16 August 2016
It is a spiritual tree of love, unity, life, sacred, special. These are just some of the definitions Youssouf Farafina has given of the shea tree in the workshop imparted this afternoon at the African Village to explain the multiple uses of the fruit of this precious specimen that grows in the savannahs of West Africa, which does not start giving its first crops until 30 or 40 years.
He has brought to the workshop some shea prepared by women from Senegal. A slippery product with an appearance similar to butter (the shea tree is also called ‘the butter tree’) with healing properties (it is great for healing scars) and can be used both in the kitchen or cosmetics, among many others uses. It is a natural moisturizer for both skin and hair, which transformed into vegetable butter can be used as an ingredient in pastry-making, also good as sunscreen, lubricant and so on. Many attributes that make the shea, whose production is in full in the hands of women, become a precious fruit inside but also outside Africa. In fact, Youssouf has pointed out that it is the third most exported product in the continent, behind minerals and cotton.