Ebben-Ezer Amuyagele has triumphed as the champion of the 2022 Nedbank Namibia Kapana Cook-off.
The 33-year-old, who hails from Iilambo village in the Okahao Circuit in the Omusati region, was crowned the latest winner at the Ongwediwa Trade Fair. He received a mobile trailer fitted with a full-on kitchen, a Nedbank account with N$10,000, and a Bakpro Vetkoek voucher to the value of N$5,000.
Selma Kaulinge, Nedbank’s Communication Manager, said this year’s competition was won by Ebben-Ezer’s unrivaled technical skills, genuine creativity, and an exceptional, strong personal belief in Kapana—one of Namibia’s delicacies.
A judging panel of chefs from the Namibian Chefs Association evaluated the dishes based on preparation, presentation, and taste.
Ebben-Ezer, a soccer and boxing fanatic, beat eight competitors to secure his title as he displayed his dishes through an innovative presentation.
“I scored most of the points because of my presentation. I cut my meat into ‘one size fits all, and that was my secret,” the delighted young man explained.
Not only did he craft his meat pieces—the green peppers, onions, and tomatoes went through the same technique; using a knife with a sharp blade and a slip-free handle is the best choice. The salad dressing, made from vegetable oil and vinegar is a must-have to absorb the nutrients from the salsa and make it tasty as well as crispy, refreshing, and juicy.
Amuyagele, who attended the Oshuulagulwa Junior Secondary School, loves cooking and his favorite dish is porridge (pap) and stew.
“I am very happy to walk away with this trailer and these prizes. This was my first time competing, and it was worth taking part in it, that is for sure. I entered this competition because I want to change my life, and help my family,” even though I have not been able to complete my secondary education, I’ve always remained optimistic. Now with the help of Nedbank Namibia, I am ready to take on this new role as Kapana King to greater heights.
The competition has changed not only his life but his fortunes too. “My next move is to find the ideal spot to set up my mobile truck. I’m ready to show Namibia what I can do.”
Looking toward the future, the young man has big plans. Amuyagele is fuelled by his desire to create one of the best Kapana menus in the northern parts of the country, and then, he plans to move the mobile food truck to Windhoek.
He is also an inspiration for young people to grab the opportunity to become self-employed and to create jobs for many Namibians.
The winner has some advice for those who want to participate in the competition next year. “This is a great opportunity. My dream came true. Just fill in the form and stick to all the instructions. You can be the next winner.”
Amuyagele also applauded Nedbank and the other sponsors for organizing the event, whose aim is uplifting small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The competition also encourages current Kapana vendors and aspiring chefs to take part.
The annual competition—now in its eight-year—again provides an exceptional business opportunity for Namibians. The Nedbank Kapana Cook-off is organized in collaboration with Bakpro, Agra, Coca-Cola, and the Namibian Chefs Association.