Zenzi’s Coffee Shop is the proverbial ‘silver lining on a cloud’, because everyone working there, including owner, Zenzi Natasha Mubasen Awases, were retrenched from their previous places of work due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Awases, who is still president of the Women in Mining Association in Namibia, says she and her staff represent hope and are proof that dreams are valid, even in these crucial times.
“We have an outstanding product; not only in the coffee and food we serve but in the story we share. Each and every one of my team has an amazing story to share, and Zenzi’s Coffee Shop allows us to shine,” she told VIBEZ!. Awases further said “our stories translate into us serving a fantastic product from a place of experience and passion, which translates into an appreciation for our jobs, and ultimately translates into superior customer service.”
Awases, a renowned geologist, was nominated and selected as one of the top 100 influential women in mining globally in 2020 and in March this year, she was regarded as three of the most influential women in mining globally by the Global Mining Magazine.
Her dream to own a coffee shop started when she was a student in South Africa.
Awases narrates how back then she had no idea about coffee, but loved the culture represented by coffee shops, especially East African coffees.
“I was introduced to Ethiopian coffee when one of my mothers were seconded to the African Union [with headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia]. Since the first day when I brewed myself a cup of Ethiopian coffee, I knew that I wanted to serve east African coffee.
I experimented with various coffees from the Coffee Belt but would end up with Ethiopian coffee every time. So, when the dream was refined and I was about to give birth to it, I met an awesome father/son duo in Swakopmund. They are the owners of Two Beards Coffee Roastery, Roy and Mark Stanton. I shared my dream with them, and they came up with this exclusive blend of east African coffee, which we serve at Zenzi’s Coffee Shop.” Awases explained that she does not usually take risks; it took her five years to buy property after her first job, because she was scared of debt.
“So, taking this on with everything I had was the only thing that made sense to me. At the end of the day, everyone needs to eat and drink (coffee and tea), right?” She added that as a mother of two, one of the things she wants to be remembered by is leaving a heritage her descendants would be proud of: “heritage built on a culture of integrity and a harmonious future inspired by sustainable creativity as an expression of art”. Awases noted that the reason why the shop is named after her is because many people know about her dream for a coffee shop but, most importantly, because her name means to grow/prosper. “I had a love affair with coffee and coffee shops for the past two decades so yes, I am very happy to finally open my own coffee shop. I believe it was part of my destiny - my God-given purpose,” she concluded.
Zenzi’s Coffee Shop is located in the central business district, shop number 221 next to Trip Travel along Independence Avenue.