- Year Selected: 2015
- Age at selection: 20
- Venture: Emerald Moringa Tea
- Country: Cameroon
- Sector: Health
Vanessa was born in a family of six. From the moment she took her first entrepreneurial project course, the idea of being a social entrepreneur became her main goal. Her interest is to be a social entrepreneur who will take into account positive return to society. This has motivated her to attend educational conferences and research programs based on her field of study that will add to her accreditation.
This has led her to start a project which manufactures and processes the Moringa plant into Moringa tea. Emerald Moringa Tea addresses the chronic increasing death rate of the Cameroonian population as a result of diabetes. According to her team’s research, about 15% of the Buea population within the ages 15 to 99 suffer from diabetes and up to 80% are not aware of their condition. Moringa tea is the natural solution. It is made by harvesting fresh leaves from the Moringa tree and drying them at low temperatures to preserve the vital nutrients that will be released into tea water. The tea boosts the body’s energy in a natural manner and reduces the risk of diabetes by lowering the sugar level in the human system.
In Molyko, a town in the Buea region, Vanessa and her team have succeeded in putting Emerald tea in over 40 offices and surveys administered have proven that there has been a 5% to 25% increase in tea drinking. She has trained 15 aged people on how to plant, cook and replant Moringa for animal life and afforestation. In the future, Emerald Moringa Tea wants to impact more lives by spreading the knowledge of how Moringa can be used.
Vanessa’s vision is to see the Buea community develop a tea drinking culture for a healthier and happier environment. The project will be successful when homes, offices, and shops have tea bags resulting in healthier lifestyles. In the long run, Vanessa hopes to recruit more people and expand in different geographical locations.
Being the first Cameroonian woman to be selected as an Anzisha Fellow, Vanessa has gotten increased media attention and interested investment. She has been featured on CNN, ThisisAfrica , Media 256, and Forbes,and was nominated for the Cameroonian Career Women Awards.
“The day I knew this was going to work is when I discovered that there is more availability of Moringa in Cameroon than there are areas of abject poverty.”- Vanessa Zommi