Swakopmund’s 125th birthday bashSeptember 6, 2017
Wilderness Safaris Bush Buddy Programme Enhances Family SafarisSeptember 12, 2017
Text and Photographs Nina van Schalkwyk
Any city is ultimately known for its penchant for coolness. And coolness, as any young person will tell you, is defined by fashion and music. Now, the fashion scene in Namibia is growing, especially in Windhoek, but that’s a post for another day. Music, on the other hand, has also taken hold in the city, especially live music. Not only are local artists coming out to entertain us with live music performances, but institutions such as Song Night are, in their words, “nurturing the Namibian sound.” We have Lize Ehlers to thank for that, as well as the venues in Windhoek that invite local artists to perform for their customers. Here are a few of my favourites where you can find truly Namibian music and entertainment:
La Brocante is such an interesting venue, simply because it is housed in what appears to be an antique theatre, complete with a decorated ageing proscenium and heavy velvet curtains. The auditorium floor stands full of second-hand furniture and décor, most from the previous century, some quite valuable. However, even without all this dramatic atmosphere, La Brocante is worth a visit for their Unwind evenings that showcase Namibian musical talent (for about N$30). Order one of their delicious pizzas while you’re at it.
Cramer’s is a favourite of mine because they are so quaint, and truly a family-owned business that sets itself apart with its genuine care and unpretentious personality. On Sunday afternoons, the owners, Ina and Ernst, welcome musicians to come and play outside their café, luring tourists and locals alike to the jovial atmosphere. On offer are usually ice cream, frozen yoghurt and sorbet, as well as brötchens (basically Namibian bread-rolls), coffee, and wine, as well as glühwein or soup on cold wintry nights.
The Warehouse Theatre is an institution. Its team have managed to bring all kinds of big musical personalities to the land of the brave, amongst others Johnny Clegg, Lira, and Dan Patlansky, as well as young up-and-comers like Bottomless Coffee Band and Toya Delazy. Most nights there’s something going on at the Warehouse Theatre, either at the actual theatre or the bar/restaurant space—called the Boiler Room, the Cellar of Rock or the Loft upstairs (where you have a grand view of the sunset). Plus on Tuesday nights there’s karaoke. The Warehouse also just so happens to be the home of Song Night, which I’ve mentioned before. You need to check out this brain child of local singing sensation Lize Ehlers.
Let’s just first deal with the tasty, because to be quite honest, Jojo’s is really major about their food. Expect to enjoy absolutely delicious delicacies. But then what’s so encouraging is that they support local acts from all over Namibia to perform at their restaurant to a pre-booked crowd. They hosted Swakomunder Vaughn Ahrens, whose music is worth checking out.
If you’re feeling really fancy and want to live the high life, enjoy the crème de la crème of Namibian musicians at the Avani Hotel’s Oasis Bar. The hotel itself is a landmark along Independence Avenue. The music is there for you along with a smooth cocktail or glass of wine.