Living on the sweet side

Karolina’s Bakery in Ongwediva was started by the 15-year-old Ndapanda Shiyagaya when she was only in grade 4, and has since then grown into a successful business venture.

03 August 2021 | Youth

Mariselle Stofberg

With just a few ingredients, heaps of imagination and a touch of elegance, 15-year-old Ndapanda Shiyagaya is able to bake and create sweet masterpieces through her business, Karolina’s Bakery.

Shiyagaya is a learner at Gabriel Taapopi Senior Secondary School in Ongwediva.

What makes her happiest in this world is spending time with family, going shopping, for which she would ideally love to have a whole week, and celebrating the small moments in life.

“My love for baking has become a part of me whilst growing up, because as a little girl, baking was a habitual thing at home. My cousins who were at boarding school would bake just before going back to school, and that meant almost every second weekend was full-on baking time,” she says.

Her favourite part of baking and decorating is working and listening to music in the background. “Another part I enjoy most is when clients ask for cakes I’ve never tried before. I love to challenge myself to do more than I have been asked for,” she says.

The thought of starting her own bakery business began when she was about in fourth grade in 2015, because the image of a businesswoman to her at the time was that of an innovative, intelligent, strong-minded, hardworking and wealthy woman. “This was what I aspired to become. At Karolina’s Bakery we make cakes, cupcakes, malva pudding, cake pops, cakesicles, brigadeiros, which is a famous Portuguese chocolate dessert, the newly introduced dream cake and candy buffets on request,” she says.

“The hardest part about having a bakery must be turning down orders due to overwhelming schoolwork or when I am writing examinations. This is mainly because I have to balance school and business. What helps me to stay positive is listening to worship music, as it gives so much peace and serenity,” Shiyagaya adds.

Attention to detail

Her favourite thing at her bakery is creating the details on cakes. “Be it figurines or just some detail to complement the theme of a cake, I love it all. My go-to baked good must be a vanilla sponge cake or our dream cake, because it has quite a fascinating process.”

What drives her daily is the idea of who she wants to be when she grows up. “Every time contemplate if something is worth it, I remember just how my younger self was so determined and I can’t stop here. I believe in the phrase by Robin Sharma, ‘be willing to do what’s hard now to enjoy what’s beautiful later’. For Karolina’s Bakery, my plans and dreams are only to get better, bigger and even more resolute,” Shiyagaya says.

Strong support system

Shiyagaya has a strong support system that helps to keep her going every day. “I have so many people that support and show me love, but my mom and my cousin Maku support and help me the most.”

She adores the baking show Carlo’s Bakery, because Buddy Valastro’s determination and trust in himself inspires her.

“I am not planning on studying a course or degree in culinary arts, but might decide differently after completing my studies. I’ve had a few trainings focusing on different aspects of baking by the very best and I am so grateful.”

Shiyagaya’s very first training was a basic baking training by her aunt Aina of Aina’s Cake Land, where she had the opportunity to polish and improve her skills.

“I also attended Shiwa the Baker’s masterclass where I was equipped with entrepreneurial knowledge and it is from there I was able to better understand entrepreneurship. I then attended a sugar flower training which was instructed by the sugar flower guru Jeanette Pritchard from South Africa and then also had wedding cake training by Aina’s Cake Land and Maggy’s Bakery.”

Her journey, however, was not without some trials. “At the very beginning I didn’t use to time to control how long a cake should bake for. I always kept looking at the cakes to see and predict whether they are ready without opening the oven. However, my dad always advised me to start using a timer, but I always said to him I have mastered how to look and predict when they are ready and I have gotten the hang of it.”

One night while she was baking, without her timer as usual, she decided to take a 10-minute nap to pass the time. “I must have been exhausted and I unfortunately overslept, only to wake up to a smoky kitchen. I had burnt the cake! Oh, was I not embarrassed for my dad to even hear of this? This was my turning point to finally start using a timer.”

The weirdest thing she has ever had to make for someone was a sugar-free lemon cake, with not even a little raw honey as an exception. “To a sugar-free cake I had to add natural lemonade! My goodness, this cake was sour and had a dense texture because of the removal of sugar from the recipe, as all ingredients play a role in the cake’s end result.”

Shiyagaya says the highlight of her baking career was when she had the opportunity to bake a cake for retired Bishop Kleopas Dumeni’s 90th birthday celebration.

