How do you even begin to respond when the community you have painstakingly built from scratch and cultivated since 2011 is simply stolen from under you by one of the members whom you gave administrative privileges?
This is what happened to the folks at the largest Nigerian Food community on facebook, “So you think you can cook” – a group which consists of 234,000 active members most of which are professional chefs, caterers, home cooks and notable Nigerian food bloggers.
Here’s a Quickie Summary of what happened
So you think you can cook‘s 10 original members recently added self-proclaimed chef, Franklin Awodiya as a group administrator soon after he joined only 11 months ago and according to group owner, Kemi Adeniyi Kale, he Awodiya came highly recommended by now perplexed co-admin, Bola Coker who herself was the original creator of the facebook group.
Soon after receiving privileges, Awodiya began to seek for ways to maneuver the So you think you can cook group from its original “Ads-free” ideology to a full-blown commercial operation where he can cash-in on the group’s efforts and its strong membership base of close to a quarter of a million people.
He was very outspoken about making money with the group.
Original administrators did not like that idea however. Most of them wanted to keep the group pure and strictly noncommercial in order to preserve its original intent of helping people conquer their cooking challenges. Kale maintains that Awodiya seemed obsessed with his idea but his enthusiasm was met with push back by his co-administrators majority of whom refused to entertain any drastic changes to the platform’s non-commercialized policy.image credit: SYTYCC member
He is Very motivated by greed. We were the let’s do charity ones and he was cross.
Kale believes Awodiya’s insistence on monetizing the group has led to an ultimate decision to hijack the page and continue on his quest to make money from it despite being fairly new to the group.
Kale says She may not have expected a co-admin to revoke the privileges of his co-members and also lock them completely out their group, but insists she should have paid more attention to the threat posed by Awodiya.
I was a bad leader. Motivated by compassion and listened to others when I wanted to take him off.
What Comes Next?
In a bold and courageous move, within a few hours, the original group administrators regrouped and went live with a new group also named So you think you can cook with one minor adjustment; the addition of the words “Food Redefined!”
Despite their ongoing challenges and with the help of its original admins, the new group is now generating an unprecedented amount of buzz throughout the social media landscape and is quickly growing with majority of its new members being defectors from the old So you think you can cook group who either made a choice to leave due to the unfolding events or whom were forced out by Awodiya in his bid to hold on to the community and keep it for himself.
Meanwhile, new group members of So you think you can cook – Food Redefined are now expressing their fury over the goings-on and are speaking out on the need for justice in this matter.
Here an admin responds to questions and concerns. She reveals Awodiya expects to make money from the page.
According to the owner, Kemi Adeniyi Kale, in order to recover their vibrant community, she has attempted to reach out to Franklin Awodiya who wouldn’t budge nor return the aggrieved members’ privileges. She added that all options are being explored to reclaim the largest community of Nigerian/African food lovers on the internet.
All attempts to reach out to Awodiya for his side of this story has gone unacknowledged as he continues to purge members who make any mention of the hijack.
Here is an exchange with a couple of members in which he seems to show no remorse whatsoever and seems to inform them of plans to move forward as the group owner.
Here is additional proof of why he carried out the lockout and claimed ownership of the group which corroborates the story of the original administrators.