The Gbemi’s Kitchen. She started the latter in 2019 at the Jumeirah Lake Towers in Dubai serving authentic Nigerian food.

That same year, alongside Ewa Golan, she co-founded Dance Body DXB, offering dance fitness classes for women who love good dance-based workouts to burn calories and keep fit, in a variety of dance styles, including Afro Fit, Reggaeton, Hip Hop, Brazilian Funk, and more.

In 2020, she suffered losses due to COVID that caused the closure of Gbemi’s Kitchen. She was forced to restart later with more focus on creating a digital-based COVID-proof business, which led to the founding of DigiBoss Academy, an online advisory, consulting, and training firm that assists entrepreneurs, content creators, and business owners to build a strong personal brand by authentically telling their story and establish themselves as thought leaders and authority in their niche.

Today, Giwa is happy with the hurdles she crossed and the achievements she has made in her career. She is now planning to invest in her home country, Nigeria, especially in the agriculture industry, to assist female farmers in processing farm produce into non-perishable products and reduce or eliminate losses.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 8, 2023


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