Windhoek, as a city, is as diverse as the hills and valleys it hugs. I have been here for most of my life; my relationship with this city has mirrored the geography: there have been ups and downs.
I still love it, though.
Maybe it is something in the air.
There is always something to experience here. It all depends on what one is searching for: there is a story in every corner, and a hint of truth beneath that.
The quintessential Windhoek experience: Single Quarters in Katutura. Part open-air market, part butchery, part hangover recovery zone. This is also a good place to find fresh produce and traditional foods. Kapana, a local delicacy of roasted beef slivers, is the main draw here. The local lore is this: “It’s not kapana if it’s not from Single Quarters.” I am willing to state that it is the best meat dish anywhere. Spice, meet the wind.
Or, rather, Windhoek.
The atmosphere: shouting vendors, hungry and gossiping customers; everyone wants to make a sale, and everyone needs to eat. Since I wear dreadlocks someone here has assumed I am Rastafarian. I used to mind that, but not anymore.
Auralgraph: Single Quarters, Windhoek, Namibia, 2021. © Ndakolute Ndilula.
One of the larger informal settlements in Windhoek. It is a hive of activity: people on their way from A to B; vegetables and other foods on sale; barbershops and salons offering style upgrades. The four-way intersection is always busy: cars miraculously and narrowly avoid bumping into each other.
Auralgraph: Havana, Windhoek, Namibia, 2021. © Ndakolute Ndilula.
Wernhill Taxi Rank
Wernhill Park, a mall in the heart of Windhoek’s central business district, has two taxi ranks on its north and south exits. Each one has drivers heading out to particular suburbs. Taxis are the way many Windhoekers get around.
“I just need one more person and then we go.”
The truth and lie. Enjoy the ride.
Auralgraph: Wernhill Taxi Rank, Windhoek, Namibia, 2021. © Ndakolute Ndilula.
My fondest memory of this place growing up in Windhoek: the random Saturdays my parents would take my brother and me into town; we would end up in the park with some KFC.
Another fond memory: the amphitheatre used to host live music events. My friends and I would make a quick exit at a show’s end to avoid being robbed.
Wild times all around: it is called Zoo Park for a reason.
Auralgraph: Zoo Park, Windhoek, Namibia, 2021. © Ndakolute Ndilula.
Shell Service Station, Okuryangava
One of the busier stops for long distance buses. Ondangwa, Oshakati, or Oshikango—a long ride awaits anyone heading to the far North. As usual, commerce springs up where there are travellers: some food for the trip or electronic oddities; there is something for the journey and for the destination.
If you are going, go. If you are arriving, come.
Auralgraph: Okuryangava, Windhoek, Namibia, 2021. © Ndakolute Ndilula.
Ndakolute Ndilula is a Namibian DJ and music producer known for his work at the intersection of hip-hop, house, afrobeat, and electronic genres. A graduate of the Academy of Sound Engineering, he brings an out-of-the-box approach to the country’s sonic culture.