Glenda’s Leather Art & Curio Boutique – Namibia Craft CentreDecember 26, 2013
A magazine for all seasonsDecember 27, 2013
By Jana-Mari Smith
Limbandungila, a curio shop on the ground floor of the Namibia Craft Centre (NCC) immediately gives off an elegant and peaceful vibe. You want to browse slowly to make sure you don’t miss anything. Elegant woodcarvings, multi-dimensional paintings, African masks and much more greet the visitor.
The shop is owned and run by Ottilië Nghiitwikwa. The name Limbandungila, an Oshiwambo word that means ‘walk slowly, step by step, no hurry’, is apt.
Ottilië began working as a salesperson for another stand at the NCC in 1993. Then, while still helping out on a part-time basis, she opened Limbandungila in 1997, rightly believing that she could have her own successful enterprise, sourcing homegrown Namibian arts and crafts.
For more than a decade she has worked exclusively at her shop, which stocks curios sourced from all over Namibia. Her walls feature several mixed-media paintings by artist Moses Haipinge, which reflect scenes from rural Oshiwambo lives. Masks, hand-made handbags and other objects, mostly traditional items such as bowls, cups, woven baskets and more, fill the shelves. Moreover, she sells traditional Owambo jewellery such as necklaces, bangles and earrings.
Many of the crafts she sells are sourced from the central-northern regions, and the north-eastern parts of the country.
You can also browse through a selection of wooden carved animals (hippo, zebra, giraffe, rhino and elephant) and other slim figurines.
Like many others at the NCC, Ottilië supports several people with her shop by buying their crafts from them. She regularly travels up north to scout for new products and has also become a go-to person for crafters travelling to Windhoek to sell their creations.
Ottilië is content with her stall and job. She says she will continue as long as she can.