Refugees from Africa and further abroad are cooking up some truly phenomenal meals inspired by their journey and home countries as well as sharing the stories about why they chose to settle in South Africa.


Kenya, Somalia, Rwanda and Bangladesh, these are just a few of the countries that were once home to the refugees featured in this story. They left their homes because of war, politics and discriminatory laws. These men and women have been welcomed into South Africa and have started new lives. They all have one thing in common, a love for cooking.

One man, Ibrahim, born in Kenya but lived in Somalia, fled his home out of fear for his life. Ibrahim was gay and knew that his life was in danger. He ran away without telling his family and sought refuge in South Africa. Sadly, he faced Xenophobic attacks in 2008 which pushed him to move from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. It was in Cape Town that his life finally settled.

“Once in Cape Town, he was put in contact with an organisation that works against discrimination due to gender, sexuality or religion who helped him set up his life in the Mother City. Thanks to his tenacity, Ibrahim is now happily married!”

Having spent his youth helping his mother cook for weddings, Ibrahim now cooks East African and Indian cuisine at the organisation that helped him settle in Cape Town. Ibrahim is pictured in the title image above.

Ibrahim is one of many asylum seekers and refugees taking part in the first-ever Refugee Food Festival in Cape Town. The festival is a first on the African continent. Previously it has been hosted across Europe and the USA.

“The RFF is an event where refugee chefs are invited to cook in local restaurants. The aim is to raise awareness and create job opportunities.”

The festival helps celebrate these refugees, their food and their stories. You can find out more about them on the Facebook page here.

Sources: Cape Town Refugee Food Festival
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.