In a calculated drive to breathe fresh air in the array of somewhat tapped-out recreational activities in Rundu, Werah Café and Theatre, a prime hangout spot in the town is introducing three fresh activities on its menu of fun.
‘Werah’s Exhibition and Acoustic Sessions’, ‘Night around the Fire at Werah’, and ‘Werah Talk’, according to the venue’s owner Nanyemba Hafeni Katamba, are all new treats at the place, aimed at ensuring that the town’s population does not dwindle as a result of boredom. The ‘Werah’s Exhibition and Acoustic Sessions’ will feature one or a group of artists exhibiting their art pieces or performing songs using few music instruments. “The goal is to create a space for artists to entertain and inspire by talking to the audience about their products and the journey it took to make it,” Katamba says.
The purpose of the ‘Night around the Fire at Werah’ is to increase the community’s awareness, own identity, and use it as a driver of social mobilisation and empowerment. This, according to Katamba, will be achieved through traditional performances, choirs, acapella and storytelling through theatre plays, comedy, poetry, fashion shows as well as good food. ‘Werah Talk’ on the other hand, is platform were speakers will be invited to share ideas, research results or experiences for the benefit of those in attendance. “The goal is to inspire one another and to facilitate behavioural change,” Katamba says.
Established in 2015, Werah is a deliberate attempt to refine nightlife in the Kavango East capital, predominantly characterised by noisy shebeens and a few overcrowded nightclubs as the ultimate hangout spots at the town. Borrowing from Windhoek’s well defined evening scene, where diversity is the spice of life when it comes to the choice in venues – Katamba established his enterprise at Ndama, along the Trans-Caprivi Highway in Rundu. In recent years the entrepreneur’s vision has seemingly come to fruition, with the venue proving to be an all-encompassing spot where visual and performing artists can imagine, create, and act while discovering their true potential.
The venue can accommodate about 200 people inside at full capacity and 100 individuals in the courtyard. “The place is fairly small so performances are primarily focussed around achieving a certain level of intimacy, ambience and quality as opposed to gunning for the large crowds,” Katamba explains.
Overall the venue offers a multi-purpose theatre hall, a restaurant and bar, as well as a gift shop.