My dream and hope
While doing some research and sourcing ingredients, I discovered that some of the amazing plants/trees used to access the incredible plant oils that I incorporate into my current and future lovely formulations, are abundant in my country of birth Botswana and in particular my village, Mochudi.
I grew up eating fruits and nuts of the morula/marula trees. Using their big chunky branches as swings and climbing frames, negotiating territory with big colourful, scary lizards. I ate wild figs from some of the biggest trees that I had ever seen and climbed as a child. I was a pest to the ximenia trees, constantly poking at them with long sticks to encourage their intoxicatingly sour and sweet fruits to come down.
I negotiated, fighting for space with families of vicious ants, delicately moving my hands through some seriously ferocious thorns, simply to be able to reach and harvest the delicious fruits of the cactus plants, prickly pear, of which a very pricey oil is produced from the seeds. These cactus plants have a massive presence throughout the whole country.
There is a huge lush and determined moringa tree in my mother’s yard which we use for cooking and drinking and again growing in abundance in other areas and produces a well sought after oil, which I have an intimate relationship with. A super magical tree!
There are huge and ancient baobab trees that have been around for longer than I have lived!
The mongongo/manketi trees produce an incredibly nourishing oil used by some to formulate amazing skin care products currently on the market.
There are wild and cultivated aloe vera plants everywhere. The list is endless.
Young Baobab tree - Mochudi, Botswana
Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that these trees /plants in my own country, would at any point in the future generate any sort of financial wealth for anyone in any part of the world, but they have done just that!
There is still a lot of poverty in Botswana and yet there is untouched and unknown opportunity wherever you look, in that land-locked, mostly dry and very, very hot countryside.
My biggest dream and hope is that one day, I will have the strength to personally generate a move towards an opportunity that will allow me, side by side with communities, from my land of birth, to responsibly and respectfully, tap into our local resources and use them to relieve the struggle, bring financial stability for us all and instil a sense of empowerment and pride in our own abilities as resourceful and deserving people!