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Celebrating 10 years of culinary entrepreneurship

2024-05-21  Paheja Siririka

Celebrating 10 years of culinary entrepreneurship

Nedbank Namibia’s head of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) Sam Ikela last weekend reaffirmed that SMEs are crucial accelerators of Namibia’s economic growth.  He was speaking at Nedbank’s famous Kapana Cook-off competition that serves as a beacon of hope for prospective entrepreneurs. Ikela said the competition, which is celebrating a decade of culinary excellence and entrepreneurship, provides entrepreneurs with a platform to flourish.

“What began as a modest local gathering to celebrate the opening of the new Nedbank Ongwediva branch in 2014 has evolved into a showcase of a proudly Namibian delicacy – the beloved kapana street snack – and a thriving commercial venture. The competition now stands as a cornerstone of Nedbank Namibia’s commitment,” said Ikela at the launch of this year’s edition on Friday in Windhoek.

He said the Bank is committed to supporting the informal market, as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs), having invested N$8 million since its inception. The 2024 edition of the competition will continue its tradition of spotlighting the finest kapana-grilling talents from across the country. The northern round will sear and sizzle in Oshakati, the coastal round will bring the heat to Walvis Bay, whereas the central round will spice things up in Windhoek.  The organising committee indicated that the competition will expand its reach to include the vibrant diamond town of Oranjemund, which will join the lineup as a new contender. 

Three contestants will be selected from each round to compete in the finals at the prestigious 2024 Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair.

Nedbank spokesperson Selma Kaulinge said the competition has grown beyond the mere concept of cooking – it is about empowering individuals to turn their passion for food into thriving businesses.

She stated: “But more than being just a business opportunity or a growing industry, this competition, at its heart, is something uniquely Namibian, and it draws everyone together around a fire.  “Kapana is a Namibian culinary jewel, born of the desire to provide a community with affordable, bite-sized bits of this country’s world-class beef. Kapana is more than a dish. It is a symphony of flavours, a dance of spices, and a celebration of our nation’s soul.”

The winner will receive a kapana kitchen trailer worth N$100 000, N$10 000 that will be deposited into a Nedbank account and a N$5 000 Bakpro Vetkoek (flour) voucher. 

The runners-up will also be rewarded with Nedbank accounts and Bakpro Vetkoek (flour) vouchers. Previous winners of the competition have transformed their triumphs into thriving enterprises, exemplifying the mission of this competition to empower self-starters.

2024-05-21  Paheja Siririka

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