20 year old Cameroonian female entrepreneur, Vanessa Zommi, born in a family of six in Molyko, Buea South west region, while growing up, lost both her grandparents as a result of diabetes. Realising that diabetes posed a risk to her mother’s life, she decided to do something about it.
Zommi started to look into natural treatments that could keep her mother healthy.She came across the moringa oleifera tree, which grow in her Buea, and discovered it has a number of nutritional and medicinal benefits. One of these is reducing blood sugar levels to treat diabetes and, after a bit more research, Zommi found she could easily process the moringa leaf into a tasty tea.
“The day I knew this was going to work is when I discovered that there is more availability of Moringa in Cameroon than there are areas of abject poverty and Studies show that drinking moringa tea after a meal can ease digestion, after two hours of intake, sugar levels in the body drop.”
She visited an agricultural fair and met with moringa farmers who could supply her with the leaf, which she dried and placed in tea bags. And after testing the product out, she realised that other people in her community would also benefit from the treatment.
She took her first entrepreneurial project course, with the idea of being a social entrepreneur her main goal. According to her team’s research, about 15% of the Buea population within the ages 15 to 99 suffer from diabetes and up to 80% are not aware of their condition. The tea boosts the body’s energy in a natural manner and reduces the risk of diabetes by lowering the sugar level in the human system.
Vanessa and her team have succeeded in putting Emerald tea in over 40 offices and surveys administered have proven that there has been a 5% to 25% increase in tea drinking.
Vanessa’s vision is to see the Buea community develop a tea drinking culture for a healthier and happier environment. The project will be successful when homes, offices and shops have tea bags resulting in healthier lifestyles. In the long run, Vanessa hopes to recruit more people and expand in different geographical locations of the country.
Watch a short presentation on her life, initiative and company projection, below:
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