Wambui Machua uses her passion for African food to make the world a better place. At Spice of Africa in Portland, Wambui teaches about traditional African food through cooking classes, catering and private dinners. Since starting in 2008, she has taught more than 1,000 people what it takes for an African family to get food on the table.
About Wambui Machua
Wambui spent her childhood in the small village of Gachie, Kenya. Growing up, she used borrowed books to improve her English skills and to learn about the world beyond her village. In high school, she was selected to be an exchange student in Scio, Oregon. “After the exchange program I was required to go back to Kenya,” said Wambui, “So after tearful goodbyes all around to my new family, I returned back to my village in Gachie, but I promised myself that I would one day return to Oregon.” And return she did. Despite a rocky start, Wambui settled in Oregon.
When getting ready to return to her village in 2015, Wambui felt a strong need to give back. Thinking back to her own childhood, she knew how much books could transform a person’s life. Partnering with the Beaverton Rotary Club, she brought 40,000 books to her village. In four months, Wambui and a team of volunteers distributed the books to more than 30 schools, opened a community kitchen and started a sewing project to stimulate community and economic development. She donates 10 percent of her gross profits from her culinary ventures to the community-based organization, Feed the Village, she started in Kenya.
“It starts with one person,” said Wambui. “Now schools in other villages want community centers for their kids; some place where kids and adults can gather, read a book, watch an educational video, learn to sew, cook, engage in arts and crafts, and bond together as a community.” To learn more about Spice of Africa and Feed the Village visit www.spiceofafrica.com or www.feedthevillage.org.
Portland Kitchen Cabinet