Ethnic hair care goes natural

first_imgJohannah Moriti has established the first cosmetic company in South Africa to manufacture natural chemical-free products that don’t alter the structure of ethnic hair. JOM Cosmetics became the first company to receive an EU Ecolabel of environmental excellence. Worldwide it is the only cosmetic brand that has achieved this. (Images: JOM Cosmetics) MEDIA CONTACTS • Johannah Moriti   JOM Cosmetics  +27 21 813 6701 RELATED ARTICLES • Cards celebrate SA’s languages • Entrepreneur builds internet empire • Meds on wheels for positive change • Elizabeth Arden’s new SA faceWilma den HartighJohannah Moriti has established the first cosmetic company in South Africa to manufacture natural chemical-free products that don’t alter the structure of ethnic hair.Her products are changing the cosmetic industry, for the first time offering women an alternative to harmful chemical-based hair products.“I want to show black women that their natural hair is a gift to be celebrated,” she says.And to think that it all started with Moriti’s frustration with bad hair days. What she thought was a throwaway dream has turned into an international success story.JOM Cosmetics has already achieved great success in South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Spain, with its ethic and caucasian product ranges.Recently it became the first company to receive an EU Ecolabel of environmental excellence. The certification is only awarded to products and services that meet high environmental standards throughout their life cycle, from raw material extraction to production, distribution and disposal.“This is a prestigious award,” she says. “Worldwide we are the only cosmetic brand that has achieved this.”Identifying a gap in the market“Over the years I tried every relaxant on the market but my hair just became increasingly unmanageable. This is what finally drove me to start experimenting with my own hair formulas,” Moriti tells.Moriti, who is trained in analytical chemistry, wanted to make a product that would work effectively, but as she did more research she realised the chemicals in relaxants strip and destroy the structure of black hair.“I realised I could use ingredients without after-effects. A lot of research worldwide shows that chemical relaxers are highly toxic,” she says.“I thought to myself, what’s wrong with curly hair?” – and this is how the idea was born. She dedicated her time to develop a formula with only natural ingredients that nourish natural curls, creating soft, healthy hair that is easy to grow, work with and style.But turning the idea into a viable business and product was Moriti’s biggest challenge.She was looking to introduce an entire new range of products – the first of its kind on the market – and she was competing with some of the biggest names in the cosmetic and hair care business.“Other big name companies have been formulating synthetic products for years and if they want to enter into the natural products market, they usually just buy out companies,” she says.Being a newcomer was scary and even though she knew that the natural products market was set for major growth, making a name in the industry was a daunting task.“When I started I realised the natural market was not big, but that it would grow as people become more health conscious and look for alternatives to synthetic products,” she says.Getting into the marketMoriti spent a year visiting hair salons in the Western Cape – up to ten a day – to introduce her product, pretending to be a sales rep to make sure the feedback she received was honest.“Everyone I demonstrated it on loved it, but distributing this way was never going to reach more than a relative handful,” she says.What she needed was a retailer who would take the product to the larger market.The Pick n Pay Foundation, through its small business initiative, recognised the product’s potential and introduced it to its stores nationally as well as in neighbouring countries. It also helped with expansion into Europe – JOM Cosmetics participated in a trade expo in Spain, where they won a sponsorship to set up an office there.When the range was launched in South Africa Moriti and her team were overwhelmed by the positive feedback.“The response we had was amazing. Most of our clients are people that have lost their hair because of excessive use of chemicals,” she says.The products are also safe for use on children and people who are prone to skin conditions such as eczema.Unexpected awardsMoriti’s vision of creating alternative hair care products has made it possible for more women to maintain natural hairstyles, and for this JOM Cosmetics won an award in the SMEs category of South Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government Awards for 2012.The awards recognise inspirational women achievers in business and government who are working for the benefit of South Africa and its future generations.Moriti never expected to win awards and make a name internationally.“When you start a business, you do it because you see a need, because it is your job and you are doing what you love.” The accolades have inspired her to achieve even more.last_img read more

