Four years ago, a friend introduced Amelia to Eugenia, owner of Naasakle, a Global Mamas shea butter business parter. Soon after, Amelia joined Naasakle and has been working here ever since making our Dandy Lion Black Soap. Originally from Kumasi, Ghana’s second-largest city, Amelia sold fish there to an unreceptive market and eventually came to Accra to find work. She grew up among two brothers and four sisters, and lived with her father's new wife after her mother passed away. Now in Accra, Amelia has four children from ages seven to 18, and is happy to send them all to school.
Meet the Mamas by Technique
African black soap has been used in Ghana for generations. Containing a natural antiseptic and gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, black soap also utilizes local natural ingredients that may have otherwise gone to waste. Our black soap is made with cocoa pod ashes, though some crafters use banana leaf ashes and in Ghana’s Northern Region, the skins of certain nuts are used.
Christopher grew up in the town of Sasieme in Ghana’s Volta Region. When asked about his tribe, the Ewe, he explains, “Ewe people are hardworking. If things are not so good, you have to work hard to get something to eat. There is no business really, so you must learn to farm or fish.” Christopher was fortunate to study chemical engineering and later started working as a production manager for Naasalke, a Global Mamas shea butter business partner. He enjoys being involved in processing and supervising the transformation of raw materials into a final product. He especially likes the quality control aspect of the process. Christopher is married to his wife, Gifty, who works in IT.
As the owner and CEO of our shea butter partner Ele Agbe, Comfort has always lived by the advice a friend once gave her: "nothing is small". She was eight when she lost her father, and since then she has worked hard to fund her own education. She worked as a street vendor to pay her fees for high school and in the early 1980's traveled to Nigeria in hopes of better earnings. In Nigeria, she began selling bread and once the demand grew, she partnered with a friend to purchase an oven and hire employees. Upon returning to Ghana, Comfort has applied her effective business skills to launch Ele Agbe. She is proud to offer her employees proper training and health care. It is extremely important to Comfort that the people she works with receive a consistent, fair wage while enjoying a respectful and familiar work environment.
Deborah grew up in Ghana's Volta Region, the seventh sibling among three sisters and three brothers. Hardworking and determined, she studied business but was unable to continue due to financial issues. Later, a friend introduced her to Eugenia, owner of Naasalke, a Global Mamas shea butter business partner, and after spending some time in training, she began working full time with Naasalke. Eventually, she saved enough money to go back to school in 2009. She is studying administration and has hopes to one day become a manager at the Ghanaian insurance company, SIC. She greatly appreciates the way Eugenia encourages her and her fellow employees to produce high quality work!
Eugenia Akuete founded Naasakle, a shea butter production company, in 2002. In testament to the power of her high quality products, dedicated customers, and growing consumer awareness of the benefits of shea butter, Naasakle's production grew from 50 to 3,000 pounds in three years. Despite the growing success of Naasakle, Eugenia misses her children who remain in the United States, and at times she misses how smoothly things seem to run there. "You can do business without so many surprises!" she chuckles. But what matters more to her is helping those truly in need and building the strong relationships that ultimately make a difference in people's lives.
Though technically her niece, everyone knows Eunice as the other daughter of Naasakle owner Eugenia! Eunice is young, ambitious, and enjoys working in the shea butter industry. She has been working with Naasakle since 2008 as administrative assistant, and she especially loves hearing people say how much shea products have helped them. Customers also often come up with different product ideas, and Eunice enjoys experimenting to meet their needs, creating products like citronella and shea butter as a moisturizing insect repellent! Though she enjoys creating products for the international market, she also wants to create products that appeal to the local market. She is putting her creative forces to work to create products that appeal to Ghanaian customers.
Jemima started working with Naasakle, a Global Mamas shea butter partner, in 2008. Though her role is in accountanting, she also helps out in production. She likes packaging and prides herself on knowing how to create an attractive product. But work at Naasakle is more than a simple job for her—it puts her skills to good use and is an opportunity to work with her sister Eugenia, owner of Naasakle. She has always enjoyed math and worked for the Ghanaian government and the United Nations. Even with this formal background, she loves the relaxed environment at Naasakle and says all her co-workers feel like family.
Maxwell has been working as an electrician for Naasakle, a Global Mamas shea butter partner, since 2008 and looks forward to his future with the company. His wife Halena trades in skin creams and hair products, and together they support their three children. They are proud to be able to put their children through school, especially because Maxwell remembers the hardship of growing up in a family supported by selling oil and corn. "Some days were good, some days were bad," he recalls.
Sabina grew up among three brothers and four sisters in the town of Wenchi in Ghana's Brong-Ahafo Region. Before she came to work with Naasakle, she sold second-hand clothing throughout Accra to support her four children. Life has been difficult for Sabina since she lost her husband in a car accident, and she also supports her mother in Brong-Ahafo, who has suffered a stroke. She likes working with Naasakle, but wishes production were a constant necessity so she could work every day and further support her mother.