A Taste of Africa on 4th December 2018 was a revelation for anyone who like me didn’t know much about African cookery. Certainly by the end of the evening over 50 people had enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal and a chance to learn about Oromia , Gadaa and a little about Denebo our speaker for the evening.
Expertly prepared by Rachel and team with help from Denebo’s wife who had made delicious Injera and a lamb stew, the meal was varied and full of delicious flavours. Each mouthful of the starter seemed to have a new and delicious explosion of taste. This prepared us to be introduced to Denebo by ‘Local boy’ Dylan Moore who grew up in Pennorth. Dylan is the current Hay traveling fellow and lives in Newport where he is very supportive of the Newport Sanctuary project that HBTSR works closely with.
Denebo explained to us how Oromia has been subsumed by Ethiopia and the Oromo people and their way of life is constantly under threat. His father is a lawyer and spent most years of Denebo’s childhood in prison for speaking out about the injustices he witnessed. Denebo fled in fear of his own life in 2013 but feels guilt as his father refuses to consider leaving Oromia for the safety of another country.
Gadaa is the traditional social stratification system of Oromos in Ethiopia. The entire group progresses through eleven different grades, each based on an eight-year cycle, and each with its own set of rights and responsibilities. Apparently even 8 year old children start accumulating animals and property and working towards the opportunity to marry after the age of 32.
The main course was a variety of stews/ curries with full vegetarian options served upon Injera and again provided a wonderful combination of different flavours and tastes. The poached pears and ice creams were a tasty end to a delicious meal.
Rachel was thanked and congratulated by Margaret upon such a magnificent way to raise money and awareness both of our group and of Oromia. Especial thanks to Elizabeth for the generous loan of her fantastic cafe/ restaurant in Booth’s Bookshop and also to Rachel’s helpers Dante, Ellie, Mary, Nansi, Marie-Jeanne, Diana, Liz and Chris. Thanks also to The Bakers Table Talgarth and Eighteen Rabbit Hay for ticket sales.