Chinese cuisine a boon to Namibian chef's vocation – Xinhua

November 17, 2022
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Source: Xinhua
Editor: huaxia
2022-11-16 20:10:15

A Namibian chef prepares a Chinese dish at a restaurant in Windhoek, Namibia, on Nov. 12, 2022. (Photo by Ndalimpinga Iita/Xinhua)
Since moving to Windhoek, the Namibian capital city, in the early 1990s, Tuhafeni Sem has worked many casual jobs in many places, but it was right in a Chinese Restaurant in 1997 when tenacity and the love of Chinese food buoyed him into a vocational lift.
WINDHOEK, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) — Since moving to Windhoek, the Namibian capital city, in the early 1990s, Tuhafeni Sem has worked many casual jobs in many places, but it was right in a Chinese Restaurant in 1997 when tenacity and the love of Chinese food buoyed him into a vocational lift.
Sem works as a Chef at Chez Wou, a Chinese restaurant from Country Club in Windhoek. Chez Wou is a household name offering authentic Chinese flavors to thousands of locals annually.
“When I joined, it did not take me too long to learn, and I progressed to chef after a year,” he told Xinhua.

Chef Tuhafeni Sem displays a Chinese dish at a restaurant in Windhoek, Namibia, on Nov. 12, 2022. (Photo by Ndalimpinga Iita/Xinhua)
Amid the growing interest in Chinese cuisine, Sem is leading a growing trend of locals cooking Chinese food.
“My goal is to share a bit of China with the people in Namibia. Food is boundless, and I especially enjoy cooking it because it is different from my traditional food. This gave me a new perspective,” said Sem, born in Edudja, Ohangwena region, in the northern part of Namibia.
He attributes his mastery of Chinese cuisine to on-the-job training.
“Training offered by the Chinese chefs at the restaurant played a key role in imparting hands-on experience,” the 48-year-old Sem said.
To him, Chinese cuisine is popular among many people in Namibia, and not only with the Chinese community. His favorite Chinese dishes include the popular noodles, beef, pork, and dumplings.
In addition to cooking, he also gained skills in using the machinery of an industrial kitchen.
“I also learned work ethics of hard work and commitment of the Chinese people, which is encouraging,” he said, adding that he also has gained basic Chinese language skills, which enable easier communication with colleagues and clients.
“Most importantly, having a job adds value to my life in terms of purpose and supporting my family,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Sem maximizes his culinary arts to bridge cultural differences by cooking Chinese food for his immediate family and community.
“I fuse Chinese and Namibian food to make my recipes and meals to represent unity and share experiences with local people. That way, I get to share a bit of China with them,” he added.

A Namibian chef prepares a Chinese dish at a restaurant in Windhoek, Namibia, on Nov. 12, 2022. (Photo by Ndalimpinga Iita/Xinhua)
In the interim, if granted the opportunity, he hopes to pursue a course in Culinary Arts specializing in Chinese cuisine. Furthermore, he hopes to launch his own catering business to serve his community nutritional meals and create employment.
“It will also be a good chance to import Chinese ingredients to let Namibians at the grassroots enjoy Chinese flavor and its original taste,” he said.
William Cui, manager of Chez Wou Restaurant, said that the locals’ capacity building and employment form the restaurant’s strategic efforts in furthering cooperation.
The restaurant, which has been in operation for over 10 years, employs more than five locals and two Chinese chefs. “The team drives our mission to cultivate a love for Chinese cuisine in Namibia,” William concluded. 

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