“I would love to tell my fellow young bakers to remember the quote of Nelson Mandela that the greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail. Never forget why you started and always remember the positivity you had then, and why you can’t let all the efforts go to waste,” she says.

“In the beginning, I didn’t believe a bakery driven by a 10-year-old would even succeed, but as the late Nelson Mandela said, things always seem impossible until they are done.”

Similar News

 

Blowing out somebody else’s candle won’t make yours shine

5 days ago - 19 October 2021 | Youth

Emilie MandumeThe ‘We Care’ project was established under the School of Destiny Association (SODA) Consultancy and launched in February 2021. The initial aim is to...

Creating safe spaces in time of need

5 days ago - 19 October 2021 | Youth

Monique Adams For the past year it has shown that COVID19 had a huge impact on the education system, with learners and teachers not knowing...

Namibia to host WorldSkills Africa 2022

5 days ago - 19 October 2021 | Youth

Michelline NawatisesThe official announcement was made on 8 October at The Dome where the event takes place under the theme ‘Promoting Skills Development in the...

The AIMS School of Sports receives accreditation

5 days ago - 19 October 2021 | Youth

Rivaldo KavangaThe Africa Institutional Management Services (AIMS) through its School of Sport (ASOS) received confirmation of accreditation of qualifications from the Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA)....

Learner’s and driver’s licence - How easy is it?...

1 week ago - 12 October 2021 | Youth

A simple guide to obtaining your licenceWetumwene Shikage / Desiree GasesDriving is a routine task which many young people fear. You may see getting your...

Winners for the debating challenge 2021

1 week ago - 12 October 2021 | Youth

Monique Adams University of Namibia vs Namibia University of Science and Technology The first motion was: “Has the central bank’s monetary policy stance and...

Psychosocial support – A universal love language

2 weeks ago - 05 October 2021 | Youth

Jeanette DiergaardtThe Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) driven by various African states is currently one of the leading psychosocial support programmes for children. African countries...

Fresh, funky and fierce

2 weeks ago - 05 October 2021 | Youth

Mariselle StofbergEricke Tjiueza and Kevin Perestrelo are two self-taught artists who believe that their creative perspective is informed by their intuition, upbringing and experiences. The...

Young cattle judges get to grips with Brahmans

2 weeks ago - 05 October 2021 | Youth

The David Krause Youth Cattle Judging competition took place at the Windhoek Showgrounds last Monday, with students from northern, central and southern Namibia taking part....

Creating safer roads for our children

2 weeks ago - 05 October 2021 | Youth

Mariselle Stofberg and Rivaldo KavangaThe Automobile Association of Namibia, in conjunction with the City of Windhoek, MVA Fund and partners, held the #ISeeYou campaign under...

Latest News

Heimstädt steering road safety

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Business

Rivaldo KavangaHorst Heimstädt is the CEO of the Namibia Road Safety Forum, a private organisation which does extensive work in the Southern African Development Community...

FNB to strengthen its support...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUProparco, a private sector financing arm of Agence Française de Développement Group (AFD Group), granted a EURIZ portfolio guarantee of N$ 68 million to...

Learners don maize sacks for...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Education

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATI Learners at Omuthiyagwiipundi Combined School in Omuthiya are forced to wear maize sacks each time they misbehave at...

Itula changed, says suspended Smith-Howard

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Politics

Staff Reporter WINDHOEKSuspended Independent Patriots for Change (IPC) Swakopmund constituency councillor Ciske Smith-Howard says her party leader, Dr Panduleni Itula, has become...

The face of the southern...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | People

Michelline Nawatises Victoria Ndemupa Muhuura was born in Wavis Bay. She attended at Andimba Toivo ya Toivo Secondary School in the Oshana Region, and...

Zozo’s Leather: Your dream product

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | People

Rivaldo Kavanga Celesty Cupido worked in the tourism industry and realised over the years that many Namibian accommodation establishments do not showcase or sell...

Rising like a phoenix

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Business

Mariselle StofbergWilhelmine Mutorwa has used every opportunity she is given to become the best version of herself. For Wilhelmine Mutorwa, giving up has never been...

Africa calls for climate finance...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Economics

ALESSANDRA PRENTICEAfrican countries want a new system to track funding from wealthy nations that are failing to meet a US$100-billion annual target to help the...

EDITORIAL: We are guilty of...

2 days ago - 22 October 2021 | Opinion

A lot needs to be discussed in our country – from race and sexual rights to abortion. The country can’t stop talking, even when such...

Load More