Meet Moji Akinde: Powerful, Positive Poet


Moji sitting in front window area at Cup & Spoon

This June marks my fifth year in Chicago. It’s the longest place I’ve called home since childhood, and in opening Cup & Spoon, I was well aware that this venture would entail setting down roots.

My adventures these days don’t take me far beyond the shop, yet in getting to know our regulars I feel I go on a new adventure daily. Moji Akinde has taken me on a few.  

From the moment I met her, I knew Moji was someone special. She has a fierce sense of style, a biting sense of humor, and an “I can conquer the world” attitude. She has become a highlight of our mornings at Cup & Spoon. She's generally in for only a minute - on her way to work - and we seldom get the opportunity for a long talk. However, one Saturday afternoon she had time to hang out at the coffee bar. 

I learned that Moji is a poet and an essayist who has covered important topics around social justice and identity.  


Moji Pillows

Her creativity has found a new outlet, too, as she’s recently launched Fehinti Accents & Decor. All of her handcrafted home accessories use African Ankara fabric, a beautiful part of Moji’s culture.  

One of thirteen children, Moji grew up in Nigeria. She pulled up Google Maps to show me the town she was from and zoomed into the coastal line of Africa. In hearing Moji describe and point out all the streets and landmarks of her town, I was instantly transported many miles away.  

I have only one small tattoo that's a line drawing of a tree with a bird flying above it, and it represents my struggle with laying down roots, yet wanting to explore the world. 

What Moji taught me that Saturday visit is that roots and wings are not mutually exclusive. Though I’m now firmly planted in my shop, the people I meet every day open my eyes to the world and all its beauty. And for me, that’s the adventure of a lifetime. 


I’m originally from: Nigeria

I’m passionate about: Food, Friends, Social Justice, Fashion, Equality 

At the top of my bucket list you’ll find: Seeing the aurora borealis. And possibly an overnight stay at The Icehotel 

My desert island book would be: Just ONE book?! Anything with mystery and suspense. Why not "get lost" when you're lost already. 

One person (past or present) I would love to share a cup of coffee with: Oprah Winfrey. For once in my life, I WILL shut up and listen to her talk. About anything. So much wisdom. 

Of all the websites on the www, you need to visit this one today: Visit. They are young, black and making an impact! What's not to love!


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