I have a dream
While doing some research and sourcing ingredients, I discovered that some of the amazing plants/trees used to access the incredible plant oils that are now well sought after in the cosmetic industry are abundant in my own 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 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 in some particular parts of my village and some parts of the country.
There is the moringa oil from the moringa tree seeds, a magical plant that grows effortlessly in most parts of Botswana. Another one that produces a well sought after oil, There are huge and ancient baobab trees that have been around for longer than I have lived in most parts of the country. There certainly are plenty of these in my village and much more.
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 financial and technical support 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!
young baobab tree in Mochudi