New Era (Windhoek)

4 July 2014

Namibia: Xwama, a Home Away From Home

What started as a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) entity specialising in wining and dining, has grown into a viable, bigger and well-established traditional food business enterprise.

The Xwama Cultural Village and Traditional Restaurant, known for short as Xwama was established by the Kadhikwa couple, Twapewa and Erastus, four years ago and it has been growing from strength to strength since then, gaining popularity not only with locals but also tourists.Since the restaurant has undergone a complete facelift allowing it to not only be able to house its ever growing customers but also offer extra services such as a Chivas VIP Lounge, a conference centre, craft and curio shop, take away and bed and breakfast facilities.

Xwama's Marketing Manager, Vaino Kali, says determination, commitment and handworks from the management and its staff members makes the venture tick.It offers its clients the opportunity to witness and partake in activities such as mahangu pounding, marula oil making, basket weaving and traditional dancing weekly.It is situated on the corner of Omongo Street and Independence Avenue in the Wanaheda residential area of Katutura, which is in Windhoek's largest sub-urban settlement. It models itself on the rich vein of culture and social interaction that is presented by the township of Katutura's burgeoning domicile that has since the mid 20th Century brought together hundreds of thousands of Namibian's from ten cultural roots.

The restaurant presents a conceivable lesser known face to the city's conventional dining-out culture, a side that is perhaps undervalued but nonetheless gathering remarkable pace in utilisation as customers shift from commercial dining towards a more intimate and appealing dining experience. Unequalled in exposure, the restaurant is truly elegant with striking thatched roof line and eye-catching stone exterior. The interior is equally appealing with dining booths separated by reeds and furnished with wooden logs. With its traditional feel, the restaurant exudes an atmosphere of casual and comfortable elegance. These includes a walking stick symbolising dignity and authority, particularly of the chief, headman, ancestral or spirit medium, Calabash (Xwama-decorated), a musical instrument made from a butternut-like fruit and artifact which are part of the ancient and modern Namibian traditional cultural setups.

The restaurant offers a truly Namibian and African experience, a place where you can experience the true local culture. It also offers traditional cuisine such as Mahangu porridge, Mopane worms and Ongome and drinks like Oshikundu, and Omagongo. Xwama is a prominent hangout for both middle class young professionals, political figures, senior government officials and tourists. It is not just an ordinal restaurant, there are many interesting facilities within and that is why it is called a village. It's amazing facilities include a conference area, a playground for children and it's extended its sitting area to accommodate up to 310 people, unlike before when it used to crowd only 115 people. The conference facility can host up to 40 people. Those willing to host their conference at the village will enjoy the traditional food, cultural atmosphere and the beauty of Xwama at large.

Kali says that, the restaurant has now up to three (3) different compartments which include a VIP Restaurant that can accommodate up to ten people and mainly preferred for private functions. The restaurants offer their patrons an extraordinary venue where one can relax and feel at home. They also cater for public and corporate functions and tour groups alike with services ranging from catering, hosting and training alternatives for the local industry.

Apart from its restaurants, being a unique venue for functions, the venue also host theme evenings and cooking illustration evenings which are great for an alternative activity for those living in and visiting the capital, and especially for those who would like to meet new people and learn a new traditional culinary skill or dish.

There are different well appointed rooms from double beds, single beds and queens beds with fixed facilities, air-conditioning, heating, TVs and tea/coffee facilities. A buffet breakfast in style (cold & hot) is on offer served in the spacious dining room with ample separate tables and seating. Lunch packs are available on request as well as a selective dinner menu.

To top it all, Xwama have a safe and secure parking for up to 160 cars.

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