Nguni Juices: a winning local mix

first_imgCreator of Nguni Juices Norman Mpedi in his factory. Workers collect fruit in the veld for processing. The umviyo fruit is rich in vitamin C and fibre. (Images: Norman Mpedi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Norman Mpedi +27 82 267 3053 umviyo@yahoo.co.ukRELATED ARTICLES • Paying it forward with goat farming • Teaching people to work with nature • South African wine farms invest in biodiversity • SA’s burgeoning berry industry Emily van RijswijckThanks to canny survival skills learnt in the bush, former Umkhonto we Sizwe soldier Norman Mpedi has made a drastic career change and launched successful organic juice manufacturing operation Nguni Juices, using wild indigenous fruit harvested in Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.It all started when Mpedi could not find work in the South African National Defence Force following the disbanding of Umkhonto we Sizwe. At this stage he often used to think back to times when he and his fellow comrades survived solely on what was available in the Angolan bush. Sometimes this only amounted to edible wild fruits growing in abundance.He recalls: “We ate this fruit, the umviyo, sometimes for up to three weeks at a time and we survived.”Untapped potentialUmviyo is the isiZulu name for the wild medlar or Vangueria infausta, a wild fruit similar to the better-known marula (Sclerocarya caffra) or Mnguni in isiZulu. Nutritionally, it’s as rich in vitamin C and natural fibre as the latter.In juice form it is an almost unrivalled high-energy natural supplement. Knowing this, Mpedi knew there was untapped potential in this source and started to investigate it further.“No-one had this idea before,” he says.This was back in 2003 and Mpedi began tackling the challenges of researching various indigenous fruits and their potential for juicing, and finding financial assistance for his start-up venture. He also had to register his product and patent his juice with the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office.With the help of specialists in the field from the University of Johannesburg and Pretoria, his final product was tested for nutritional quality and taste, and finally given the thumbs-up.“All my products are organic and completely free of chemicals,” says proud Mpedi. His products are currently only available at selected tourist and health shops, at some fruit and vegetable outlets and certain petrol stations.Mpedi is still looking for additional capital to fund expansion.RecognitionIn the meantime, his efforts have not gone unnoticed. In February 2011 Mpedi got a personal mention in Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s annual budget speech.Gordhan related how Mpedi, Mlondolozi Kosi – with his ICT training centre in Willowvale in the Eastern Cape, and Antonio Pooe – with Exactech Fraud Solutions in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban – are small business operators setting an inspiring example for others.“Small businesses are an important source of jobs. Businesses that employ fewer than 50 workers account for 68% of private sector employment,” Gordhan said at the time.Mpedi employs about 12 workers at his factory in Mokopane in Limpopo. As the fruit ripen in summer, his busiest times are from January until March when he employs additional local people to help with harvesting.In 2007 he was a finalist in the small companies category of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Technology Awards, and in 2008 he was recognised by the Industrial Development Corporation for his research on indigenous foods.In the new year Mpedi hopes to branch out into other products, such as alcoholic ciders from the same fruit.In addition to umviyo, he harvests monkey oranges and a plant known as utshwala benyoni, also known as white birds brandy, because when birds eat it they “become very noisy and lively”, Mpedi says.This plant is used as a natural enhancer in the fruit juice as it has a minty flavour.“Next year my business will grow even more, for sure,” he adds.last_img read more

Brand South Africa’s South African Competitiveness Forum and the Pan-African University Dialogue overview with Dr Kobby Mensah

