BY SILAS NKALA
A BULAWAYO company, Green Afrique Technologies, has ventured into processing green tea using zumbani/umsuzwane to promote local herbal remedies for various respiratory ailments.
Zumbani recently emerged as one of the most sought-after remedies in the fight against coronavirus.
Green Afrique chief executive Anglistone Sibanda said women in Matobo district, Matabeleland South province, his home area, were harvesting the leaves which the company processes into herbal tea.
“We are promoting our own local herbal remedies and nutritional boosters,” Sibanda said.
“We are working with local communities, doing research and getting local women in Matobo to gather umsuzwane that has become a hit due to its nutritional and medicinal properties.
“As a company, we seek to create incomes for local women who are collecting the leaves and drying them, we package, brand and promote them. We are currently working on supplying orders in the United Kingdom and South Africa where people are using it as a home remedy in the fight against COVID-19.”
Sibanda, who is a pastor with the Everlasting Gospel of Christ Church, said the herb was abundant in Matobo Hills.
The area is also rich in other herbal remedies still under research to establish their medicinal and nutritional properties.
“Plants like sourplum (umthunduluka), ukhalimela (Sicoma Anomala), among many others will soon be professionally processed and promoted to compete with the Chinese herbals, the Swiss and the American products,” Sibanda said.
“We believe that Africa is endowed with natural resources and vast indigenous knowledge systems that have been untapped and it is high time we promoted them at a global stage for the benefit of local communities.”
Sibanda said people had been stampeding for Chinese herbals, ginseng tea, and now the Swiss Apple seeds STC30 and there is no reason why they could not market umsuzwane.
He said people forget that Moringa originated in Binga and became a global discovery, with foreign companies now making a killing through products from the tree.
“Our education system trained us for servitude. We do not have entrepreneurship skills to see opportunities and create employment. We are all looking for employment opportunities. It is a common trend in most African countries,” he said.
“That is why we get employed by Chinese convicts and any rogue European who comes to Africa and sees opportunities on our land. They start a business using our resources and all we want is to get employed by the fellow. I am fighting against that brainwashing and trying to liberate the African church from colonial white supremacist brainwashing.”
Sibanda said people ignored their own herbal remedies preferring foreign ones to the extent that an American took the African aloe (inhlaba) to the US, planted it and built a factory to process it and create Forever Living Products, but Africans are busy doing chain marketing of those products.
“Now the Chinese have been all over looking for Sourplum tree (Umthunduluka) and taking GIS co-ordinates, paying elders US$5 in rural areas. That tree is a powerful antibiotic but locals do not take advantage of its proximity to them,” he said.
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