10 April 2012

Namibia: Erickson the Sauce Maker

A BRAND of locally produced sauces is now available on Namibian shop shelves and the man behind the production is food technologist Erickson Malwa.

The sauces come in a variety of flavours ranging from chilli to sweet chilli, kapana, barbecue and tomato and are sold at shops such as Tré supermarket, Louis Botha supermarket, Namica Supermarket and wholesalers in Katutura.

The sauces are also available in Walvis Bay and Ondangwa. Mwala says amongst the factors that motivated him to develop his brand of home-made sauces is the fact that he's never spotted a brand of locally produced sauces in stores.

"I said to myself that I had better do something about putting a local product on the market before the world started thinking Namibians cannot even make their own sauces.

I promised myself that one day I will reverse the situation of Namibia being a net importer of sauces to being amongst the exporters of sauces and condiments," he said.

Mwala, who is in his mid-twenties, holds a degree in food science from the University of Namibia and is a full-time employee at Namibia Diaries. He produces all his sauces after fulfilling his full-time job duties.

He says his interest in specialty sauces and condiments started in 2008.

"I started trying out recipes and their processes which I've perfected over the years. There are currently five of us involved in this project, made up of my three sisters and two gentlemen.

Making sauces is not an ordinary process. One has to ensure you get the same sauce every time. I constantly train my team members to achieve that."

He adds that it's not easy creating a brand, more so a new product, especially when the market is flooded with foreign brands.

"My sauces are made with carefully sourced ingredients with the Namibian audience's taste in mind so I'm confident that I'm offering a competitive product in terms of quality and pricing and 10 years from now, I will look back and say this is exactly how I wanted to be 10 years ago," he says.

He adds that demand for his sauces is growing as he sees his team producing more and more sauces each day.

"The response from the consumers has been overwhelming, given the affordability and quality of the sauces. I'm busy with plans to introduce the brand to the whole Namibian nation," he says.

He reveals that on occasion, a shortage of money has made it difficult to produce the desired volumes of sauces.

"It's also not a walk in the park getting all the ingredients and all input under one roof for manufacturing, it involves careful planning."

Malwa says he's inspired by individuals whose purpose in life is to make selfless sacrifices for the betterment of their lives. "If all individuals were to serve that purpose, Namibia and the world would be a better place."

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