The city can sometimes consume you to a point where you desert your village, but this is not the case with Tjunatjo Kauapirura, who goes “cow milking and herding” very often. Quite shy and reserved growing up, Kauapirura, better known as either TK or Tjuna to her folks, has since cemented herself as an emcee, actor and done modelling – vocations where timidity certainly won’t work. The 31-year-old tells VIBEZ! that her upbringing made her adventurous. “I moved between the village and a strict German school, and officially came to stay in Windhoek when I started kindergarten.”
“I was raised by my mom and stepfather, who is no more, and still have somewhat of a relationship with my biological father. ”Born in Windhoek, Tjuna has three brothers and three sisters, whom she treasures wholeheartedly. The budding entrepreneur is the mother of two boys – Nathan-Ruandjambi (3) and Amaziah-Utjevera, aged 22 months.
She took interest in theatre, dancing and sports early on, and believes this allowed her to come out of her shell a little. “Growing up, we didn’t have much. As I got to the final years of my high school (Academia Secondary School), our finances deteriorated even more, forcing me to work from the age of 16 to assist my mom. I believe this introduced me to the need for independence and self-reliance, which sparked my hunger for entrepreneurship.”
Tjuna, who speaks four languages – her native Otjiherero, English, Afrikaans and German – says that if she wasn’t in the space she is in right now with her business ventures and motherhood taking up much of her time, she would have pursued her acting even further.
“Or become a psychologist, because it is what I studied. People close to me always come for advice.”
With the motivation from her mother, late grandmother, stepfather and other close people who influenced her life, as well as the huge responsibility to provide for her family at an early stage in her life, Tjuna ventured into the food industry and later founded ‘Mothers and Business’.
“Currently, I am managing a digital platform that assembles young women, mothers and future mothers, who are involved in various industries. The initiative fosters both personal and professional growth, promotes intimate conversations and creates learning and networking opportunities that capacitate them to navigate through life.”
“Having worked from such a young age and through university, and wanting to invest more time in my acting career and needing to be flexible for it at the same time, I decided to throw myself into the deep end and leave my job as a tour consultant and sales assistant.”
She started with a solar company that never really took off as expected, before venturing into food and hospitality and opening up a restaurant.
Let’s drink to that
“Currently in my fridge, I have water, juice, a bottle of wine I opened long ago, and two ciders my friend brought over a while back. My friends say I waste alcohol. No gassy drinks for me.”
Tjuna loves coffee, “because of how tiring motherhood can be in terms of having to wake up at night for the little ones”, and is an avid fan of a good Rooibos tea with milk, mint leaves and two sugars. “So rewarding… Other than that, I occasionally have a glass of good wine”.
She also loves home-cooked meals, and thus cooks every day.
“I enjoy making and eating pasta dishes.”
“I hate routines, and that is why I believe I enjoy travelling and challenging myself to do things out of my comfort zone. With the two boys around and work, I hardly get bored. However, I look forward to quiet, peaceful moments. I also switch off by watching pet peeve shows and movies.”
An average day for Tjuna entails waking up, praying, going for a walk, and dropping off the boys at school, before heading to the office.
“Sometimes I work from home. In-between all of that, I do content creation, attend meetings and exercise. After I pick up the boys from school, I head home to cook and wind down.”