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Makayla: Five year-old food entrepreneur


Donates N50 Of Proceed To Water Aid

Born on the 27th of May 2012, Makayla Okpu a five year old busy bee picked interest in the food world, coming from a lineage of food entrepreneurs and restauranters it was no surprise that when asked what she wanted to do in the future, she was quick to say “own a restaurant”.

Makayla started taking cooking classes in 2015 not regularly but she would often join a cooking club during the holidays and learn how things work around in the kitchen. She also became a mini helper at home during meal preparation times and some days she would join the kitchen staffs at her mum’s restaurant. Her entrepreneurial journey began when she joined the Kid Entrepreneurs Centre and took a four weeks course in business and entrepreneurship.

This five year old entrepreneur was interested in making food and so MARZ (Makayla Ryan Zahra) was born. This brand was created to give kids the chance to eat healthy but in fun ways. Recipes are tailored around using healthy ingredients to create fun meals/snacks especially for kids. Products varies from fresh juices to zobo slushies, candy apples and homemade sandwiches.


Her first sales outing was at the KENT Fair 2017. The brand attracted a lot of interest and she sold out all the products made on that day. A customer’s favourite was the fruit salad mix and plantain chips. Although MARZ does not make these products often due to school time, but when the need arises and orders are placed, she is excited to make her products available.

MARZ donates N50 from every product sold to WATER AID, her donations so far has provided clean drinking water for 100 people in Burkina Faso.

Outside MARZ and cooking, Makayla enjoys a lot of things including maths. She’s enrolled in swimming, lawn tennis, French and dance classes. She’s the first of two kids.

What you will need:
Zobo concentrate:
1 cup raw zobo leaves (hibiscus, Sorrel, Bissap leaves)

Making the concentrate:
Combine zobo leaves with 3 cups of water, Boil on low-medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature. Remove and discard the leaves. Refrigerate resulting liquid until chilled

1 + 1/3 cup sugar (substitute honey)
1 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (About 7 fresh lemons)
Tip: To get the most juice out of the fresh lemons, microwave for 1-2 minutes before squeezing
12 cups Water

Making the lemonade:
In a small pan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled. In a pitcher or large bowl, stir chilled sugar syrup and lemon juice together.

In a large pitcher or bowl, combine lemonade and zobo concentrate. Stir until thoroughly combined.

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