• July 10th, 2020

Hafeni puts a positive spin On growing township tourists

 Donna Collins

Go-getter Heinrich Hafeni is more than an entrepreneur, he is a man with vision who combines the grassroots features of his culture with tourism, hospitality and traditional cuisine, to come up with a smorgasbord of services, that are not only unique to the coast but also Namibia.

From humble beginnings and a good business brain, Hafeni created his own brand under the ‘Hafeni Tourism Group’, which combines cultural township tours, a newly developed Bed and Breakfast (B&B) in the harbour town, plus a one-of-a-kind traditional restaurant, offering tourists an experience they will not forget in a hurry. 

He claims to have a passion for the tourism industry and was inspired when he saw how “black tourism” and entrepreneurs in South Africa are flourishing in the townships by promoting their grassroots lifestyle. 
“Township innovation is my strategy, and I want to bring its mojo back,” he explained. 

“We have plenty of historic European architecture and sightseeing attractions at the coast, but for the tourist who has flown in from the other side of the world, they also want to embrace our African culture - which is what I give them. My aim is to attract the overseas market, and introduce them to our lifestyle and our food,” added Hafeni, who started his journey into business with no resources a decade ago. 
He rented taxis to conduct his first township tours and ran an administration office from his grandmother’s house in Mondesa. 

Guided walks through a local market, a drive through the DRC informal settlement, a visit to a little craft shop, an introduction to some OvaHerero culture, all make up for a day well spent for anyone wanting to experience the colourful diversity and pulse of township life that his tours offer.

One of his flagship projects is by far his cosy ‘Hafeni Traditional Restaurant’, which is tucked away in the heart of Mondesa, serving a unique African atmosphere with a variety of tasty dishes. The restaurant, which has been operating since 2014, has become a popular haunt for tourists, dignitaries, international film crews and locals, to mention some. 
Here you can tuck into some mouth-watering dishes on the a la carte menu, which includes  spinach, mahangu porridge, mopani worms, ‘marathon’ chicken, ‘smiley’ sheep head and so much more, all served up on carved wooden bowls or woven baskets. 

The Hafeni Traditional Restaurant invites you in with its colourful and decorative murals, each one depicting a different rural setting, from the village right through to quaint depictions of township life. Its local artist Ronald Khorixab has dedicated a mural of the founding father and two president’s along-side him against a vivid backdrop of the Namibian flag. 
The former Chairperson of the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Swakopmund branch is proud to have expanded the Hafeni Tourism Group with the opening of the Hafeni B&B in Walvis Bay end of last year.

Situated in the heartbeat of Kuisebmund, this dusty orange, modern facility with a traditional restaurant, and small bar facility offers guests another first-class authentic and unmatched experience in a township setting.

“We are trying to promote tourism in our townships and change the narrative, by creating positive and safe experiences for our visitors,” says Hafeni, adding that he is also starting tours through Kuisebmund to also incorporate visits to the fishing companies.”

Staff Reporter
2019-05-24 10:49:57 | 1 years ago

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