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Innovation Prize for Africa recognises Lakheni

first_imgA South African initiative that uses group buying power to lower food prices for needy communities, using a mobile app, has been nominated for the continental prize.Lakheni founders Nokwethu Khojane and Lauren Drake. (Image: Lakheni)Sulaiman PhilipNokwethu Khojane and her business partner, Lauren Drake, saw a need and found a solution: their social enterprise, Lakheni, uses the buying power of whole communities to lower the price of staple food. It also provides a means for day care centres to generate income.A poverty tax is imposed on people who live a long way from grocery stores. The added cost of travel eats into money that poor families should spend on groceries. In response, Khojane and Drake founded Lakheni, a group buying club that combines orders from a community, and uses the buying power of the group to get better prices.“At the bottom of the pyramid, distribution is very inefficient because of the small amounts that individuals buy. But there’s value when you start aggregating that demand, because the numbers are there — they’re just fragmented,” Khojane told Fast Company magazine.How it worksLakheni takes bulk orders for staples such as maize, sugar and oil every month through local day care centres. Customers deposit their payments into a bank account that Lakheni uses to order in bulk from suppliers.The Lakheni model allows creches like Mzamo Educare to make extra money by administering group buying in their area. (Image: Lakheni)Orders are delivered to the day care centres, which earn a fee for processing the communities’ orders, or to spaza shops, which also benefit from Lakheni’s bulk ordering. Using the system saves customers about 30%, including the savings on transport.When they began, Khojane, Drake and the centres they signed up took orders using a pencil and notepad. Now they have developed a mobile app that can be used to take orders and handle payments.Innovation Prize for AfricaNokwethu’s innovation — using a mobile app to increase the buying power of families in poorer communities — earned her a nomination for the Innovation Prize for Africa. While Lakheni has concentrated on groceries, the prize money would help it to develop the app further. The partners are looking at ways to include financial services as well.For the past five years, the Africa Innovation Foundation (AIF) has supported African innovators through the Innovation Prize for Africa. This year, Khojane and the Lakheni app have been nominated alongside nine other African innovators.They were whittled down from 2,530 innovators in 48 African countries. Nominees include innovators from Zimbabwe, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Kenya. The nominated innovations show that Africa can drive its own growth and prosperity.Walter Fust, chairman of the AIF board, said: “Given the instrumental role African women play in transforming Africa, it is thrilling to see more women among the 10 nominees with game-changing innovations. By providing platforms to recognise innovation excellence in Africa and mobilising for African innovators, we continue to live up to our credo of engaging, inspiring and transforming.”Over the five years of its existence, the Innovation Prize for Africa has generated $22-million in investment to previous winners and nominees. Pauline Mujawarmariya, the competition director, said: “[The Innovation Prize for Africa] has been growing stronger each year and not only the number of applicants continues to increase, but the quality of applications too.”This was “a strong indication of the creative potential that exists in Africa”.Other shortlisted nomineesPeris Bosire, Kenya: FarmDriveThe Kenyan financial technology company developed a mobile app that collects data and provides an alternative risk assessment model for small farmers.Omolabake Adenle, Nigeria: Voice Recognition and Speech Synthesis Software for African LanguagesAdenle’s software understands and digitises spoken African languages, presenting them as a text. It allows Africans to interact more easily with hardware and call centres, using their local languages.Nzola Swasisa, Democratic Republic of Congo: LokoleLokole creates a shareable local network that makes it up to 1,000 times cheaper to access emails and social media by sharing the costs.Badr Idriss, Morocco: Atlan SpaceAtlan Space software is used to manage drones that are, for now, used to monitor illegal fishing and deep sea dumping off the coast of Africa.Aly El-Shafei, Egypt: Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated BearingThe patented Smart Electro-Mechanical Actuator Journal Integrated Bearing, or SEMAJIB, is an oil filled bearing that allows it to change characteristics as it operates. The SEMAJIB enables one bearing to be used across multiple systems.Dougbeh-Chris Nyan, Liberia: New Technology for Rapid Detection of Many Infections Using Only One TestNyan developed one simple test to detect seven different infections from one sample within 40 minutes. The diagnostic tool is simple to use and inexpensive to produce.Olanisun Olufemi Adewole, Nigeria: Sweat TB TestThe Sweat TB Test is a non-invasive rapid diagnostic skin test to detect tuberculosis. It is simple enough to use in rural areas where the largest number of new infections occur. It tests for specific markers in saliva and produces results within 10 minutes.Gift Gana, Zimbabwe: Dr. CADxDesigned for use in areas with poor internet connectivity and intermittent power, the Dr CADx is a software solution that helps doctors and healthcare workers read medical images more accurately.Philippa Ngaju Makobore, Uganda: Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion SetThe Electronically Controlled Gravity Feed Infusion Set, or ECGF, is a medical device designed to accurately administer intravenous fluids and drugs by controlling the rate of fluid flow based on feedback from a drop sensor.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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Running: The health mantra for Delhi

