The African continent is home to the magnificent Shea belt, which stretches across the middle from West to East Africa, spanning thousands of miles of lush green grassland. The Shea Belt is the name given to the equatorial regions across Africa where a certain species of tree, more accurately the Vitellaria tree, grows wild and in large numbers within the rural villages.
Uganda’s wondrous and little known tree, the Vitellaria Nilotica, grown wild and in abundance in Northern Uganda, yields a succulent and rich fruit which is enjoyed locally and is also dried to be processed into something that the world categorizes as 'Shea Butter'.
The only thing is, this is not really ‘Shea Butter’ as the consumers in Europe and the Americas know it. This Nilotic butter does not deserve to be categorized into Shea Butter category because of similarities in the tree species. The soil is different, the conditions are different. This tiny country with some of the richest tropical equatorial soil in the world has produced something so rich that many Ugandans have been consuming it for decades without really telling the world about it. It is, simply put, it is the best natural skincare cream known to woman. Ugandan women have the silkiest and most hydrated skin in the world despite living in a land locked country with relatively dry heat. We, as Ugandans, are now ready to share our secret with everyone. We cannot be greedy when we have enough fertile soil in Uganda to feed the entire European continent – Fact!
Almost all of the Shea Butter that makes its ways to New York and California, and into stores like Sephora, Macy's and L’Occitane, comes from the Vitellaria Paradoxa tree grown in West Africa along the Shea Belt.
East African Nilotic Fruit Butter hasn’t really made it out of Uganda. Maybe because of the civil unrest that hit the country in the 1980s when West African Shea Butter was on a cargo ship to the United States for the first time, maybe because it was so difficult to transport the butter from the Nilotic regions near Congo to the bigger cities with an international port, or maybe just because Ugandan Women were not yet ready to share it with the world!
Getting back to the magic of this magnificent tree, it grows wild and in huge numbers, having survived many wars and invasions, and now as it is surviving the industrial and technological revolutions the female villagers in the north remain fiercely loyal to it. The Vitellaria Nilotica tree grows about 10 to 15 meters in height, takes a lengthy 40 years to start bearing fruit on average. It has white flowers that cluster at the end of the shoots and the leaves a long wavy strip of bold, luminous green. Nuts are encased in berries, which fall to the ground, and are picked by local Nilotic women and their children. Unfortunately, the harvest season for Shea Fruit lasts only three months during the year, but the Nilotic Fruit Butter created from the Shea Fruit lasts for up to FOUR YEARS.
The women and children picking the Shea Fruits are the life and blood of our project and nothing is released to customers overseas without their knowledge and approval. They are also involved in various local women empowerment workshops and initiatives that we host with the sales of their beloved Fruit Butter.
Some opposition to the tree remains in the form of certain local village men who wish to cut down the miracle tree and make a quick buck from selling it into the charcoal marketplace. We are staunchly against this and therefore our ‘Threee’ initiative also includes planting one Vitellaria Nilotica tree for every product purchased by you. Along with this, your purchase plants a Moringa tree for added nutritional benefits in communities, a bamboo tree for more stable income for the rural women and 3 weeks of school fees for a disadvantaged child from Kampala in Uganda.
We encourage you to support Nilotic® and the THREEE environmental, educational and empowerment program and reap the rewards of the Secret Fruit Butter from Uganda in the process.
Up until now, the most popular exports out of East Africa have been the phrase ‘Hakuna Matata’ (Swahili for ‘No Worries’) from the film Lion King, and probably the surname Obama. This is all about to change as the Nilotic peoples of Uganda bring to you their Secret Fruit of the Nile.
Nilotic® Fruit Butter, or Kummara in the Nilotic language, is so smooth, fast absorbing, non-comedogenic and velvety, it’s about to create a lifetime of ‘Hakuna Matatas’ for your skin.