ONGWEDIVA - Driven by the passion to bake and impart knowledge to prospective bakers, Shiwa the Baker, as she is affectionately known in the industry, has become a mentor for the youth.
Clad in a neatly black outfit, Shiwa, in addition to the already trained young girls, this weekend also roped in two young ones, aged seven and nine, as part of the class offered at her baking shop in Ongwediva.
Shiwomeho Kalla (Shiwa) is a 29-year-baker based in Windhoek, but recently opened a shop at Ongwediva to meet the northern customers’ demands.
Speaking fondly of their passion for baking, the eldest of the two young sisters, Etuhole Fillemon, said she has been joining her mother in the kitchen to bake muffins since she was seven years old.
Today, Etuhole has been baking muffins on her own for her family over the weekend.
Quizzed on why she joined the baking classes, Etuhole said she wants to start baking her own cakes.
Her younger sister, Hambeleleni Fillemon, is just starting to bake and just like her sister she wants to become a baking wiz. Shiwa said she has already trained a 13-year-old who has gone to become a well-established baker.
During an interview after the training, Shiwa said she has in the last 18 months trained over 200 bakers.
In addition to the training, she provides mentorship to the people she trained, where in most cases she joins them in their kitchens to assess the progress.
Although she charges a minimal fee of N$1000 for the training, Shiwa said the training is merely a token of giving someone an opportunity to empower themselves economically.
“I make my money from the orders I get. But either way it’s a win-win situation because after the training, it is also likely that the trainees will buy their products from me,” said Shiwa.
Initially, Shiwa used to send her clients requested products by bus to the north, but since the establishment of a shop in Ongwediva’s Oshilemba Complex, clients can now purchase their goods on the spot.
Providing insight on how she ended up in the industry, Shiwa said she wanted a cake two weeks in advance; however, everybody that she asked was fully booked.
“There was obviously a demand for cakes and space for another baker in the industry,” said Shiwa.
Other bakers in attendance said they wanted to penetrate the industry and become commercial bakers.