The healing power of plants & stories
Ivorian entrepreneur; Swaady Martin-Leke started the company YSWARA. YSWARA is a socially-responsible African company that produces exceptional artisan-made gourmet teas and teatime accessories, celebrating Africa's culture.
This is them:
Africans have long understood the healing power of plants. Today, YSWARA harnesses Africa’s ancient knowledge in collecting the world's largest selection of fine African teas and herbal teas. 4 collections and 26 exceptional tastes that transform ordinary moments into treasured ones.
If you take a closer look at the packaging for Yswara teas, you will find an interesting story about some prominent figures in our history. I wanted to share these short histories with you.
The earl grey with carrot flakes tea is inspired by Nehanda Mbuya of Zimbabwe:
Nehanda was born around 1840 and was an incarnation of the oracle spirit of Nyamhika Nehanda. She initially welcomed the first European settlers & invited the Shona people of her land to do the same. But as colonisation grew stronger, she became a symbol of the fight for independence. She died at the hands of her enemies, but lives on as the grandmother of the nation.
The green tea with Egyptian mint & figs is inspired by the Lords of Kanem:
The lords of Kanem, descended from a dynasty of divined kings who ruled over the southern region of the trans- saharan trade route in Chad & Nigeria, from ca. 700 -1376. Under their reign, centres of Islamic culture blossomed and foundations of the empire were undoubtedly strengthened by a culture of compromise both in commercial & social affairs.
The green rooibos - honeybush and chamomile tea is inspired by Nzinga, Queen of Ndongo
Born a fighter in 1953 with her umbilical cord around her neck, Nzinga, or ‘twisted’, ruled over the kingdoms of Ndongo and Matumba - modern day Angola- during the 17th century. Whilst she initially welcomed the Portuguese with diplomatic skill and goodwill, she later fiercely fought back against her people’s enslavement and her land’s commercial exploitation.
The honeybush with coconut and mango tea was inspired by Nandi of Zululand:
Nandi (ca. 1760-1827) bore the illegitimate child of Zulu ruler Senzangakhona kaJama. Aware of her son; Shaka Zulu’s lineage and despite rejection from her ‘tribe’, she raised him according to the principles of royalty and protected him from his enemies. To this day, the S.A culture honours her for having given life and nurtured one of Africa’s most legendary modern day warriors and kings.
The rooibos coconut & chocolate is inspired by the principle of Omoluabi
The Yoruba people of Nigeria bestow the honour of ‘omoluabi’ upon an individual of impeccable character who represents the paragon of existence, and is dedicated to the development and vitality of the community. More importantly, the respectful title of ‘omoluabi’ goes beyond its bearer to celebrate the community that has so capably & conscientiously shaped such an individual.
The green tea with tropical fruits is inspired by Amina of Hausaland
A woman of great military skill in the 16th century, Queen Amina of Hausaland was well-known for her territorial conquests. Her crusading aimed to bring wealth to her kingdom by controlling trade routes all the way through Mali & Egypt. Queen Amina was capable & died honourably in battle. The fortified walls around the cities she conquered are still proud monuments to her legacy.
The rooibos with chilli pepper & roses is inspired by Shaka Zulu
Born in 1787, Shaka Zulu relentlessly fought for his kingdom thanks to his remarkable warrior skills and determination of his birthright. His enemies tried twice to assassinate him, but these attacks did nothing to diminish his power…….until his half brothers ultimately took his life. Shaka Zulu’s forceful, powerful spirit forever embodies the burning flame of the Zulu people.