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Nedbank celebrates a decade of culinary and entrepreneurial empowerment

Nedbank celebrates a decade of culinary and entrepreneurial empowerment

By Michel Haoses

Nedbank Namibia last week announced the launch of the 2024 Nedbank Kapana Cook-off competition, marking a decade of culinary excellence and entrepreneurial empowerment.

This year’s competition will continue its tradition of scouting for the best kapana-grilling talents across Namibia with the northern round being in Oshakati, the coastal round in Walvis Bay, the central Round in Windhoek, and for the first time, the competition will expand its reach to the vibrant diamond town of Oranjemund.

In addition, a total of three contestants will be selected from each round to compete in the finals at the Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair of which the winner will receive a kapana kitchen trailer worth N$100,000, N$10,000 that will be deposited into a Nedbank account and a N$5,000 Bakpro Vetkoek voucher.

The runner-ups will also be rewarded with Nedbank accounts and Bakpro Vetkoek vouchers

Previous winners such as Ester Silas the 2023 winner, Kristy Shomongula the 2021 winner and owner of Ndafimanekwa Kapana and Eli Abel the 2017 winner have all transformed their triumphs into thriving enterprises exemplifying the mission of this competition to empower self-starters.

Abel who was unemployed at the time of the competition today owns the coffee shop Mad Chef & Chillar in Ongwediva and advises food business owners to study the market and have a solid plan in place adding that “honest food and service, as well as hard work” is what sets his business apart from those in the same industry.

Shomongula has also successfully transformed her victory into a thriving business despite the challenges posed by economic fluctuations while Silas has become an inspiration to aspiring business owners nationwide, having launched her business a month just after she had won the competition.

Speaking at the launch was Nedbank Namibia Head of SME, Sam Ikela who said “ SME is a crucial accelerator of our nation’s economic growth, and our investment in the competition serves as a beacon of hope for budding entrepreneurs, providing them a platform to flourish”

Ikela also mentioned that the Bank had since the inception of the competition, invested an impressive N$8 million, showcasing the bank’s commitment to supporting the informal markets and SMEs.

Also speaking at the launch was Nedbank Namibia’s communications and public relations manager, Selma Kaulinge stating “ The Nedbank Kapana Cook-off Competition has grown beyond the mere concept of cooking. This competition is about empowering individuals to turn their passion for food into thriving businesses.

The launch also included a Kapana Cook-off between 18 media houses each preparing their kapana dishes to impress the judges.

In the end, the Namibia Press Agency(NAMPA) prepared the best kapana dish winning themselves a gift hamper while NBC-Touch FM and NMH’s MyZone also received gift hampers for being the best-dressed team and best team spirit of the day.

(from left to right): Nedbank Namibia Cook-off Competition 2024 Media Champions, NAMPA. Selima Shimwefeleni, Lydia Pitiri, George Hendricks and Chelva Wells.


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The Economist accommodates two interns every year, one per semester. They are given less demanding, softer issues to hone their skills, often with a specific leaning to social issues. Today, many of our interns are respected journalists or career professionals at economic and financial institutions. - Ed.