The saying that with new things come good things is emerging true for Maun where a new restaurant is currently making waves and curving a niche for itself in the tourist hub. Situated at Nhabe museum, less than five minutes away from the airport and nestled nicely in between the town’s two busy markets Kana Jang is a fresh twist to both locals and tourists. Founded and run by the beautiful Malebogo Busang – an artist and a foodie – the restaurant is basically the embodiment of creativity, art and good food. The Serowe-born mother of two moved to Maun in 2013 after leaving her corporate job right after a cancer scare to venture into something different and appealing to her creative self. After reconnecting with friends and looking for opportunities, a tender for the establishment of a restaurant at Nhabe museum was re-advertised in 2014. Fortunately, she applied and was successful.
The name Kana Jang came out of a conversation Busang had with a friend when she was considering on what to name her new restaurant. She was looking for something distinct, which could intrigue, create a conversation and could be loosely used and interpreted. When Kana Jang came up it resonated well with what she was looking for. Two months since the restaurant opened doors to clients it is doing just that. The restaurant, according to Busang, serve purely Tswana template cuisine but with a twist of modern flavour. To create a personal touch with every meal they serve to their customers, she says, the chefs always try to give every dish a signature. In a town where five star hotels and lodges are literally at every corner and usually offer modern cuisine to march international standards in their quest to attract tourists, Busang says they had to deliberately find a way to be different. “I wanted to create a traditional home cooked meal feel but with a twist of contemporary taste to it,” she said.
To achieve this so far, seswaa and oxtail for example are perennially available and make the core of what the restaurant offers. Kana Jang pilchard stuffed legwinya or seswaa stuffed phaphatha are also some of the restaurant’s signature meals which customers can always look forward to. “We wanted to offer affordable food and make Setswana meals appealing while served in a decent but accommodating ambience,” Busang says. The restaurant, according to the bubbling owner, offers a nice mix of indoor and outdoor setting to its customers in a relaxed environment. Despite its new entry in the market, the restaurant is already collaborating with Okavango Artists Association and Poetavango Spoken Word Poetry to host regular exhibitions and poetry sessions. “If all goes according to plan we are hoping to run an art exhibition throughout December where there will be active sales of the artist’s work,” she says.
Kana Jang will in the last week of November host Setswana games competitions and food and networking sessions and launch its signature cocktails and summer snack menus. Traditional beer is also expected to be served together with other beverages throughout December. With a solid supply of ox heads from the local abattoir, Busang says, they will give revelers a taste of ox -head meat throughout December. The fun, however, doesn’t end there – a lot of other activities like family cookout sessions; High tea on the boat and safari excursions which will be arranged with other locally owned safari companies. Kana Jang has, according to Busang, also given birth to Jalo Jalo Concepts; a curio store which is part of the restaurant that will sell both international and local artifacts and accessories.