By: JO-MARÉ DUDDY
WINNING RECIPE ... Erikson Malwa with a selec- tion of his now famous sauces.
A ‘SAUCY’ story in The Namibian in April secured budding local entrepreneur, Erikson Malwa, a seat at US president Barack Obama’s innovation summit for young African leaders in Washington DC next week.
“It is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Malwa said yesterday. When he flies on Monday, it will not only be the 24-year-old’s first trip to the US, it will be his first overseas.
“I am very excited. It’s a great opportunity,” he said.
Malwa, a food technologist who currently works as a technical product development manager at Namibia Dairies, is also the brain behind Erikson’s Sauces, a brand of homemade sauces sold locally.
It was the success story of his sauces, marketed through his company Talamo Foods, which sparked the interest of The Namibian’s Selma Shipanga.
“That media coverage brought Mr Malwa to the attention of the US Embassy [in Windhoek], which nominated him for a slot at the Innovation Summit,” the embassy said in a statement yesterday.
When US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton welcomes the delegates to the Innovation Summit and Mentoring Partnership with Young African Leaders next Wednesday, Malwa and 59 other Africans will embark on a three-week development programme. It forms part of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative, the Obama Administration’s long-term programme to engage young leaders from the continent who are actively promoting positive change in their communities.
It was Malwa’s view of how he can play a role in the economic development of Namibia which in particular caught the Embassy’s eye I promised myself that one day, I will reverse the situation of Namibia being a net importer of sauces to being amongst the exporters of sauces and condiments, the Americans’ eye, he told The Namibian.”
So he developed Erikson’s Sauces in chilli, sweet chilli, kapana, barbeque and tomato flavours, and braced the challenge of getting enough to start his company.
Currently Erikson sauces are on the shelves of Tré Supermarket, Louis Botha, Namica Supermarket and wholesalers in Katutura, as well as in shops in Walvis Bay and Ondangwa.
Although it was difficult to establish the brand, especially with so many foreign sauces flooding the market, Malwa’s products are becoming increasingly popular.
“My sauces are made with carefully sourced ingredients with the Namibian audience’s taste in mind, so I’m confident that I’m offering a competitive product in terms of quality and pricing,” he said.
Malwa now plans to distribute Erikson’s Sauces countrywide.
The US Embassy said they are “delighted” that Malwa will be able to attend the summit and “hopes his experience will be beneficial not only to his own business, but also to other Namibians embarking upon entrepreneurial ventures”.