Eatery Grows in Leaps and Bounds

Following five years of experience in the hospitality and catering industry, 28-year-old Josephine Kanime Kandi was bold enough to take a leap of faith to start her own open air restaurant.

The restaurant that she built from scratch in the southern industrial area of the capital is called Kanime’s Kitchen. Situated close to the Game shopping centre, Kanime’s Kitchen operates from a caravan and caters for people from all walks of life ranging from construction workers, public servants to just about anyone requiring sustenance. People regularly flock to the restaurant to buy her home-cooked meals.

After operating for a year and two months, Kandi who prefers to be called Kanime says starting her own eatery has not been an easy task. “It was very, very difficult,” she says, while preparing to set the tables for customers who prefer to enjoy their meal in the open air under the breezy shade of a tree. “In the beginning I did not have customers, because nobody knew the place but the secret is not to give up,” she encourages others. Not only did Kanime battle with attracting customers during the first months of starting her business, but she also had to learn how to manage the business in order for her operations to run smoothly, consistently and profitably. “I pay rent of N$200 for the caravan,” Kanime who hails from the Omusati Region says.

In addition, she also pays her only employee, at least for now, Wilka Ashipala, whom she refers to as her assistant. “People started coming one by one after a month of starting business until everybody started to be acquainted with the place,” she says proudly, while preparing a mouth-watering dish. Asked what prompted her to start her own business, Kanime was quick to admit that she wanted to be her own boss. Although it requires effort and dedication, she says her decision is paying off now, since she makes more money compared to many people who earn a monthly salary. “Everything is easy now. I can manage the business. I pay the salary (of the assistant) and rent for the business,” she says with obvious pride.

Customers usually start to show up from 08h00 to 15h00. But, the volume of clients increases by lunch time when client seek out her popular home cooked meals. “In a day we get about 100 customers,” says Kanime, adding that she has five years of experience working in a restaurant, where she acquired much needed on-the-job skills. The main delicacies on offer are mahangu porridge, maize meal porridge, cooked red meat, fried meat, macaroni, spinach and chicken. These are served either as take away meals or on site and prices range from N$23 to N$27 depending on the choice of meal. She also serves drinks such as the traditional Oshiwambo brew known as Oshikundu or Ontaku, Oros and other fizzy drinks.

Regular customer at Kanime’s kitchen Chuma Mwilima says she keeps coming back for the food, because it is wholesome, but also because of the excellent service. “When I come and find that she is not here I just want to die,” she says jokingly. “We like the place because it is clean and affordable. The food is also very delicious,” Mwilima who was accompanied by a colleague adds. Kanime plans to expand the business in the future. “People must not sit down and wait for government to give them work. They must do something for themselves,” she says with obvious conviction.

Source : New Era