Young baobab tree - Mochudi, Botswana
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 an enormous baobab tree in my village, a few metres away from my grandmothers 's house known as diropeng or dirope! thighs in English, not sure why its called that but it's an iconic scene well-known around the village. It certainly has been around way longer than a lot of us have been around and will more likely remain alive way beyond our existence.
There is just so much beauty and opportunity everywhere you look but there is still a lot of poverty in Botswana making life really harsh for some communities.
My biggest dream and hope is that one day, I will have the support and resources to personally initiate an opportunity or opportunities 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 instill a sense of empowerment and pride in our own abilities as resourceful and deserving people!