Social enterprise Black Mamba connects with small-scale farmers and makers within Eswatini (also known as eSwatini in the local language, Swazi) to create chili-based foods and fruit spreads using fresh ingredients. The producers often live within rural areas that are typically below the country’s poverty line. They work from their homesteads and supply produce to Black Mamba, which allows them to work from home and avoid migrating to larger urban areas. They include women and indigenous peoples, often between the age of 25 to 60. By working with Black Mamba, they reach a greater marketplace and have access to essential resources including regenerative, eco-conscious practices, finance training, health programs, and community development workshops. The producers also have training opportunities from Black Mamba’s partner NGO Guba, helping them grow the necessary skills to practice permaculture techniques and regenerative farming. This also improves their food security and health while growing more nutritious foods for themselves and their families.
Chilies generally grow well within Eswatini and serve as a high value crop. Chilies and herbs help the farmers earn a sustainable income while producing small volumes of product. To create the hot sauces and spreads, first, the ingredients are chopped, combined and cooked with additional ingredients including vinegar, herbs, lemon juice, spices, and water, and then blended at varying levels based on the desired texture. These are made in small batches, each of which takes approximately five hours to make. No chemicals, preservatives, or colorants are used.