South Sudanese cookbook – a gorgeous world first



Jibrine Akima Magdaline Jok wears a number of hats.

She’s a Caroline Springs mother of four children.

She’s a successful career woman in the finance sector.

She’s a proud member of the South Sudanese community in Melbourne and Australia.

And now she’s the author and publisher of a fabulous South Sudanese cookbook.

So far as she and I can ascertain, it’s the first South Sudanese cookbook – ever.

The book was born of her love of cooking and, more specifically, through a visit to her mother in Africa that came after more than a decade of separation.

She has been inspired, too, by the thought that food traditions can be a profound community glue in fraught times of war, refugees and families scattered to the four winds around the globe.

“When I visited my mum, we cooked every day and I heard all the stories,” Jibrine says.

“I spent most of my time jotting down notes and practising the dishes that she made on a daily basis.

“This advice she shared stays with me: ‘The more time, patience, love and passion you have for cooking meals, the greater the taste’.”

I am in awe of Jibrine’s efforts in scrambling up an Everest-like learning curve to bring this project to life.

She’s obviously a very capable human – but until now she had zero experience with writing, editing, publishing, cookbooks, translation and more.

On top of all that, she has successfully created a book of more than 100 recipes directly from the maternal source – bringing to life in the written word recipes previously transmitted only by the verbal/visual folk methods of “a handful of this, and a pinch of that”.



Like all great cookbooks, Jibrine’s effort can be seen as an end in itself – it’s beautiful to handle and read, and the photographs are simple, honest and not inappropriately styled in terms of glam.

There’a strong accent on a wide variety of stews – meat, poultry, fish, pulses.

The recipes appear to be straightforward and well presented, and most of the ingredients of the easily obtainable variety.



In some ways, Jibrine’s cookbook journey is just beginning.

The challenge now is to get that book and those recipes into the kitchens of foodies everywhere.

To buy a copy of South Sudanese Family Cookbook, try Lueth Variety Shop, 10B Paisley Street, Footscray, phone 9687 4097. It costs $30. Or email Jibrine on


18 thoughts on “South Sudanese cookbook – a gorgeous world first

    • I’m definitely not an African woman, strong or otherwise. But because of the connections I have been making in the South Sudanese community, I finally understood that this place was Sudanese. I have actually eaten there a couple of times in the past week. Once very good, once just average. Maybe a story soon.


      • Kenny as far as eateries concern,most eateries in footscray are still Ethiopian,but non eatery businesses,south Sudanese has strong presence in footscray .on paisley st most money transfer,African clothing,mobile tech are run by south paisley st little south Sudanese,Nicholson st little Somalia,irving st is little Ethiopia.


    • Paisley st has strong south Sudanese businesses,infact majority businesses are south Sudanese.would be interesting the difference between menu of CDJ juba restaurant and the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yes arcade is diverse, even Nicholson st is diverse ,there is no 100% one nationality, There is Somali restaurant in paisley st but its predominantly south Sudanese,there is non eatery south Sudanese & Ethiopian in arcade and Ethiopian.


      • It’s even more complex,the Sudan & Ethiopian war gave birth to young nations(south Sudan&Eritrean),so many Ethiopian refugees now call themselves Eritrean,because the food of Eritrea and Ethiopia is so similar,many so called Ethiopian eateries are actually Eritreans.


  2. Most of the western world associates the large injera with old ethiopia,so many most Eritrean when they open eatery,they say “Ethiopian cuisine” because the food is same,only when you talk to the owners you will know it’s actually Eritrean.


  3. Also most African hair salon on Nicholson st are run by south Sudanese.Ethiopians strips are Barkly st and Irving st. Little Africa footscray is very diverse,Somali,south Sudanese& Ethiopian are evenly represented in businesses,


  4. In food world footscray is little Ethiopia because large ethiopian eateries,but non eatery world footscray the south Sudanese run at least or close to 20 non eateries businesses and Somalis probably the Same number,so business as whole south Sudanese refugees are a force to be recon with in little Africa.


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