patrons of the Begonia shebeen in Begonia Street in Khomasdal, Windhoek, are self-proclaimed drunkards who claim they can’t help it.
One of them says: “I have no life, I drink, sleep and eat tombo. I make sure I spend all my money here at the tombo house before I go home to my wife and kids.”
The tombo house is fast-becoming an eyesore, is frequented mainly by the unemployed youth who have no qualifications whatsoever or those who earn a living from casual jobs like domestic workers and construction labourers. Many of them coloureds who cannot do without the popular Oshiwambo brew.
One Isak Isaack, a construction worker who hails from the Omamas Village outside Rehoboth, says, “It is better to drink here, no-one judge you. At home they give you words they call you a loafer and drunkard,” (sic) he smiles wryly.
“Ons zula maar so, ons byt so hier en daar (we beg most of the time to keep head above the water),” he adds.
According to one of the patrons who wishes to remain anonymous, the tombo sold in that shebeen is indeed the main magnet and is highly addictive. He accuses the shebeen owners of bewitching its patrons so they keep going back for more and spending their last dollars on a pint (skaal) of tombo.
While most patrons fall asleep with beer bottles in their hands leaving them in compromised positions, other tipsy clients often chat up female shebeen queens, which often results in nasty fights.
V-Metro witnessed one such scuffle in which a female client was slapped and pushed, after which she fell across the concrete floor.