After opening the doors to Sai’s Kitchen in March 2017 near U-Save in Windhoek’s Havana informal settlement, the business has been growing steadily, catering to locals and visitors from almost all corners of the globe.
Attracted by the location, general warm atmosphere and hospitality, but most importantly the food, patrons come in droves, and owner and chef Saima Ndapewa Mukwiilongo (28) is eternally grateful for the years of support she has received from her customers.
“I make traditional food, which is now the in-thing. People are interested in traditional food; its trendy. Most of the foreigners who visit here are vegetarians, so it has been interesting for me to serve food that can accommodate them,” she told VIBEZ!
After taking notice of high unemployment in the country and how much people struggle to find jobs after graduating from institutions of higher learning, Mukwiilongo decided to invest in herself and started Sai’s Kitchen.
“When I was still a student, I saw how people would struggle to get jobs after graduating. I did not have a study loan during my course of studying. But by my final year, I got one, and used the refund money to open Sai’s Kitchen,” she narrated.
The restaurant offers Oshiwambo cuisine at affordable prices, which Mukwiilongo said she plans to keep for long.
Seeing improvements in sales and overall increase in the volume of customers, the chef said her vision is to have a restaurant that not only sells Oshiwambo food, but all Namibian and African cuisine.
“It is also my hope to stay in Havana, as it shows members of my community that if they have goals, they can work towards achieving it and that we can all be successful.”