Skin care innovator gets United Nations recognition

The Chronicle

Sikhulekelani Moyo, Business Reporter
WHEN she established her organic skin care products enterprise, Ms Princess Noma Siziba (35) of Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb never imagined that she would make it big in business.

Using umsuzwane/zumbani as her key ingredient to produce a range of skin care products, which include soaps, toners and face masks, Ms Siziba has proved that she is not only innovative but resourceful as well.

Umsuzwane or zumbani is a plant, scientifically known as Lippia javanica, which grows in many parts of Zimbabwe.

Operating under the brand name Indalo, a Ndebele name for ‘natural creation’, the youthful single mother of one, a girl she had at the age of 19, believes that the teenage pregnancy setback made her strong and resourceful hence her innovations.

Ms Siziba proved her mettle when she walked away with a US$3 000 prize after scooping the best award at the recent National Youth Business Expo that was held in Bulawayo.

She also won a laptop and a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Business Development Support, which she said will help her to boost her business.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The event was organised by the Ministry of Youths, Sport, Arts and Recreation with support from African Development Bank.

“I am more than grateful and ecstatic after winning this award.

It’s just what l needed to grow my business,” she said in an interview.

Ms Siziba paid tribute to the Ministry of Youth for its efforts to empower the youths.

A novelist and a publisher, Ms Siziba officially launched a collection of her organic skin care products at her home last December.

Ms Princess Noma Siziba

She said she chose to use the plant because of its scientifically proven benefits and for its availability and accessibility.

Ms Siziba mixes the plant with other products that include shea butter, plant extracts and oils.

“I started Zimbabwe’s very first vegan and organic skin care range formulated with a unique key ingredient, which is umsuzwane/zumbani,” she said.

Umsuzwane/Zumbani made headlines following the advent of Covid-19 after scientists listed it as one of the few natural herbs rich in antioxidants and a useful ingredient in fighting the coronavirus and flu.

The herb has been proven to be nutraceutical because of its several beneficial nutritional and medicinal components, which qualify the plant to be treated as both food and medicine.

Ms Siziba has also been nominated to be part of ZimTrade’s Eagle’s Nest Export Incubation Programme aimed at empowering youth entrepreneurs to gain access to international export markets.

The ZimTrade Eagle’s Nest export incubation programme is an initiative that assists businesses become export ready.

As a young entrepreneur, Ms Siziba encouraged aspiring entrepreneurs to come up with ideas, which help consumers to solve their problems.

“When you come up with a product that addresses a gap in society, you have created a very unique and innovative business enterprise,” she said.

Ms Siziba said as someone who struggled with acne from teenage years, she got tired of using chemicals on her skin without results.

“I then began to research on natural skin solutions and after seeing that it worked so well for my skin, I thought of turning my passion into profit,” said Ms Siziba.

She said her key ingredient (umsuzwane/zumbani) has been scientifically proven to be richer in antioxidants than imported teas.

“Antioxidants are supreme in skincare as they prevent cell damage and promote healthy skin,” she said.

Ms Siziba works from her home in Cowdray Park and sources her raw material(umsuzwane/zumbani)  from her rural home.

She says the feedback she is getting from those using her products has boosted her confidence in the  products.

Going forward, Ms Siziba says she is focused on growing the local market before expanding into the region and internationally.

Amongst the 10 youth expo winners drawn from across the country’s 10 provinces was Cautious Ncube from Matabeleland South who operates a litter recycling business.

He won USD$1 000, a laptop and a UNDP Business Development Support.

Mzingaye Tshabalala from Matabeleland North won a tablet and SNV Business Development Support.

The expo was meant to assist young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses as well as learn local and global market trends.

It ran under the theme: “Revitalising and Empowering Youth Business Across Value Chain”.

– @SikhulekelaniM1

Article Source: The Chronicle

Enjoyed this post? Share it!