first_imgNaveen JindalDelhi is an intoxicating mix of traditional and modern blends and is ideal for anyone who is passionate about sports and fitness. In fact, the capital offers its residents everything they may need for a healthy life. The excellent infrastructure it provides is enough for us to be proud,Naveen JindalDelhi is an intoxicating mix of traditional and modern blends and is ideal for anyone who is passionate about sports and fitness. In fact, the capital offers its residents everything they may need for a healthy life. The excellent infrastructure it provides is enough for us to be proud of.Far removed from the glass and chrome cities world over, Delhi abounds in greenery and has parks and stadiums that are tailor-made for the fitness conscious. While exercise is a personal regimen, running in this city has taken on social proportions. The first time I ran in a marathon was three years ago; the energy of a thousand people running together was just amazing, and addictive. City marathons create a sense of belonging, a sense of ownership and responsibility. While maintaining the highest level of fitness is my primary aim, running the marathon is an unparalleled experience. The Delhi Marathon is always for a good cause and I love knowing that we are helping a cause by running as a community.Another event that I take pride in being part of is the Tiranga Run. To run holding the national flag high is a feeling every Indian should be able to boast of. I take a personal pride in this as it was when I moved a plea that the Court allowed every Indian national the right to fly the national flag.When I first ran the Delhi marathon three years ago, I found the energy of a thousand people running together amazing, and addictiv.Of course, running a marathon is serious exercise, and fitness is something every individual should take seriously. I personally have not been jogging outdoors regularly of late but this city has a plethora of excellent options for those who love running. Lodhi Gardens, Nehru Park, India Gate, professional stadiums and even private clubs, the capital offers some thing to anyone brimming with enthusiasm. Over the past few years, time constraints have meant that I work out mostly at home. But I always believe that a healthy body is the key to a positive mind and thus for me, a fitness regimen is a must. I am also a firm believer in the benefits of yoga and pranayam. Yoga is as much about the body as it is about the mind and I religiously practise my daily routine of yoga even when I am travelling.What is important is to have a healthy lifestyle and by that I mean early to bed and early to rise, exercise daily, and eat the right food at regular intervals, which helps maintain metabolism. If you eat unhealthy or junk food, then it becomes very difficult to burn out the calories. One has to be disciplined, always.advertisementThe best tracks in townSIRI FORT SPORTS COMPLEXKhel Gaon MargTrack: 1 kmSurface: Clay lawn surface for a smooth run. Clientele: Fitness fans. “This is a wonderful track, beautifully maintained by DDA. All that greenery makes you feel healthier.”-Muzaffar Iqbal, member, Indian hockey teamNEHRU PARKChanakyapuriTrack: 2.4 kmSurface: Soft non-metal surface easy on ligaments Clientele: The proximity to the Diplomatic Enclave says it all.LODHI GARDENLodhi RoadTrack: 2.5 kmSurface: Made of clay. The park even has a monkey bridge where runners can get a thorough workout. Clientele: This power park attracts the who’s who of Delhi, politicians, judges, industrialists et al.JAWAHARLAL NEHRU STADIUMOff Lodhi RoadTrack: Four lane, 400 mSurface: Synthetic track Clientele: State and national level athletes. “Delhi’s only two synthetic tracks for professional athletes can be found here.”-D. Sarkar, director (Sports), DDA.ROSE GARDENNear IITTrack: 750 mSurface: Soft mud track Clientele: Nature nuts and fitness freaks. “The best part about this park is that there are no irritating romantic couples lurking here.”-Capt. Deepanjali Bakshi, runner-mountaineer.last_img read more

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