After her mother was diagnosed of diabetes, Vanessa Zommi became keen on finding out alternative treatments to keep her mother healthy. She soon discovered the medicinal moringa oleifera tree which grew in her region, and discovered that the moringa leaves could reduce blood sugar levels to treat diabetes among other medicinal qualities.
On getting to know this, she decided to explore the curative effects of moringa. At first, she was doing it just for her mom, but she later realized she could help other people in Cameroon and she partnered with moringa farmers who supplied her with the leaves and processed the leaves into moringa tea which she put into tea bags.
Zommi’s decision to monetize the idea and to be an entrepreneur that gives back to the society prompted her to found Emerald Moringa in 2014, she started selling the tea across Cameroon. The Emerald Moringa Tea addresses the chronic increasing death rate of the Cameroonian population as a result of diabetes. In fact, according to her team’s research, about 15% of the Buea population within the ages of 15-99 suffer from the ailment and up to 80% of them are not even aware that they live with the condition.
Moringa tea serves as a natural solution and it is made by harvesting fresh leaves from the moringa tree and drying them at low temperatures to preserve the vital nutrients that will be released into tea water. The tea boosts the body’s energy in a natural manner, hence reducing the risk of diabetes by lowering the sugar level in the human system.
In Molyko, a town in the Buea region, 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. Her team has been able to train 15 aged people on how to plant, cook and replant moringa for animal life and afforestation.
Vanessa has been internationally recognized for her indelible impact on the society, she was the first Cameroonian woman to be recognized as an Anzisha fellow, and she has gotten increased media attention as she has been featured on CNN, ThisisAfrica, Media 256 and Forbes, she was also nominated for the Cameroonian Career Women Awards.
In the future, the Emerald Moringa Tea wants to impact more lives by spreading the knowledge of the usefulness of moringa and Vanessa envisions to see the Buea community develop a tea drinking culture for a healthier and happier environment in homes, offices and shops. In the long run, Vanessa hopes to recruit more people and expand in different geographical locations.