Joe Osawaye

SpecialityChief Inspiration Officer, Kiza Culture & Vibe

Joe Osawaye is a visionary entrepreneur, celebrated for both his ability to turn dreams into reality and his profound passion for celebrating African culture. With a career spanning over 40 years across diverse industries, Joe’s journey epitomizes the fusion of entrepreneurial spirit, leadership charisma, and a profound commitment to cultural diversity. 

A serial entrepreneur with an exceptional track record, Joe’s dynamic career began with ventures in hospitality, power, telecom, and oil & gas. However, it was his dedication to bridging cultural divides that laid the foundation for his international brand empire. Nearly a decade ago, in 2014, Joe re-launched KIZA IN DIFC, the very first Pan-African restaurant in the United Arab Emirates at the time. 

Renowned for his charismatic leadership, Joe personifies the Italian concept of ‘Sprezzatura.’ His effortless grace and ease inspire confidence in those who work alongside him. Complex concepts become simple and approachable under his guidance, and his ability to connect with individuals on a personal level is unparalleled. Even in the most high-pressure situations, Joe’s calm and composed demeanor radiates a sense of reassurance, making everyone around him feel at ease. 

Joe Osawaye’s significant contributions extend beyond the F&B industry in the UAE. He has been a tireless advocate for promoting African culture and enriching the community through the senses of sight, sound, and taste. He has been a major sponsor of the All African Festival since 2018 and in alignment with Dubai’s vision to become the ultimate destination to live, work, and play, Joe has introduced a vibrant tapestry of African diversity to the city.

An accomplished author, Joe has penned insightful contributions to notable publications, including ‘Titans of Africa’ and ‘The Black & African Guide to Moving To The UAE.’ When he’s not absorbed in the world of literature and technology, you’ll find him on the golf course, sharing laughter with strangers at his iconic DIFC restaurant, KIZA Dubai, or channelling his inspiration into his latest ventures – KIZA BESPOKE and Aviation Verse. 

KIZA Dubai established in Emirates Financial Towers in DIFC in 2014, stands as a testament to Joe’s dedication to authentic African cuisine. Offering a diverse menu that showcases the flavors of North Africa, West Africa, East Africa, Central Africa, and South Africa, KIZA Dubai has become renowned for its exquisite dishes, including beloved pan-African classics like Jollof rice, peri-peri chicken, and boerewors, along with an array of vegetarian and vegan options. 

Beyond its culinary delights, KIZA Dubai beckons with a vibrant atmosphere, enriched by traditional African art and artefacts. The restaurant also doubles as a stage for live performances by African musicians and dancers, enveloping visitors in the mesmerising rhythms of the continent. 

Since its inception, KIZA Dubai has evolved into a cultural destination, welcoming a diverse crowd of food enthusiasts, music aficionados, and culture lovers. The restaurant’s influence extends beyond its walls, encompassing catering services, a retail line of African-inspired products, and a series of cultural events and initiatives. 

In essence, the story of KIZA Dubai is a testament to Joe Osawaye’s unwavering passion, innovative spirit, and his commitment to sharing the richness of African culture with the world.