It's October 2014. I just touched down Accra and I'm touring East Legon with my friend Nana Kojo. We get out of the trotro and I'm beyond relieved to get some fresh air. This joy is quickly replaced with a sudden realization of just how unforgivable the sun is and I'm suddenly very thirsty.
The thirst I have is the kind that makes a non-soda drinker yearn for a very chilled bottle of coke on a hot summer day. Luckily, I'm in Ghana so coke is the last thing on my mind. My throat knows what it desires, I'm conscious of its abundance and I know that it's only a matter of minutes before I get my hands on one.
Within a few meters, we spot a coconut seller and make our way towards him.
This is before I met Joshua. Before I met Akooshi. Before I knew the potential coconut had in transforming our dining experience. Before I knew coconut could teach our children how to be financially intelligence while helping them appreciate art and the beauty of using eco-friendly goods.
I gulp down the coconut in less than 30 seconds and ask Kojo to snap this picture. It's my second coconut so I take my time, drink, and pose for the camera.
It is no news that Ghana, like almost every other African country, is notorious for flooding its market with low-quality goods. Some argue we do not have the purchasing power to afford the handmade goods we produce locally, others argue that cost of production is too high and the demand is simply not there.
In all these theories lies Akooshi, a brand leveraging one of the most abundant and untapped fruits in Ghana to bring us cups for our cold drinks and ice-creams, containers for our shea butter mixtures and money savers for our kids.
Prior to Akooshi, demand for coconut was limited to the young green coconuts. The only time we really used the older hard-shelled coconuts were when we needed it as a compliment to our boiled and roasted corns. This means thousands of old coconuts had not been tapped into because we simply did not know their potential.
One Akooshi bowl/container takes about three hours to make. The money savers take up to five hours to make. You first have to clean the coconut off all its meat, dry the shell, and sandpaper it until it's smooth. Then clean it up nicely (this is my watered down version of what goes on without giving too much away).
My greatest fascination with the Akooshi cups is how fresh they make my drinks and of course, my hairdresser is forever eyeing the beautiful Akooshi coconut container I keep my shea butter mixes in.
My favorite Akooshi product has got to be the money savers. Growing up, we had plastic money savers because the local alternative was simply embarrassing, to say the least. They were just plain plywood and nails put together with a hole for money. There was nothing remotely creative about them and the other ones we eventually settled for were plastic versions of the local ones but at least they came in different colors.
What I love about Akooshi is its knack for innovation. When I met Joshua a year ago, the team was making containers with plywood at the bottom, within a few months they had started making the cups.
Today, I cannot get enough of the money savers which carries not only knowledge of savings but exposes kids to the benefits of using eco-friendly goods and the joy of art. I cannot wait to share what’s in stores for Akooshi this year with you. In the meantime, you can get your very own Akooshi product at 15% off when you shop between now and February 20th. Click HERE to shop Akooshi, we look forward to hearing your Akooshi journey.
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