Scenes from the 2018 African Food Festival at Saint Augustine Lutheran, 3425 Crescent Avenue
Saint Augustine Lutheran celebrated its 20th year with its annual African Food Festival by showcasing music and serving food that is representative of the 19 African countries that belong to the Crescent Avenue church.
Food from countries from Nigeria, Kenta, Congo and Rwanda, to name a handful, were served by volunteers from those nations who could also explain the history of the dishes and their processes.
The annual food fest has now become an intrinsic part of the church’s culture, “by bring people to fellowship over food,” explained Tony Aduro, the chairman/president of nonprofit Aiseda and the CEO of UniqueHab Solutions.
Michael Patterson, formerly of Frost Illustrated Newspaper, saxophonist Quincy Sanders, and other volunteer musicians provided their services. “Music expresses the feeling of the day,” Aduro said.
Esther Ukunkji, a nurse aid originally from Congo, was a co-coordinator for the food and a cook herself. She made Saba leaves and rice donuts. Her mom, who taught her, cooked spinach with smoked turkey, samosa, and tomato beans. Ukunkji recalled how her mom woke up, prayed, showered and hit the kitchen. There was always food at her house, to welcome and energize. “You cannot welcome people in your house if you don’t have food,” Ukunkji said. “Those people need to eat to have energy. Wherever I am, I have to make sure we have food.”