The ingredient is grown in the remote village of eDakeni in Mandeni, north of Kwa-Zulu Natal, where lies a community that has incorporated sustainable practices to increase the production of indigenous seedlings and medicinal plants.
eDakeni village has an exciting story to tell. The umhlonyane botanical has been a consistent source of income for this remote community that exists without infrastructure such as municipal water, roads, schools and primary healthcare facilities.
“The story of eDakeni is the one that really resonates with South Africans,” says James Shaw, marketing manager at Score Energy Drinks. “It is a place of hope and hardship, struggle and scenic beauty, and homegrown inventiveness. In partnership with Zuplex Botanicals, we have been able to bring to light the men and women who helped produce our newest flavour and variant.”
“As a rural economy catalyst, we aim to create opportunities for the community of eDakeni,” says Shaw. “As a proudly South African brand, we wanted to develop a new variant that consists of a truly authentic South African ingredient, while creating jobs and supporting a local community.”
Umhlonyane has also presented a new business venture to villagers in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape.
“The rich soil gives us life,” he continues. “We have found ways to ensure that we preserve indigenous seedlings and medicinal plants through our nursery project, where we propagate and plant back what we reap from our natural environment.”
According to Nzuza, the production of umhlonyane has given his community, which is mostly led by rural women, employment opportunities to feed their families. “Our farming methods ensure that we can secure income for our future generations,” says Nzuza. “Our community has made a choice to break bread together to overcome the obstacles that we face.
“Umhlonyane is the story of a community working together in unity in order to tackle our country’s economic challenges and obstacles,” says Shaw. “It speaks to Ubuntu and we are so proud of our collaboration with this inspiring community.”
Score Umhlonyane is available at leading online shops nationwide such as Takealot and major retail stores.