Monthly Archives: August 2013

Shea Communities in Northern Ghana

I have been meaning to post on here sooner about my trip to Ghana in June with the Global Shea Alliance (GSA). The Alliance is a non-profit organization that helps support rural women’s empowerment through the sale of shea.

Personally, I love shea and really had no idea what it was until about a year ago when I met Funlayo Alabi, the co-founder of Shea Radiance.  I now use shea almost everyday.  It’s used on skin, in hair care products, and in the manufacturing of chocolate.   Shea grows only in the African Savannah and is collected by rural women who then process it into butter.  It has incredible healing properties and has been used in rural communities in Africa for centuries. This June I was contracted by the GSA to create a series of educational videos about Shea. Here is a preview of one.


While in Ghana I also worked on a personal project of portrait images of the women while they collected the shea fruit. During the project I was based in Tamale and would wake up at 5am and travel to Kanfiehiyili or Naypala, small shea producing villages located right outside of Tamale. The women start collecting shea fruit very early in the morning. Inside the fruit is the nut that produces the butter.  Millions of women in shea producing nations in Africa try to make a living collecting and processing the nuts into butter.

Click here to view the series.
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Photographs from Northern Ghana during this years shea season.
 
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Think Tank Shape Shifter

During my last blog post about traveling to Nigeria I said I would write an update about the Think Tank Shape Shifter backpack which I used to carry all of my equipment and backup gear. Since then I have also traveled to Ghana with it and basically I love it. Its a great bag, very portable, and you can fit a lot of gear into it. However, the weight with everything I need in it just makes it a little painful to carry as a backpack for extended periods of time. I was thinking about finally getting one of the rolling camera bags that convert into a backpack and meet international carry-on size requirements. The Shape Shifter can then been used for small trips upon arrival. That or I will just suck it up and deal with it.

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