< Back to Oral History project: Hot Tamale Trail
Originally from Leland, Mississippi, Lumumba Ajanaku learned how to make hot tamales from his mother in 1969. He was seventeen years old. She sold them out of their house to make extra money. When Lumumba needed some extra money in his pocket, he decided to do the same. He now has his Meals on Wheels hot tamale stand in Yazoo City, Mississippi. After working at other tamale businesses around the Delta, Lumumba took the best elements from each and created something he could call his own. Today, he sells tamales full-time and even takes his stand to events around the state. Lumumba believes that Delta tamales developed from the African American food “cush.” Whatever their origins, Lumumba’s hot tamales will likely be around for a long time to come.