Select Page

One Economy host male engagement cook-off

One Economy host male engagement cook-off

The One Economy Foundation hosted their #BeFree Cook-Off: Male Engagement at Droombos recently, with the First Lady of Namibia, Monica Geingos, and Governor of the Hardap Region Salomon April as guests.

The event combined practical cooking tutorials with a male engagement session that included inmates from the Namibia Correctional Services.

Head of Programmes at One Economy Foundation, Kaarina Iita said their goal is to deconstruct gender stereotypes, by teaching boys and young men how to cook.

Chef Ralf Herrogott from the Namibia University of Science and Technology Hotel School was the instructor of the day and he guided the young boys and men through the different dishes that they had to cook for the day.

Richard Hange an inmate from the Windhoek Correctional Facility narrated his story of how he ended up with a gender violence case. “I grew up in an abusive home without my mother, dropped out of school in grade 9, and ran away from home as a result,” added Hange. But he narrated that after spending more than 10 years at the correctional facility, he made some changes. “I have completed my grade 10, completed a carpentry course, and am currently completing grade 11 and even though I can not change my past, I am determined to make a better future for myself,” explained Hange.

Another inmate, Eldo Katzao, who was charged with rape at the age of 20 said as a man, he felt like he could get whatever he wanted by using his masculinity. “What I did was wrong and I truly regret it. I was also a victim of rape and one of my regrets is that I never opened up about it to seek the necessary help,” he added.

Pastor John Kamati spoke about the struggles of growing up as a young boy without a father and how growing up in church kept him active and instilled good values in him.

While the First Lady reminded the audience to be aware of their problematic views and to start making efforts to resolve them. Honorable Salomon April said that we need to recondition the thinking of men and how they have perceived and viewed things over the centuries. “This should trickle down to those who are upholding some of the harmful traditional norms,” he explained.

The highlight of the night was the announcement of the winners, with Yeezir winning the first ever #BeFreeCookOff, Uazenga Tjamuaha coming in second place, and Paulus Fillipus taking third place.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.