Despite having been interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, The Kasi Vibe Festival’s quest to promote local art was reignited this past weekend with an array of products and services after a two-year hiatus.
The ninth edition was inclusive of everything that you would expect a festival to have, ranging from plant sellers, clothing stalls, a vaccination point, assorted food and eye-catching paintings by local visual artists as well as many other social elements.
The first-timer at the first edition for the year was Asian Persuasion with their fried chicken noodles, which seemed to be a favourite among the festival-goers.
“We wanted to be unique. We saw that people love noodles but they are not found at festivals, so we decided to give them noodles. We are sold out, even before the festival is over,” narrated Justina Shilunga.
She said the secret ingredient is that the noodles are made with love, and they are only going to be doing this at festivals.
“This is our debut exhibition, and we are looking forward to more of such exposure. The taste is different. We are in the kasi, and wanted to give people a different feel and open their minds to Asian food,” said Shilunga.
Asian Persuasion is the baby of Martha Ndoroma-Simataa and Shilunga, and it is only two weeks old. “We are two-weeks-old, and we have a future,” said Ndoroma-Simataa.
The duo said to those who want to venture into the food industry to just start and not be afraid. “Food is like art; mix things, and you can come up with amazing things. We just came up with this recipe for the noodles and everyone seems to be flocking to our stall so much,” said Ndoroma-Simataa.
Visual artist Frans Uunona told VIBEZ! the opportunity by the Kasi Vibe team is something commendable because art is not taken seriously in Namibia. Through the festival, his work got exposed and potentially lured art lovers to buy his paintings.
“We got some exposure and people got to know who we are, the work we do. Kasi Vibe is doing great,” he said.
Legendary Barbershop’s spokesperson Johnathan Shiindi said it is important for entrepreneurs to notice gaps in different markets and to penetrate.
“As a grooming company, we saw the gap and intend on delivering good quality service and products to our clients. Men are now more inclined to look after themselves. Now, we have men who can sit in a salon for hours having their hair done, not just ladies,” he observed.
Shiindi added: “We are privileged to have a stall here at Kasi Vibe. Collaboration is important. We have given some products to our competitors, and they are enjoying it. We are not here to dominate the market; we are here to collaborate and work with them.
The festival’s spokesperson Salmi Shiguedha said the four-day event has been overwhelming, but the mission needs to be fulfilled, and that is to promote local talent, services and products.
“I honestly don’t know what to say at this moment; it has been extremely overwhelming. We did not anticipate this number of people to come, and that alone says something about working together for the greater good,” she expressed.
The festival started on Thursday (3 March) with a throwback session where artists like Tate Buti, Jericho and Ras Sheehama took people way back in time. Another act expected to perform was Samuele, formerly known as Qondja, but circumstances only known to him led to his absence without giving any reason. Attempts to get hold of him for comment didn’t bear any fruit either.
Saturday saw a lit line-up of fresh, young upcoming and established artists like Shaiya, Skipper Wills, Yeezir, Skrypt, PDK and Ethnix setting the Sam Nujoma Stadium on fire.
Dubbed Sail Around Namibia, the festival has cemented itself as Namibia’s biggest SMEs festival to empower, build brands, connect entrepreneurs and bridge the gap with corporates.