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Booming Fresh Food Markets of Katutura

Booming markets where trade expands in the midst of hustle and bustle are some of the signs of a growing economy. Interestingly, sometimes the markets responsible for this economic growth are found in the most unusual places. While the markets in established continents around the world are seeing a downturn in trade, here in Africa the non-traditional markets are being heralded as the answer to growth and sustainability. A story like that found right here in the Windhoek suburb of Katutura where bustling markets are providing job opportunities and more. One such market that is growing from strength to strength is that of the Katutura Fresh Food Markets.

99FM’s MYD Smart spoke to Christie Keulder, the renowned Namibian business owner, foodie columnist and photographer, who recently wrote an article for Travel News Namibia about his journey through the fresh food markets of Katutura.

99FM’s MYD Smart asked :

Why would you recommend Namibians visit the Katutura Fresh Food Markets?

“For the energy. Shopping in the supermarket is a solitary exercise. It is you and your list and interaction with staff and fellow shoppers is minimal. At open markets it is just the opposite, everyone talks to everyone, and you have to ask for specific items or prices. The vegetables are fresh, look for the home grown varieties. The world is full of spinach at the moment. You’ll find ingredients that you would never find anywhere else. Maguni’s, Mukwa, Mopani worms, Sorgum, the list is long. You get to meet new people and explore new ingredients. The ladies at the market is friendly and generous. I think that they find the fact that I am forever asking questions and tasting everything quite amusing, maybe even a little fascinating. At first glance, I am not your usual market shopper. But they are extremely generous, I always get a little extra –  a handful of Kapenta, or half a tin of Mahangu flour or something special. The only thing I actively avoid at all costs is the bile that some people dip their Kapana in. The basic food is cheap, much cheaper than in the super market, and the money goes straight to each market person’s pocket, which I thinks is extremely important.”

What is the biggest advantage of adding traditional ingredients to your cooking?

“It is not so much about an “advantage” as it is an adventure. The world over people learn about each others’ culture through their food. Yet, we are still pretty much a socially divided society when it comes to food. Donkey is seen as “Damara food” and Herero bread is only baked in “Herero Lokasie”. The challenge is to integrate these different cuisines into something unique, something that represents us as a nation. Besides it is or at least should be fun to learn something new.”

What inspires you?

“Nature. Bacteria. Insects. Fermentation. Temperature. Hydrocolloids. The creative process. Creative people.”

For the extremely enjoyable read on what is happening in the bustling avenues of Katutura’s Fresh Food Markets, read Christie Keulder’s article here : Katutura’s Fresh Food Markets