A 22-year old unemployed young Namibian Alex Deogratchiio Buys from capital Windhoek has recently started his own business, aimed at teaching foreigners about Namibian cuisine, history and culture.
Buys lost his job three weeks ago due COVID-19 pandemic. The full time accountant was retrenched because his portion at the company has become redundant.
He said the idea to start the business came to him after overhearing foreigners complaining that they are struggling to make Namibian food.
“I was in the shop and then overhead two woman saying they love Namibian food, but never gets it right when they cook it. I know how to prepare a lot of dishes, and decided to share my knowledge with others,” Buys said.
The young man started giving lessons this week. During the pandemic, Buys is giving lessons at his clients’ homes.
“I am trying my best to avoid gatherings. It is my role to make sure that all of my clients are safe and healthy. I am also teaching clients how to be safe during COVID-19 when they are cooking food and serving it,” he said.
Buys believes that he inherited his great cooking skills from his mother. His mother has worked as a chef for well-known and successful business in Windhoek such as Arebbusch Travel Lodge and Checkers.
“My mother has retired now, so it’s time for me to take over. When I grow up, I liked helping my mother in the kitchen. We would cook, talk about our dreams and laugh. While preparing food I am so happy, and I forget about all the challenges that I am facing. Kitchen is where I get new hope for my future and strength to fight for my dreams,” Buys said.
Some of the food that Buys is giving lessons are wild game steaks (his favorites include kudu, oryx, springbok, eland and ostrich), kapana (grilled meat), fat cakes, roosterbrood, mopane worms, potjiekos (small-pot food), and mahangu porridge.
One client from China, Huang Mei said this is the prefect opportunity for foreigners to learn more about Namibia. Huang moved to Namibia three years ago. She is the owner of two shops located at China Town in Windhoek.
“From Buys I learned how to prepare mahangu porridge. I never thought I would be able to do it, but now I can. It only took me a few hours to learn. On Sunday I am preparing it and taking it to a family braai. Many people whose attending the event are excited already,” Huang said.
Another client, John Fischer, from Germany said Buys taught him how to make kapana and fat cakes.’
“This is my favourite Namibian meal. I in the past would go to shopping mall to buy it, but now during COVID-19 I am pleased to prepare it myself. This will allow me to stay safe at home, avoiding being infected by the virus,” Fischer said.
Buys gives lessons from Monday to Sunday. Clients must book their time in advance.