Kasib Abdullah is all about the community

Kasib Abdullah poses in front of New Visions of Africa, his community restaurant on Fayeteville Street. (Staff photo by Julian Keeler)


From owning New Visions of Africa to founding Believers United for Progress, Kasib Abdullah has done a great deal of work in the Durham community.

Abdullah was born in New Jersey. He moved to Durham in 1995.

Along with two other men, Abdullah opened a restaurant called New Visions of Africa in 2004 at 1306 Fayetteville St.

Unlike most businesses, the restaurant wasn’t about making money; the focus was on the community. Because his business was in the Hayti District, a historic independent black community, Abdullah took pride in helping the people in the area.

He was known to give free dinners to people throughout the week and free meals to children who came after school.

“Our community is our responsibility,” Abdullah said. “I open my restaurant and feed the community so we can come together.”

Not only was Abdullah the owner of New Visions of Africa, but he was also the chef. He never had a set menu; every day he cooked what he felt was right and served it cafeteria style.

Food wasn’t all Abdullah sold. He also sold soaps, incense and other items you wouldn’t typically buy from a restaurant.

Abdullah used his restaurant as a stepping stone to help the community even more. He founded Believers United for Progress, also known as BUFP.

BUFP is non-profit organization working at the grassroots level to ensure unity, self-sufficiency, and betterment of underprivileged members of their community.

“It’s a place where humanity, dignity, and respect are always alive and well,” Abdullah said. “Believers United for Progress supports our communities, humanity, and the lives of those in the community and the creation.”

The non-profit organization was also started in 2004 but took a backseat to Abdullah’s restaurant until recent years.

“I used the restaurant as a vehicle,” Abdullah said. “New Visions of Africa helped me interact with community so I can start Believers United for Progress.”

BUFP has several different programs to offer. They have mentoring programs, urban ministries, and a community garden among others. All programs are free and all are open to the public.

Abdullah runs the community kitchen program.

“Twice a month Believers United for Progress opens up New Visions of Africa to the community,” Abdullah said. “We feed about 200 to 250 people.”

The organization prides itself on being a diverse group of people from different nationalities and faiths. Everyone shares Abdullah’s vision of strengthening the community through moral, social and economic development.

Brittany Johnson grew up a couple blocks from New Visions of Africa. She’s known Abdullah since she was young.

“Mr. Kasib is a really good guy,” Brittany said. “He’s been active in our community for years and he’s definitely making a difference through food and fellowship.”

“I just want to give back to the community,” Abdullah said. “All it takes is one, when others see me doing community work it may inspire them to get involved. We can’t do it alone.”



Weblinks: http://carpedurham.com/2008/03/20/new-visions-of-africa/