Having decided to establish this part of my journey, I then had to find a name. That is when memories of my early childhood came flooding back. I was born and raised in Mochudi, Botswana with the help of an incredibly nurturing grandmother Ntuka, my guardian angel, pictured above with my daughter Jamie in 2008, seven months before her sad and unexpected death.
Just in case you are wondering why?
Being brought up by your grandparents was a pretty normal thing when I was growing up. My parents were working in the city, not too far away in today's standards but far enough then so naturally it was my grandmother who would become my primary carer. I had a pretty normal childhood in a very big rural village in terms of space but very small in regard to the population at that time.
Things have since moved on as they do. Life then was very much a natural affair. Being brought up on a staple diet of sorghum meals and dried bean leaves pretty much all year round. My grandmother grew all that stuff and much more herself during the rainy farming seasons.
During the summer there was plenty to eat. Foraged greens, marula fruit known as morula in Botswana, that goes crazy during the summer as it is everywhere. Wild figs, ximenia fruit. fresh wild dates and much more including the nuts of the dry morula seeds.
Marula, Ximenia and Moringa oils are now being widely used for their therapeutic benefits in the skincare industry and I am pretty certain that they will become common features in Ntuka's future blends.
The summer was a great time for us children but it came with all sorts of trouble. There was a catalogue of injuries from roaming around bare feet and getting cut by thorny bushes, falling off trees, getting stung by all sorts while poking our heads through bushes and branches in the search for goodies and the list goes on.
Anyhow, memories of what I viewed to be my grandmother's peculiar herbal essences in little black bottles, resembling those of essential oils, her yucky somehow bitter and somehow sour salts and her strange, wild foraged slimy aloe vera plants, to treat our little ravaged bodies came flooding back and it was then that I realised that I had found the perfect name for my little venture.
Ntuka, it would be named. After the very special and exceptional woman who taught me how to live a harmonious life with nature as an ally. This is my way of honouring her and keeping her loving spirit alive and hope that she continues to be my guardian angel! The world can be a rough place and I need all the help that I can get.
May she nurture us all with her loving spirit found in all of the Ntuka products!!