Enoma Amayo

Enoma is a true Rotterdammer, born and raised in Westen, where she lived all her life before recently moving to Noord. After months of travelling and living abroad, she decided she missed Rotterdam and she was looking for something that would challenge her intellectually. She found what she was looking for when she started working for MOMO as a Young Talent. Now, she is a programmer for the MOMO Special Projects – think MOMO Playground or MOMO Create. She recommended her favourites of Rotterdam for you, as well as great tips for this year’s MOMO Festival!

Growing up…
Well, in the street of where I grew up, where I was born as well, there’s a music school. I went to piano lessons there and I sucked (she laughs), but it was my first dive into music. And the building is just so cool. But also, they built the venue Grounds where they book a lot of world music. They also opened a new Grounds, so they will do new things there as well. I just always really loved the things that they book there, it’s also very homey. It’s where the Codarts jazz and pop school is located, so there’s a lot of Codarts students performing on stage as well.

Most frequented
I go to the cinema a lot, mostly Cinerama. I like it because it has a retro vibe. Also, when I was younger, I used to go to Pathe a lot. Back then, if you went to the cinema before 10am, it was only five euros. Sometimes I would skip the first two hours of school, and then go to the cinema with my friend. The popcorn smell reminds me of that time.” 

Coffee & tea
“I love UEB West. For a long time, it’s been the best coffee for me. I used to work there before going to university. I like the Tea Lab. When nobody was really going to the office and I was driving myself insane working at home, I would go to the Tea Lab if it was open. It is just nice tea, a nice place to work. Hopper Noord is also great. Really nice coffee, and amazing bread!”

The best ramen in Rotterdam is by far at Tensai. You can also always make me happy with a burger from Burgertrut. And last but not least the vegetarian chicken roti roll at de Kade.

Going out: clubbing & drinking
“It depends really on what kind of mood I’m in. If you talk about beer, I really love Kaapse Maria. It’s like a living room, it’s in an old house. They have delicious beer, and their place in Katendrecht is also so great in the summertime. I also go to Sijf and Stalles, in Westen. In Noord, I go to Faas, at the end of de Zwaanshals, where they have nice beers. It’s an old cafe, it’s close to home and the beers are really good. I also go to Containerboard Noord, but only in summer.”

“Music-wise, I love Bird. I think Bird is such a unique place in Rotterdam. How they book, what they book there, but also just the vibe that they created, which can sometimes be a little bit difficult to do, I guess. If you’re there, you do feel like everything is possible: you have small jam sessions, and then you also have big names. I always had an interest in jazz music. And I think as a city, Rotterdam is quite a jazz city in a way. I go to Dizzy, for example.” 

“I used to party more than I’m doing now. I don’t know if that is because of the lockdown. For going out, I like Worm and Mono a lot. I used to go to Perron when I was younger. I also like Keilecafe a lot.”

Yet to be discovered
I’ve been living in Rotterdam my whole life, and I’ve lived in the West side the most. I’ve been to other places as well, and I always thought I knew Rotterdam quite well, but now, moving to Noord and living there for 3 months, I see all these new things and I realise I have so much more to discover. I feel like living in an area and just walking around, that’s the way you get to know things. Even though I feel like I know how the South is, or Kralingen for example, I know there’s much more to it.”

Ultimate tips 
I would recommend all the places that I already spoke to you about. But also just walk around, walk past the Maas. Walk on Kruiskade, get a roti roll at de Kade and then go to de Nieuwe Binnenweg.”

Best about Rotterdam and its people 
“The mix of people and the roughness of it. My mom once said: ‘visiting Rotterdam, you don’t love it immediately’. It’s not like the Barcelona Effect, when you enter a city and you feel like you want to live there. Rotterdam does not have that, but with time, you will love it more than anything. It’s not a diamond that you really want to have; you have to get through the garbage around the diamond and understand it in order to love it.

Ties to MOMO
I am so excited for MOMO. I’m a massive fan of Meskereem Mees, I can’t wait to see her. I’m also just excited to be on the square, at the Playground, I think it will be very nice and vibrant. I am excited for the whole vibe, the cycling from venue to venue, getting frustrated because you can’t see all the acts you want to see…

Interview: Bianca Raicu
Analog photo: Alisa Mahaletska

Door Rotterdamse Ogen