“In this interview, we discuss the Shea butter application in the cosmetics and beauty industry in Uganda and the future of the industry “
Besides being a renowned TV star in Uganda, Please give our audience a detailed biography of Betty Nassali
Hi everyone. Thank for having me today My name is Betty Nassali popularly known as Bettinah Tianah. Iam a Ugandan television personality, actress, model, and fashionista, known for hosting television programs like Youth Voice, Be My Date, and The Style Project. I also played a lead role (Rhona) in The Hostel television series. Iam also the founder of The BT Foundation a non profit organization and owner BT Beauty Uganda an all organic skin care brand.
Having created a huge personal brand in the fashion industry in Uganda, takes us through the journey of creating BT Beauty Uganda?
The whole idea of starting up this skin care brand sprung from my visit to Ghana back in 2019 where I met a good friend of mine who mentored me about the Shea butter industry. This was the start of it all. I gathered my thoughts once I got back to my home country and decided to take action. Matter of fact Shea butter in Ghana solved various skin issues of the Ghanaian people and I wanted the same for our people in Uganda
Among the many applications for Shea butter include, Food & Beverages, Personal care, Pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and beauty. Why did you choose to venture in the cosmetics and beauty organic Shea butter industry?
Well, the cosmetics and beauty industry in my view at the moment was a hidden treasure that needed to be exploited.Big brands produce non organic products where the cost of production is way too high, this can be seen through importation of some of the raw materials they use but looking at the Shea butter industry, it doesn’t necessarily require large capital sums to start up since the raw materials are readily available. Matter of fact I have always embraced and encouraged natural beauty from our God given resources hence venturing into the industry
Having been launched in the era of tech advancement and the social media boom, how has your brand been affected by the recent internet shutdown and the blocking of social media channels in Uganda?
Well, my marketing depreciated since my social media platforms that are our main tool of advertising. In general, it definitely cut our sales and communication too became almost impossible which also limited output for market sale
How have you managed to run your business or better still how have you been able to run marketing campaigns amidst these adverse challenges?
It has always been through my social media platforms and still is however with the internet shutdown I resorted to word of mouth mainly through my very own clients who recommended other friends to purchase our Shea butter products since our products really worked wonders on their skin issues. They themselves acted as my marketers.
Being an offspring of the global pandemic COVID-19 which caught the whole world by a storm, how was your business affected by the pandemic and what lessons have you learnt from this?
The pandemic made transportation of our Shea butter products difficult due to the serious lockdown on transportation means and curfew that restricted movement beyond certain times . In other words, the new normal became hard to adopt hence delaying supply of the products. What I learnt form this was that it’s very possible to operate ones business without having to supervise directly or reaching the premises to mention but a few
According to Market research future, the global Shea butter market is expected to register a CAGR of 5.40% to reach USD 1,048.2 million by 2026, what does this mean to you as a player in the industry and how can you take advantage of this?
This means that the Shea butter industry is a great earner just like other industries hence I can take advantage of this by manufacturing more Shea butter products other than the ones available for instance soaps, Shea perfumes among others to expand the income
Please kindly take us through the industrial process of creating the BT Beauty cosmetic Shea butter brand.
My very first trip to Ghana at the Shea butter museum, I was taught how to make Shea butter the right way, you can find this episode which aired on the NTV style project via YouTube.But briefly I can share with you some quick steps.
The first thing you have to do is Wait for wild Shea fruit to ripen then Collect wild fruit. You then extract kernel from fruit, Wash kernels, Dry kernels and sort for quality, Crush kernels. You then have to roast these crushed kernels, Mill these roasted kernels into paste, Add water to the paste and knead to emulsify oil. Boil the emulsified oil to eliminate water and sanitize, Strain the purified oil to separate it from the Shea residue.
Let oil cool and solidify and them finally Package. That’s it. Tedious, I know. Right? Hahahaha. But that’s a glimpse into the our process
Currently in Uganda the Shea tree is only grown in the Northern part of Uganda on a small scale compared to other Shea tree growing champions like Ghana, how is The BT Beauty brand planning to support Shea tree farmers in Uganda to increase the production of Shea nuts?
We are currently working on a visual project to sensitize the masses about the dangers of cutting Shea African tree for firewood which is very common in northern Uganda where the Shea African Tree grows. We believe this will create a great impact on education towards the benefits Shea farming and basically how it can change the lives of these farmers.
To our audience oblivious about the capabilities of Shea butter, please expound more on the benefits of using the organic Shea butter BT Beauty products
Shea butter has multiple skin benefits and capabilities such as helping with inflammation, good for those suffering with eczema and psoriasis, gives your skin a glow, softens skin and reduces appearance of stretch marks. It removes blemishes and moisturizes the skin Shea butter also helps with skin firming
Compared to the rest of the world, Africa still has the smallest Global Shea butter market share, in your opinion, what are the factors that limit Shea butter market growth in Africa?
In my opinion, I think this is mainly a sensitization problem. Many people don’t know about the benefits of Shea butter and this creates huge ignorance about this magical skin care product. Other reasons could be poor infrastructure such as roads that make transportation difficult of the Shea nuts (raw materials) and finished Shea butter products to the market. Unfavorable government policies such as increased taxes on production
What role does the Ugandan Government have to play to accelerate the growth of the shear butter industry in Uganda?
The government has a huge role to play for example putting in place loaning schemes to support Shea tree farmers. Giving directives to banks and microfinances to put low interest rates on loans to investors in the Shea butter industry. These are just a few among the many but the government needs to make this sector a priority in order for it to reach its potential.
With the cosmetic Shea butter sector on the rise, what does future of this sector look like in Uganda and Africa at large?
The future of this sector is bright. People are now aware of the good in using the Shea butter organic products since it serves in various ways Such as a food supplement, cosmetic, skin care and much more. Therefore the future is bright and full of potential
As we end our interview with you, please tell us how we can get your BT Beauty organic Shea butter products and give any last remarks to the Cue Africa audience?
Well, thanks for having me once again and to our amazing Cue Africa readers, our Shea butter organic products can be purchased mainly online through contacting us on whatsapp on +256701503382, our email firstname.lastname@example.org and on all social media platforms (BTbeautyUganda). To wrap this up, I’d like to close by urging each and everyone of us to embrace our melanin. Black is beauty and black is Gold. Let’s go natural. For God and my country