Changing the colours of entertainment

The anticipation is high as the new Brewers Market, situated at the Warehouse Theatre in Windhoek, is set to open in a few weeks.
Mariselle Stofberg
Mariselle Stofberg

Magic is created when you create a space where legacy meets fresh and vibrant, and you are able to harness the beauty of something so part of the Windhoek scene and merge that with something new.

The Brewers Market is a brand-new initiative that will be introduced to Windhoek in February, and will combine the essence and the heart of the Warehouse Theatre, but give it a new twist.

The Brewers Market will be a seven-day-a-week market that will cater to all, and not only those individuals who prefer an alcoholic beverage.

“We want to create something where there is dance, theatre, live music, and create a space where we are able to mix the creatives a bit,” says Ché Rousseau, who is also the owner at Club Vibe in Windhoek and the new owner of the Warehouse Theatre and upcoming Brewers Market in Windhoek.

“We will have a market with two venues, both on the lower level and in the upstairs venue. We will be offering quiz nights, karaoke, comedy nights and so much more on each day of the week.”

Rousseau adds that every Saturday there will be a market where they hope to attract as many shoppers as possible. “We want to have live bands, stand-up comedy, pop-up stalls, free wine tasting as well as a batter bar.”

Not only will you be able to experience the best drinks and eats the local food scene has to offer, but this new venture will provide the public with a nail technician, barber, hairdresser and even showcase the designs and clothes of Namibian designers.

Rousseau says great care was put into making sure the stalls featured at the market are a true reflection of Windhoek culture.

“We just hope to get good people on board. We have either hand-picked our stalls, or used some tests to establish which stalls that approached us will fit into the vibe we want to create. We want to make sure that each stall is different and unique, without direct competition in the same trade, to ensure that each one has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” he adds.

The Brewers Market provides a platform for individuals to truly express themselves and takes everyone’s needs into account.

Rousseau is the new owner of the Warehouse Theatre, along with PG du Preez who will be managing the Brewers Market.

“The theatre can be rented out by artists or individuals. Even if they don’t have the money at the moment to pay for the rental of the theatre, they can present their idea and if we feel confident in the idea we can enter into an agreement,” Rousseau adds.

Warehouse Theatre legacy

Many have mourned the loss of the iconic Warehouse Theatre, and some have fears that this new venture truly means the end of the beloved theatre. There is, however, no need to fear, because the new management of both the market and the theatre are determined to keep the essence of the theatre integrated in this new venture. Rousseau and his team have put in great effort to understand the theatre’s legacy.

“We tried to understand what made the theatre attractive to people. It was a home away from home, free of judgement. Creative people and artists are different and have a different way of seeing the world, and they want to have a space where they can showcase and live out their passion and talents without the fear of being judged for who they are.”

They are keeping some elements of the artistic essence of the theatre, like for example the walls and even some of the original artwork on the walls, but they want to introduce something new.

“We are in negotiations to keep the name of the Warehouse Theatre as well, because that is iconic and we want to preserve that. We will also offer something new, with a whole white wall with Koki’s where everyone is able to leave their mark,” Rousseau says.

Economic struggles

The management team of the Brewers Market understands the economic struggles the Namibian community faces every month, and has plans in place to help.

“Mid-month, when we see people are struggling, we won’t charge entrance. Older artists who have been loyal to the Warehouse have already agreed to come back again and they too understand the struggles we sometimes face and have even offered to perform for free.

“We will, however, always make sure our artists get paid when they perform. End of the month we will have longer line-ups, and then we will need to charge an entrance fee.”

Creating a unique space

The main focus of the Brewers Market will be on creating a safe atmosphere where people can go and experience something different.

“No week should be like the previous week, and people should never think they have seen it all. We want to offer a unique and versatile environment where creativity has the opportunity to shine,” Rousseau says.

“Designers will bring different clothes in and out, menus will change, the art will change and even the artists and their music will change. With different artists and different music we can cater to any and all crowds, truly creating this unique space,” Du Preez adds.

Strategically speaking, they also want to understand their customers.

“We know our older customers tend to have some money left at the end of the month, and therefore we can adapt our shows at the end of the month to cater more towards them. Our younger crowds tend to struggle to make ends meet, so we will cater more towards them earlier in the month when they still have money,” Du Preez says.

They plan to provide the community with two free hours a week, which will most probably be on a Monday and Tuesday from 18:00 to 19:00. This will offer anything from free yoga to meditation, cooking classes, self-defence classes, boxing, wrestling and much more.

“We tend to complain that we have nothing to do in Windhoek, but we need to actually make use of the opportunities given. Let’s get together and mingle and actually get to know one another,” Rousseau says.