I have been meaning to post on here sooner about my trip to Ghana in June with the Global Shea Alliance (GSA). The Alliance is a non-profit organization that helps support rural women’s empowerment through the sale of shea.
Personally, I love shea and really had no idea what it was until about a year ago when I met Funlayo Alabi, the co-founder of Shea Radiance. I now use shea almost everyday. It’s used on skin, in hair care products, and in the manufacturing of chocolate. Shea grows only in the African Savanna and is collected by rural women who then process it into butter. It has incredible healing properties and has been used in rural communities in Africa for centuries. This June I was contracted by the GSA to create a series of educational videos about Shea.
While in Ghana I also worked on a personal project of portrait images of the women who collect the shea fruit. During the project I was based in Tamale and would wake up at 5am and travel to Kanfiehiyili or Naypala, small shea producing villages located right outside of Tamale. The women start collecting the fruit very early in the morning. Inside the fruit is the nut that produces the butter. Millions of women in shea producing nations in Africa try to make a living collecting and processing the nuts into butter.