Rosehips in Lesotho

A Journey of Beauty and Empowerment

Arriving back home, in Lesotho, after a month of travel in the US, just reminds me to appreciate the beautiful place I call home. Visiting clients and suppliers can be exhausting but after a trip like this I feel even more excited and enthusiastic to share the wonderful gifts of nature we have in Africa. 

We arrived, just in time, to see the Rosehip harvest start. High in the mountains the hips have been ripening on the beautiful wild rose bushes. Mobilizing over 5000 people who are involved in the harvesting of Wild Roses, throughout the whole of the country is no small feat. Without these, dedicated woman, who rely on this income over the winter months, we could never be able to produce the high quality, hand harvested, Rosehip Seed oil which Lesotho have become renowned for.

Lesotho has had a glorious summer with hot days and summer showers, so the Rosehips have had plenty of time to grow as nature intended. For those who are not aware Rosehips were introduced into Lesotho, from Europe. Due to the high altitude and snowy (yes, that’s what I said, snow in Africa) conditions it’s found a home where it thrives. Often referred to as the Mountain Kingdom, Lesotho lies entirely above 3,281 ft in elevation making it the country in the world with the highest, lowest point. Whenever I tell people this, I usually must repeat it.

The population of Lesotho are only 2,2 million. As we have a small economy, we also have few job opportunities. Traditionally most families outside of the cities are subsistence farmers, growing corn, maize, and vegetable to support themselves. This is the perfect environment for organic growing methods as very few of these farmers can spend money on chemicals and pesticides. Good farming practices are essential. This is where the Rosehips grow wild on magnificent mountains slopes, under the African sun. Summer rainfall assures enough water to nourish the plants and fill springs and streams that wind through the mountains, cascading down into waterfalls creating the most magical landscape. As the Summer comes to an end you will find the mountains doted with ladies in their traditional attire, hand picking Rosehips. With their brightly colored, patterned dresses and grass hats for shielding them from the sun, they work and sing together. Being a winter crop, Rosehip comes at a time when there is little else available. I love that the Rosehip harvest gives the woman an opportunity to lead independent and empowered lives in their home environment. Keeping family units together and providing self-employment opportunities is a passion of mine.

I am privileged to live in an area where our company can make a significate impact in the lives of another woman. Being a purpose driven, businesswoman, it makes me happy to know that I am living my purpose through my everyday actions. I would love it if you could share your own stories of positive impact below in the comments. Not to be boastful, but to inspire each other. It’s not necessary to leave it to everyone else. Whatever you can do in your own community can have a far reaching, impact.

You might be wondering how a girl from a small town in Lesotho, Africa could possibly have dreamed up creating a luxury, clean beauty brand for the international market. Follow along as I share on The Founders Journey, my path to Rozuri, and the discovery of unique African botanicals, I love.

Catherine Nieuwoudt, Founder of Rozuri by Maya