Abraham Lincoln once said: “Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then... find the way.”
Finding the way is exactly what Petra Bebeje (known as Daily Namtenya Nail-Hipondoka) did when she decided to turn her two passions that have always been in the family (cooking and sewing) into business ventures by opening Petra’s Creations.
She has been in the catering business since 2006 having started small from home by baking traditional bread, cooking some traditional food such as matangara and braii meat.
Bebeje would attend events such as music shows or football games, putting up stands there and selling the food. From those events, people got to know her and she even started getting orders to cater for people’s personal events.
“When I started catering, I would do the whole process from cooking to selling the food in those events alone. I would attend them accompanied by my little boy who was then in his early teens and he was so helpful,” she recalls.
Her catering business has grown into a stable one that she has now hired three more employees.
She has catered in events such as Hage Geingob’s 70th birthday where some of her traditional foods received good feedback from guests.
Furthermore, she catered for the groundbreaking of the SME Bank held earlier this year. She also does several wedding caterings, birthdays and a number of Government institution functions and those of City of Windhoek (CoW).
Bebeje applied for a space from the Windhoek municipality to operate from and recently received a positive answer. As from this week, she will be operating from a shop not too far from the railway station and TransNamib in Windhoek where she plans to double her business as a take-away restaurant.
She is excited about the fact that she will be able to cater for travellers awaiting their departures as well as the students attending colleges surrounding her new shop.
Her catering ranges from meat platters, sandwiches, traditional foods or snacks such as pies, samosas, just to name a few.
However, catering is not the only business Bebeje is involved in; she has been running a tailoring business from a shop in Khomasdal Market since 1997. Due to her booming business, she plans to hire more tailors in order to keep up with her clients and business, “I’m so thankful to God for all I have achieved. I would also not be where I am now without my family’s support. Cooking and needlework have always been in the family as my grandmother was very good in needlework and my mother can bake anything; I inherited both their talents but it has been a continual journey,” she says.
She learnt more about her needlework at Rössing Foundation, which was a very helpful step in the right direction for her career, as she uses the same rigor she was taught with to empower others who work with her,” she notes.
She got a grant from the Ministry of Trade and Industry from which she bought the equipment for her catering business. She has also applied for more financial assistance from the Khomasdal Regional Office; a move she says is the right process to fully realising her dreams of becoming a successful businesswoman.