If you are looking for a nice culinary treat of a hotdog in Windhoek, DIE BANGOS, a small home-operated eatery in Wambo location along Judika Street in Katutura is the place to be.
Home-made hotdogs at DIE BANGOS are not your ordinary hotdogs, as they come in a variety of flavours such as meat, vegetables, chips, and a whole lot of other extras for individual culinary preference.
Upon hearing about this place by word of mouth from a friend, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), Emma Theofelus, a youth activist at heart, and very passionate about supporting young and upcoming entrepreneurs decided to visit the place herself.
“When I learned that the business is owned and run by young people, I not only wanted to order their food but I also wanted to see it for myself,” enthused the delighted Theofelus.
Upon arrival at the eatery, what initially caught the attention of the deputy minister was the queue of people waiting to buy the much sought-after DIE BANGOS hotdog.
“The owner was welcoming and we had a small chat about how he started the business,” Theofelus said, adding she was informed how Eino Amaambo’s business took off on the street corner.
“I was impressed to learn that he employs nine other people, and after having the hotdog, I must say that the recipes he has put together are unique and have that proper home meal experience.”
Amaambo, whose hotdogs are the talk of the town, says the booming of the business is something he anticipated to succeed.
Asked how the current Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown have impacted his business, Amaambo says the pandemic was a blessing in disguise for him and that it was as though God answered his prayers.
In his attempt to expand his business, he started a trailer, which he set up close to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) earlier this year but managed to operate briefly as lockdown kicked in.
“During that time we were reading about Covid-19 in newspapers and on social media and by the time we went into lockdown like any other business, we were affected as we had to stop operating from our trailer, as Nust closed its doors and we had no customers,” shared
Before the lockdown, DIE BANGOS was pushing for more visibility on social media after being advised by someone to try marketing his business on that platform and this paid off during lockdown, as more people took note and they started calling to place orders but because of the lockdown, many people were requesting for home deliveries as their movement was restricted.
Amaambo says he quickly had to make a plan and that’s when he came upon e-bikes services on social media and he went into an agreement with them, and they did his deliveries for him.
“We went from selling 90 to 280 hotdogs in one day and from two drivers to four. Even my suppliers could not keep up with my orders because they had other businesses that they were also supplying to and they also had to lay off some of their staff due to the pandemic,” he said.
Despite things looking up now, life has not always been a bed of roses for Amaambo, who is the last born of four children. He was born and raised in Windhoek and after completing his primary school at Mandume Primary School, he went on to attend Khomas High School.
It was during his time at secondary school that Amaambo started taking a keen interest in dancing and it took up most of his focus and time. At the same time, he got exposed to alcohol and gang life.
This resulted in him dropping out of school and not completing his Grade 10.
He later joined the GMP record label where he was employed as a dancer for about eleven years.
“Life was tough during that time,” recalls Amaambo.
“It brought on more confusion for me, as I became a father. I was kicked out of my parent’s house. They were trying to get me right and this created fights all the time. I ended up staying at friends’ houses and I became depressed.”
Eventually, Amaambo got tired of this lifestyle and decided to fix his life so he went back home. He briefly did some casual work here and there and ended up getting fired from a job because of his side business of selling russians, chilli bites, and cigarettes, which he was doing during working hours.
After a long struggle and a few failed business attempts, he eventually came up with the hotdog concept, and DIE BANGOS, a nickname he picked up during his dancing days, was born.
“It was not easy at first and I did not understand anything about running a business. I am also not a highly technical person but I managed with some help to get the business on social media platforms,” Amaambo said.
Despite being a creative person, hardworking, and having the drive he realised he needed to understand the business operations and that is how he started reading on the subject.
Amaambo says he remembers buying his very first book from CAN, titled A Hustler’s Bible by Gayton McKenzie.
“This book taught me a lot about how to market my business and make people interested in buying my product.” He said this marketing was further cemented by participating at the 2018 Kasi Vibe, which helped in getting the DIE BANGOS name out there, as his marketing really set him apart from others.
When asked what inspired the hotdog concept, he gives credit to his travels around the world that exposed him to different ways of doing fast food business. “We travelled a lot during my dancing days and one of the countries we went to was the United States of America (USA) in 2012, where I discovered the “kebab” and this is what sort of inspired my current hotdog menu,” he said.
“The people did not buy into the idea immediately but they eventually warmed up to it with aggressive in your face type of marketing and social media presence,” said the youthful businessman.
He said people who change the world are those who are seen as abnormal or crazy, and that is what his business was to some people in the beginning but now, they cannot stop talking about it.
Amaambo says being a father to his son, who had to grow up without his support for most of the time and being in a position to give back to his community and help fellow youth is what keeps him grounded and motivated.
The deputy information minister wished him all the best in his future endeavors, further encouraging other young people to support fellow youths’ businesses.