Name: Heinrich Hafeni
Relationship status: Still searching
Coastal-based young businessman Hafeni Heinrich is popularly known for his traditional restaurant in Mondesa, a small establishment that provides the best in traditionally prepared and served food in Swakopmund.
His story, like most, will tell you that he comes from humble beginnings and, through hard work, made it from the bottom to the top. Celebrity Unplugged exclusively caught up with the Swakopmund-based entrepreneur who opened up on his ventures while giving us the lighter side of his personality. His focus was firstly on self-development and then escalated to running an accomplished tourism business. He is the executive chairman of Hafeni Tourism Group.
Describe yourself in two words?
When did you start your business career?
In 2011. I started doing township tours, taking tourists around the townships of Swakopmund, Mondesa to be exact, showing them the real Namibian community and the grassroots of how the locals live. I live in Mondesa so I decided to do township tours here and evolve as I proceed. Hafeni Tours was the start and now I have a traditional restaurant in Mondesa.
What has been your most embarrassing moment in life?
Embarrassing moments in my life are any moment when I get a ‘no’ from anyone because I am a very confident person and the word ‘no’ is not really in my vocabulary.
Who is the one person that you have met that has given you a different prospective on life?
Mr John Savva. He is one of my mentors and I continue to learn a great deal from him. The Founding Father (Former President Sam Nujoma) as well. He is an inspiration to me.
Who is your business inspiration?
Dr. Ndume. As a business person I am inspired to work hard by the struggle and currently the struggle we are faced with is the economic struggle and people who strive (for something great) inspire me a lot.
Do you prefer cats or dogs?
I am a dog person, cats have scary eyes
What is your favourite meal?
Oshikandela milk and Oshifima (porridge)
Where would your dream holiday destination be and why?
A Caribbean Island, to appreciate its beauty and as long as there is a lot of sea food
If you had a chance to do anything else besides business what would it be and why?
Be a motivational speaker. I like to use myself and my energy to inspire young people. Sharing the Namibian dream is part of my social responsibility therefore, I like to see greatness in others thus I will opt for motivational speeches.
What inspires you to keep working so hard?
What motivates me mostly is looking at the history of where I come from. I also look at what I will be remembered for having contributed to my community. It’s about the legacy. There is a motivation every day. I don’t want to be an ordinary member of the society but a person that brings positive contribution.
If you were stuck on a boat with Quinton Van Rooyen, Martha Namundjembo-Tilahun, Johnny Doeseb and Dr Helena Ndume and you had to eat two of them, who would you plot with and who are the two people you would eat?
I will plot with the women; they are our mothers so they will reproduce other versions of Quinton and Johnny again, so Martha and Ndume are going to be the two I plot with and then we will crunch on Quinton and Johnny
What qualities do you look for in a woman?
Strong, open minded and a woman with values. She should know who she is. A woman should be able to compliment her man and vice versa.
What phrases or sayings have gotten you through the darkest times in life?
“Never give up”, “you only live once” and “You are responsible for what you become.”
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs?
They should not settle for being ordinary citizens but aim at standing out. They should have a heart of a champion and move out of their comfort zones, be curious and associate themselves with people who are good at what they are aiming to achieve. They should also focus on personal development and be the best of who they can be. They should be relevant and informed, learn who is who so that when they start off with their business they have connections