Tag: venda women

Ecotrade empowers many women…

…and Annah Mendela is just one of them. After being inspired by previous films made in collaboration with PhytoTrade and EcoProducts, Greg Cameron has created this warm and sensitve portrait of Annah, showing how by collecting baobab fruit for EcoProducts, she has been able to turn her life around.  A short 2.5 minute film that's so beautifully made it will stay with you long after you've watched it. [vimeo id=”9605224″ align=”center” mode=”normal” autoplay=”no”]

 

Film maker Greg Cameron: do less, do it better, make it matter more

Recently, Greg Cameron was commissioned by PhytoTrade to make a film on baobabs in which he records the stories of the baobab fruit collectors and how baobab fruit help them improve their lives. Here, Itai Chibiya, PhytoTrade's Monitoring and Research Evaluator is being filmed while being interviewed.   EcoProducts was chosen as the site for the interviews.  Sarah Venter, the owner of EcoProducts was also interviewed about how she works with the harvesters and ensures that the collection of the fruit benefits everybody in the supply chain and in particular the harvesters.  Sitting under one of the biggest baobabs in the village chatting to some of the baobab fruit collectors gave her an insight into what this special and talented man was all about.  He says “ do less, do it better and make it matter more”.   He now wants to fuse his knowledge with his passion to build socially conscious brands through integrated story.

Watch Greg's recent stunning works on the Baobab including one for EcoProducts   and one for Terres DÁFrique

Greg was also commissioned to film the Siemens COP 17 Baobab video – a brilliant 90 second video! 

There are 21 videos by Greg Cameron on Vimeo.  He is a freelance video producer and has done a wide variety of award-winning work from TV ad campaigns to brand promotions.  Do take a few minutes out of your day to watch his videos- he's a man to follow! 

 

2013 Dec: 50 new baobab babies!

Last month,  50 rural women harvesters attended a  baobab growing and sustainable harvesting course.  I had such fun with this, taking 50 rural women baobab fruit harvesters on a field trip from Zigodini village to Pafuri River Camp Nursery, on the banks of the Mutale River. The course was done with a mixture of practical parts and discussions. The discussions focused on a number of questions related to baobab biology, climate change, sustainable harvesting and nursery practice. The women were encouraged to participate in discussions and debate each question. The practical part was in the nursery where they learned about baobab germination, growth, soil requirements, watering, and so much more. Each woman was given a planting bag and seeds to take home so that she can grow her first baobab and plant it out into the village where she lives. Here's to 50 more baobab trees growing in the Limpopo!

where do you go with the baobab fruit?

Last week while on a photo shoot in Venda,  the harvesters asked me where I went with all the baobab fruit I buy from them.  So I said, why don’t you come and see?  We worked out the taxi money from Venda and back and set a date for the following Thursday.  

The women travelled 200km to visit EcoProducts in Makhado. They arrived in their beautiful Minwendas (traditional venda dress).  I could not resist the temptation of putting on my Minwenda which was given to me by Chief Sumbana a few years ago.  

We showed the women around the premises and they chatted with all the staff.  When they saw what the fruit was being used for and how we process the powder and oil, they realized why I am so fussy about the quality of fruit I buy from them.  There was such tremendous ‘buy-in’ from them, once they understood the importance of the harvesting work they did. They felt part of a greater process rather than just the suppliers of the fruit.  

We showed them the cracking, separating, sieving and packing of the powder.  They also were amazed by the oil press and that such a small dry seed could produce oil.

TAMBANI: African Embroidery

Last week, you met Sani Madau one of the Venda women who does embroidery to supplement her income.  Now I want to introduce you to the lady who makes it possible – Ina Le Roux.  She has created a wonderful business supporting rural Venda women who embroider such beautiful work. Read her absolutely heartwarming story of how she began the project which now produces beautifully  embroidered images from Venda folk stories.  Click here. And aren’t these just gorgeous embroidered Baobab trees! You can order applique blocks directly from the website.

embroidered baobab trees together

 

and the harvesting and processing season begins!

After our community workshop on Monday, my manager Colly started visiting the villages to buy our first fruit for the season.  The fruit are packed into bags then loaded onto our pick-up and trailer.  Each women is paid on delivery, so that she does not have to wait for payment.  


The bags of fruit are transported back to our factory in Makhado.  Here a team of women break open the fruit and extract the powder and seed that is inside the fruit.  The powder is separated from the seeds, is then finely sieved and packed into our tubs and the seed is sent to our seed press for oil pressing.