Oral History: Rose Nzaoa-Ayeke

Rose Nzaoa-Ayeke Introduction

Rose Nzapa-Ayeke was born in the 1960’s, in the Central African Republic. Growing up between the city and her parents’ and grandparents’ villages, Rose was exposed to growing bissap, jute, okra, and cassava in shared neighborhood gardens, and preparing traditional foods with her mother. After civil war claimed the lives of her husband and most of her children, Rose fled her country with the help of the International Rescue Committee, and in 2007 arrived in the US with her nephew and youngest daughter. In NYC, she became involved with New Roots Community Farm, a safe space for South Bronx residents and those displaced from their homelands. Through gardening, Rose has been able to regain her physical and emotional health. and successfully grows jute, hibiscus, and sugarcane from African seeds in NYC soil.

Interview Date: July 22, 2021

Profession: Gardener and Homemaker

Birthplace: St. Thomas, British Virgin Islands

Headshot of Rose Nzapa-Ayeke

Rose Nzaoa-Ayeke

Full Length Video