Ayen’s Cooking School for African Men

Director: Sieh Mchawala
Country: Australia
Year: 2007
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: English

ayens cooking school

In Sudan it is taboo for a man to cook. But when a group of refugee Sudanese men in Australia is found starving because the men don’t know what to do with a fridge full of groceries, something has to change. Ayen Kuol, a Sudanese health worker, decides to challenge a million years of custom and culture and to start a cooking school for African men.

About the Director

Sieh Mchawala

Biography: Sieh Mchawala was born in Adelaide, Australia. At 18 months old he moved to Tanzania returning when he was nine to complete his schooling. His father is from the Makua tribe from South Tanzania and his mother is part McKenzie (Scottish tribe) and he is not sure of the other part. He completed his secondary education at Glenunga International High School. As per family tradition, after finishing high school he was dispatched back to Tanzania (so he did not forget the other half) and then ended up in London. It was supposed to be an 8 month round trip; back to Adelaide to begin a nursing degree. Things changed when he discovered he had itchy feet, and his return ticket was cancelled. He spent the next five years traveling internationally and around Australia; all the while, racking his brain: What to do? What to do? Finally an introductory course in filmmaking (MAPS) grabbed his attention. The course coordinator, Peter Thurmer was incredibly inspirational, as were the rest of the staff and fellow students. This year-long course has set him on the path of filmmaking — directing four student films, lots of editing and a stack of wedding videos.

(Source: http://www.vidafilms.com.au/vida_team.php)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Ayen’s Cooking School for African Men (2012).

Halal Barbeque (2004);
Ayen’s Cooking School for African Men (2007);
Big Stories, Small Town: Murray Bridge – Raukkan (2008-2010 – Jeni Lee, Sieh Mchawala);
Barefoot in Ethiopia (2011).