first_imgBrand South Africa and the University of South Africa (UNISA) successfully partnered to host the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF) and the Pan-African University Dialogue in a two-day programme on the 11th -12th September 2018 and wrapping up the South African visit with a day-tour in and around Johannesburg and Soweto on the 13th September 2018.The conference brought together academics, and industry representatives from South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria to provide expert input on key issues that impact the competitiveness and reputation of the Pan-African brand. Additionally, to collaborate on finding a way forward in the Pan-African Marketing and Nation Brand research in the era of the Continental Free Trade Area.Further to this, it was important to determine inclusive solutions to the future of education in Pan-African brand marketing for students and educators across the continent.Dr Kobby Mensah from the University of Ghana Business School, a lecturer in the fields of tourism and marketing and one of the panellist at the dialogue, unpacks the two-day programme and his contribution to the dialogue.In a one-on-one conversation, Dr Mensah shared his key highlights on the dialogue, “There is a need for us to collaborate on a number of things, especially as academics, sharing of ideas in areas of study and collaborative research on the identity of Africa, Pan-Africa brand identity. To have a homogenous approach to building and maintaining Pan-African brand identity.”Dr Mensah’s presentation took on the topic of Pan-African identity and some of the ideas he reflected in the presentation was that “As Africa, we are suffering from the problem of autonomous sources of information – news, documentaries and textbooks which do not reflect the truth of who we are. We need to take charge, especially in technology to promote positivity about our countries and the Pan-African identity”As a lecturer he makes sure to challenge his students to advance in digital tourism were they share pictures of their communities, where they blog about their beautiful hidden gems, to influence the African narrative and change perception.When asked about the possibility of a future for a Pan-African brand. Yes, he said; “I definitely see the future and there must be clarity as to what it is we want in terms of a Pan-African Brand. How do we develop a brand that can be accessed within the African space and be able to push into the world?”Dr Mensah was amazed by the information shared by other colleagues and presentations it was “refreshing to see and hear”. This reaffirmed the imperative need for collaborative efforts and changing the principal learnings of what Nation brand is for a country and Pan-Africa.Rounding off the intensive yet informative dialogues, delegates were treated to a tour in and around Johannesburg and lunch served in the popular Lebo’s Backpackers.Dr Mensah encourages Africans to travel their continent and with Ghana, “travellers will be enthralled by the cultural diversity, and the colourfulness of the Ghanaian people and their kente garments”.last_img read more

Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission: Special meeting notice

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Notice is now given that a special meeting of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission will be held on Aug. 30, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Auditorium, Bromfield Building, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, Ohio, for the following purpose:The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission, Western Lake Erie Basin Watershed In Distress task-force/subcommittee will meet to evaluate the recommendation for declaring eight watersheds within the Western Lake Erie Basin as watersheds in distress.The Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission is a seven-member commission which ensures Ohio counties are served by effectively administered and adequately supported soil and water conservation districts.The meeting is open to the public.last_img read more

4 hurt in minor blast in Guwahati; ULFA claims responsibility

first_imgThe outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I) detonated a low-intensity bomb in Guwahati on Saturday to make an ‘explosive statement’ against the Centre’s bid to pass the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.Four people, including a woman, were injured in the blast ahead of the five-day Durga Puja festival from Monday and the first ODI cricket match between India and West Indies scheduled on October 21.The police downplayed the blast on the Brahmaputra riverbank along the city’s arterial Mahatma Gandhi Road close to Fancy Bazaar, a Durga Puja shopping destination. They said there was no evidence that a bomb caused the blast that damaged some vehicles and injured the four people riding them.Assam’s Additional Director General of Police (Special Branch) Pallab Bhattacharya had a week ago warned of a bid by Islamist organisations such as Hizb-ul-Mujahideen to strike during the festive season. The theory gained currency after the arrest of eight alleged members of the group from Assam and Meghalaya during the last fortnight.Message for DelhiBut the ULFA-I claimed responsibility soon after the blast. “Our members carried out the explosion to protest the occupational Indian government’s attempt to settle Bengali immigrants in Assam through the Citizenship Bill. The attack is also against the conspiracy to derail the National Register of Citizens (NRC),” the extremist outfit’s military chief Paresh Baruah said in a statement from somewhere on the Myanmar-China border.He warned of more such strikes, some of higher intensity, in the days to come.Kuladhar Saikia, the State’s Director General of Police, said an investigation would confirm if the extremists had indeed triggered the blast. “We are trying to find out the nature of the explosives, and since the rebels have owned up, whether they triggered it themselves or outsourced the job to others,” he said.The police have not ruled out an “opportunistic claim” by the ULFA-I. But the blast has happened when organisations batting for indigenous communities and settlers perceived as ‘outsiders’ have taken an opposing stand on the Citizenship Bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014.Many Assamese organisations fear that Citizenship Bill if passed, would legalise the stay of ‘Hindu Bangladeshis’ in Assam and turn them into a minority. The fear that the bill would be passed during the winter session of the Parliament became stronger after the State BJP endorsed the bill at its State executive meeting in Majuli on Thursday.Bengali conclaveA coordination body of 27 Bengali organisations has, meanwhile, decided to organise a conclave in Guwahati on November 17.“The conclave is not about confrontation but about exploring ways to remove the wedge that some forces have driven between the Assamese and Bengali communities. We are the Bengalis of Assam, unlike Bengalis elsewhere, but we could not speak out that we are part and parcel of the greater Assamese society,” BJP legislator Shiladitya Dev said.He is the coordinator of Citizens’ Rights Protection Forum-Assam, which is organising the conclave.“Assamese is not just a language but an identity. Through the conclave, we want to give the message for a joint fight against external aggressors towards securing the future of Assam,” Mr Dev said. EOMA blast in the Sukleswar Ghat area here on Saturday left four persons injured. The banned militant outfit United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) Independent has claimed responsibility saying the blast was in protest against the updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Kuladhar Saikia said, “An explosive device caused the blast” at around 11.45 a.m. at a construction material dump site near a footpath in the Pan Bazar area. The four passers-by, including a woman, suffered minor wounds and were being provided medical care at the Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Civil Hospital, he said.“There are many types of explosive devices…some have switches. Only after investigation, it will be known if any militant outfit was involved in the explosion,” Mr Saikia told reporters.ULFA (Independent) commander-in-chief Paresh Baruah later called up local TV channels claiming that the blast was carried out by the outfit protesting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and NRC updation exercise. He alleged that the NRC will be used to settle non-Assamese people in the state.The DGP said security has already been stepped up for the on-going the festival season.‘Not a bomb’Earlier, DCP Ranjan Bhuyan said, “We don’t suspect it to be a bomb explosion as there were no splinters found and the injuries were caused by stones hitting the victims…We don’t suspect it to be a sabotage or terrorist activity from the nature of the blast. It happened in a dump of sand kept for roadside drain construction. It may have had an unexploded shell which went off,” he said.“A forensic team is investigating the impact of the blast and assessing whether it was an explosive device or anything else that caused it,” Education Minister and Guwahati MLA Siddhartha Bhattacharya said.On being told that Paresh Baruah had claimed responsibility, Mr. Bhattacharya said the outlawed organisation should first apologise to the people for the act.last_img read more

