Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
When he was a teenager, Eskender Aseged fled his home country on foot.
In this podcast, the Radio Africa owner shares the story of walking from Communist Ethiopia to Sudan in the early 1980s. He found work in Khartoum and learned English, and he and his brother eventually got refugee status from the U.S. They arrived in Newark, New Jersey in 1986, and Eskender soon moved to New York City, where he worked as a busboy at the UN building.
He first visited San Francisco in 1986, when he came out here with his girlfriend at the time. He fell in love with The City immediately, as it reminded him of his hometown of Gondar. His first San Francisco home was in Bernal Heights, but he started spending more and more time in the nearby Mission, mostly in coffee shops. He found work in various San Francisco restaurants, including Cafe Majestic, Jeremiah Tower's Stars, and Joyce Goldstein's Square One.
Check back Thursday for Part 2, when Eskender will take us on the journey of his own culinary adventures, leading up to the opening of Radio Africa on Third Street. The restaurant is open for pickup every Tuesday from noon to 3 p.m.
We recorded this podcast at Radio Africa in the Bayview in July 2020.