Best spots for a dose of cul­ture

go! Namibia - - CITY GUIDE -

Most peo­ple travel to Namibia for the scenery, but you should get to know its cul­ture, too.

Ware­house Theatre & Boiler Room

The Ware­house Theatre is the cul­tural heart­beat of Wind­hoek. Mike and Ta­nia Ott of­fer a cre­ative lineup. ( They also or­gan­ise the an­nual Nam­rock mu­sic fes­ti­val – see page 80.) The theatre seats 280 peo­ple (650 stand­ing) and of­ten hosts mu­sic con­certs and com­edy events. It’s also a plat­form for young Namib­ian artists, from po­ets to jazz mu­si­cians and fla­menco dancers. The Boiler Room next door also hosts mu­si­cal acts. Where? 48 Tal Street When? The Ware­house Theatre is only open for shows, but the Boiler Room is open Mon­day to Satur­day from 4 pm un­til late. Con­tact: 00 264 61 402 253;

ware­housethe­atre.com.na

Xwama Cul­tural Vil­lage

Twapewa Kad­hikwa, one of Namibia’s top en­trepreneurs, es­tab­lished the Xwama Cul­tural Vil­lage in 2008 – stop here to ex­pe­ri­ence Namib­ian cul­ture.

Sit with your toes in the sand, sip an os­hikundu and lis­ten to tra­di­tional sto­ries and songs. On the menu is goat and sheep’s head, beef stew with pap, bean soup and mopane worms. There is also a shop with arts and crafts and sou­venirs. Where? On the cor­ner of Omongo Street and In­de­pen­dence Av­enue. When? Mon­day to Thurs­day from 11 am to 9 pm; Fri­day and Satur­day 11 am to 11 pm; Sun­day from 11 am to 7 pm. Con­tact: 00 264 61 210 270; xwama.com

Franco Namib­ian Cul­tural Cen­tre

The FNCC fo­cuses on cul­tural co-op­er­a­tion be­tween Namibia and France, and for the past 15 years it has show­cased lo­cal tal­ent. It hosts photography work­shops, lec­tures, lan­guage cour­ses, art ex­hi­bi­tions, film screen­ings, and theatre and dance pro­duc­tions. There is also a li­brary and a restau­rant, La Bonne Ta­ble, with a French-themed menu (open Mon­day to Satur­day from 9 am to 9.30 pm). Where? 118 Robert Mu­gabe Av­enue When? Visit their web­site ( fncc.org.na) for the li­brary and restau­rant hours, as well as de­tails of spe­cific events and ex­hi­bi­tions. Con­tact: 00 264 61 387 330; fncc.org.na

Un­cle Spike’s Book Ex­change

Come swap your sec­ond-hand books for a new read. The shop, filled to the rafters with books, used to be part of a toy shop owned by Neville Edgar Bauser (aka Un­cle Spike) on Kais­er­strasse (now In­de­pen­dence Av­enue). In 1980 it moved to the cur­rent ad­dress where Ge­orge Yates has been run­ning things for the past 33 years. They have books in ev­ery con­ceiv­able genre, in­clud­ing clas­sic Namib­ian books. Where? On the cor­ner of Tal and Garten streets. When? Week­days from 8 am to 5.30 pm; Satur­day from 8 am to 1 pm. Con­tact: 00 264 61 22 67 22

For ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions in and around Wind­hoek, see page 111. Visit what­son­wind­hoek.com for a daily cal­en­dar of ac­tiv­i­ties in the area. Thanks to Botha Kruger for his help with this ar­ti­cle.

CUL­TURE FOR AFRICA. The Wika­phoniker Orches­tra (above) in full swing dur­ing a per­for­mance at the Ware­house Theatre. Twapewa Kad­hikwa (be­low, left), owner of the Xwama Cul­tural Vil­lage, and em­ployee Meke Hed­imbi show off some of the cu­rios for sale there. Ta­nia and Mike Ott (bot­tom) in the Boiler Room, next door to the Ware­house Theatre.

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