The Namibia Craft Centre opened its doors in 1990, under Newveld Ventures. The Rossing Foundation later took over the management of the Centre, and implemented extensive renovations that included the expansion of the Omba Gallery. Kerry MacNamara Architects won an award for the design of the centre, and the new Namibia Craft Centre opened its doors in 1997.
The Namibia Craft Centre provides retail space to approximately 40 craft enterprises who hail from distinct communities, ethnic groups and projects, providing a platform for Namibian handicraft from jewellery to carved tree roots. Centrally situated in Tal Street in the Old Breweries Complex with enclosed parking, the Centre is easily accessible for drivers or pedestrians.
Expertly woven baskets, carved Makalani kernels, stylish San ostrich-eggshell jewellery, richly-dyed wild silk scarves, Himba bracelets, attractive handmade paper, hand-woven carpets, striking textiles and colourful embroidered linen; the Namibia Craft Centre is a treasure-trove of colour and craft, a collection of Namibian items epitomising the country - the character and essence of its intriguing cultures, its large blue skies and endless landscapes, its wildlife and wonder. It’s Namibia (conveniently) under one roof. The Craft Centre supports jobs to more than 4,000 crafters and their families in some of the most rural and marginalised areas.
The Omba Gallery is the most visited gallery in Windhoek and often showcases interesting exhibitions of both local and international artists. With more than twelve exhibitions per year, the art lover will most certainly find an exhibition on show during a visit.
Those into reading or photography will find a wide variety of high quality books for adults, children and collectors; some books are only available at the Centre!
For those in the family who don’t like shopping, the Craft Café provides a pleasant space to sit down for a meal, or delectable apple crumble, a decadent slice of chocolate or cheese cake, or just enjoying a good coffee, while pouring over a Namibian book or to enjoy the last hours of Namibian sunshine on the outside deck.
Something you may soon realise while walking around this intriguing centre is that besides the rich stories and the golden opportunity of having access to goods from all corners of Namibia collected under one roof, the word ‘craft’ and ‘art’ are often intertwined. The time spent weaving a basket, threading cotton or beads to create a picture or a bracelet, to carve a frame from wood or to make paper, is combined with the skill and talent of craftspeople countrywide to create striking works of art. Whether you walk out the door with a postcard sized photograph of a Himba woman, a basket or an embroidered pillow, you will probably have purchased a piece of art rather than just a souvenir – as well as having gained a smidgen of Namibia to be cherished after your return home.
After a good and fulfilling trip, use those few hours left in Windhoek before the flight back home to search for those special bits and pieces for friends and family or for yourself from areas you were unable to visit, or to remind you of your experiences in the country of space and soul.
FIVE REASONS TO SUPPORT THE NAMIBIA CRAFT CENTRE
- We support Namibian micro and small enterprises. Nearly 40 stall holders sell their craft through the Namibia Craft Centre.
- We contribute to poverty alleviation through the sale of Namibian craft. Over 4,000 producers and their families derive an income from sales of their craft.
- We support Namibian design and product development. Our large ranges of products are uniquely Namibian and excellent quality.
- We support sustainable utilization of Namibian natural resources. We encourage use of environmentally friendly products.
- We have the freshest Namibian food and best cheesecake and apple crumble in town! Our Craft Café is known all over the world for stylish and excellent food.