"Before the front door opened, we could already smell roasted peanuts – when we were welcomed inside, the air was thick with the delicious aroma. A peanut butter making machine was whirring away in a corner of the kitchen, making a smooth paste from the crunchy one that had been prepared earlier.
The jars piled up on the sideboard showed that this was a serious enterprise; Blessing Kanokanga makes peanut butter for a living and supports his family from the income he gets from selling this nutritious product. He buys the raw peanuts in the rural areas outside Harare, brings them back home to roast them using a gas burner in front of the house, and then processes them using the machine. As long as the power stays on, the machine stays on, and it will soon need replacing as it’s already more than 10 years old.
He sells the peanut butter in local shops and supermarkets, and also receives orders from the SOS Family Strengthening Programme (FSP) in Harare, who include it in food parcels given to families who are struggling to put enough food on the table. The SOS FSP has also helped Blessing to send his siblings to school and to increase the income from his small business; once they have helped him to replace the grinding machine then the family will ‘graduate’ from the programme as they can now manage for themselves.
The labels read ‘Kanokanga Peanut Butter’ but we do not realise how apt Blessing’s surname is until someone explains that Kanokanga means ‘the one who roasts’ in Shona, the local language. He is rightly proud of how he has managed to support his family so far, and who knows what this entrepreneur will go on to achieve in the future…"
Our Africa seeks to blow away the stereotypes about life in Africa. We gave camcorders to African children across the continent and asked them to capture their lives on film. The results were extraordinary!
We brought these films together to create a unique educational resource designed to bring UK schoolchildren closer to youngsters growing up in Africa. Find out more.