10 days agoGiroud ‘pumped up’ for Chelsea return

first_imgGiroud ‘pumped up’ for Chelsea returnby Freddie Taylor10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveOlivier Giroud says he will return to Chelsea “pumped up” after starring for France this week. The 33-year-old striker scored in both of France’s matches against Iceland and Turkey.With a fight on his hands for playing time at Stamford Bridge, Giroud is determined to continue his stellar international form.He said: “[Lampard] will almost certainly watch the matches. In any case, I am going back to Chelsea pumped up.”For different reasons, I have played little since the last national team break. Of course it feels good to make the difference.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

9 days agoMan Utd crock Pogba struggling for visit of Liverpool

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd crock Pogba struggling for visit of Liverpoolby Paul Vegas9 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United midfielder Paul Pogba remains a doubt for the visit of Liverpool on Sunday.The Manchester Evening News says Pogba has still not returned to the club’s Carrington training complex, having spent over a week in Dubai during the international break for some warm weather training.Pogba, 26, has missed four of United’s last six games with an ankle injury and flew to Dubai with a protective boot on, and United sources are pessimistic about the possibility of him recovering for the Liverpool game on Sunday.United are hopeful Anthony Martial will be fit to start for the first time since he suffered a thigh injury in the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on August 24. last_img read more

Shes Gotta Have It Lyriq Bent Cast As A Male Lead In

first_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter Facebook Advertisement Advertisementcenter_img Rookie Blue alum Lyriq Bent has been cast as male leads opposite DeWanda Wise in Spike Lee’s 10-episode Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It, a contemporary update of Lee’s groundbreaking 1986 indie film.The series centers on Darling (Wise), a Brooklyn-based a sexually liberated, free spirited painter/mixed media artist in her late 20s struggling to define herself and divide her time amongst her friends, her job and her three lovers, played by Bent, Cleo Anthony and Anthony Ramos. Login/Register With: Advertisementlast_img read more

Moroccos FM sees positive prospects in Middle East peace process

first_imgParis- Morocco’s minister of foreign affair and cooperation, Salaheddine Mezouar, saw on Sunday positive prospects to reach an agreement on various aspects in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.The official who took part in a meeting of the Arab League’s follow-up committee of the Arab peace initiative, held in Paris in the presence of US Secretary of state John Kerry, Mezouar told MAP “convergences of viewpoints between various parties are starting to appear”, stressing that the Arab side requested during the meeting explanations on some points.He added that John Kerry has brought “concrete answers”, noting that there one or two items that need to be deepened. Mezouar was upbeat that a final solution will be reached in the coming weeks, stressing that “the Arab side has supported the US peace initiative and commended efforts by Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas “.last_img read more