Windhoek-Rebeka Sebulon, an aspiring entrepreneur, is the 2017 winner in the Nedbank Kapana Cook-off Competition, which was held in Windhoek over the weekend.
Sebulon battled it out against 14 other entry-Level kapana connoisseurs from across the country to emerge the winner of N$15,000, a mobile kitchen van worth at least N$80,000, as well as entry to an all-expenses paid SME mentorship programme administered by businesswoman Twapewa Kadhikwa.
The second runner-up in the entry-Level category was Jacqueline Kahiha, who walked away with N$10,000, while Ignatius Uushini came in third place and walked away with N$5,000.
In the professional chefs category, which had 19 finalists, Elias Abel walked away the winner, winning a cash prize of N$10,000. The category includes chefs already working at established hospitality outlets and the category was included for the first time in the competition this year to encourage these already established outlets to start incorporating kapana on their menus, as a Namibian delicacy.
This is the third year that Nedbank hostw the Kapana Cook-off Competition. This year’s finals were held at Bix Car Wash. The co-sponsors of the competition this year include Meatco, Fruit n Veg, the Hospitality Association of Namibia, as well as the Namibia Chefs Association.
“I am so happy I won, I did not expect it at all because the competition was so tough and all the other finalists were equally good. With the mobile kitchen van that I have won, I am now going to fully set-up and start my business, because I have never seen myself working for anyone but myself,” said an excited Sebulon after she was announced winner of the competition.
The judges, who amongst others came from the Namibia Chefs Association, looked at hygiene conditions under which the finalists prepared the kapana, in addition to judging the taste of the meat prepared, as well as the quality of everything presented by the finalists.
“It was a great competition, tough also, but I gave it my best and I’m glad to have won in the professional chefs category,” said Abel.
The aim of the Nedbank Kapana Cook-Off competition is to promote micro-businesses and is one of the ways in which Nedbank provides a platform for Namibians to showcase their talent.
Nedbank head of marketing and communications Gernot de Klerk said coming together around a fire and grilling meat over the coals is part of the fabric of Namibian life and is the one thing all Namibians have in common.
“As Nedbank, we believe celebrating and promoting Kapana is to celebrate and promote the unique way in which Namibians have embraced this culture. Kapana vendors symbolise something great about our nation in that they show us that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, along with the drive to make things happen, regardless of circumstances.
We at Nedbank respect and admire these characteristics in our Namibian entrepreneurs. We hope the kapana cook-off will in its own way help to inspire our fellow Namibians to celebrate the spirit of togetherness,” he said.