Adem Bunkeddeko and Tsion Lencho

The Democratic Congressional candidate and the cofounder of Supernova Women talk politics and family over a couple slices of pie.


Tsion “Sunshine” Lencho is an attorney and the cofounder of Supernova Women, an organization dedicated to empowering women of color in the cannabis industry. Adem Bunkeddeko is a Democratic candidate for New York’s Ninth Congressional District with a focus on criminal justice reform. We introduced them over a couple slices of pie in Brooklyn.

Adem: I guess I'll start! My dad came here from Uganda with 50 bucks. He went to a detention center out in New Jersey. Then he worked a number of minimum wage jobs: McDonald’s, security guard, janitor, the whole bit. But eventually he saved up enough money and brought my mom over. I grew up in a little one bedroom apartment.

Sunshine: So they came separately? That’s interesting.

Adem: Yeah, they came separately. My dad was first. My mom stayed and lived through the war, which for them is still a trying experience that they don’t really talk about. Particularly my mom, because the village she came from is where the war actually started in full bloom. She would often talk about how there were skulls just lining the roads. Or how my grandma had to live in the forest for a number of months, because when the shooting started, people just ran out and did not come back.

Sunshine: Yeah, you just leave town. My Liberian cousins talk about that. You take to the road.

Adem: Yeah. And her brother—my uncle—had also been a child soldier. So it’s—

Sunshine: It’s really complicated.