"IF YOU WANT TO GO FAST, GO ALONE. IF YOU WANT TO GO FAR, GO TOGETHER."
HOW DID IT START?
The story of Tunteya Shea Butter started in 2015. That’s when I first met the locals in Ghana while doing ethnographic research on polygamy in Northern Ghana. Since the name Katja doesn’t mean much in Ghana, the locals whom I stayed with gave me a local name – Tunteya.
I have been staying with families in different villages for half a year. I observed, I was writing a field diary, conducting interviews, and debating with men, children, village chiefs, but especially with women from the families I stayed with. They took me for their own, and we got even closer after I made a short ethnographic film about the process of making shea butter for study purposes. Women were shy in front of the lens, but proud to be filmed during such important work. After a few days of filming, the women start giving me the initiative for collaboration. The shea butter collaboration. Tunteya collaboration.
After that, I bought some stunningly fragrant shea butter for myself, for family and friends. Everybody was excited. After coming home, the idea of setting up a women’s cooperative in a small village in northern Ghana based on the principle of fair trade began to develop. Since 2018, we have been associated with the Ghanaian company Right Shea, as we advocate the same views on the sustainable production and supply chain of shea butter. Today, we are cooperating with two women's cooperatives near the town of Tamale and we want to jointly present and offer the Slovenian and European market handmade, high quality, raw, unrefined and certified shea butter under the Tunteya brand.
Personal contact, knowledge of the entire manufacturing process, natural ingredients, high quality, consideration of the cultural and traditional context and operation on the principle of fair trade are the main features of our company and products.
Making shea butter is an exclusively female job.
For most, this is the only source of income.
It is a woman's gold from Africa.