MTN Heroes of Change: Ayisha Fuseini empowers shea butter processers

It is the fourth week since the new season of the MTN Heroes of Change programme hit television screens. So far three selfless Ghanaians have had their stories told to wide acclaim.

The airing dates and channels include TV3 on Saturdays at 4pm, Adom TV on Saturdays at 7:30pm and UTV on Sundays at 3pm.

After more than two months of the opening of nominations, the fourth season of the programme received over 1,000 nominations. The three-member judging panel: Albert Ocran, an international motivational speaker and author; Dr Doris Yaa Dartey, a Communications Consultant and Columnist; and Sydney Caseley-Hayford, a Business and Financial Analysts and Columnist, then trimmed the numbers to 10.

The stories of the top 10 finalists have been filmed and will be featured in a 13-week television show after which an awards night will be held to announce winners.

Under the umbrella of the MTN Ghana Foundation, which recently launched a series of activities to mark its 10th anniversary, the Heroes of Change project has come to define the celebration of heroic Ghanaians, whose efforts are making substantial contributions in their communities.

The 2017/18 season also introduced two new categories to reward media personalities, media houses, musicians, actors and sports personalities who run campaigns that benefit their community. Each winner of the newly-added categories would receive a plaque and a certificate, as well as monetary award that would be invested in a Corporate Social Responsibility of their choice.

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The nominee: Ayisha Fuseini

This week, it is the turn of Ayisah Fuseini, a 32 year old business entrepreneur from Surogu in the Northern Region who is into shea butter processing. Her business is called Asheba Enterprise.

  • What is your motivation?

I grew up in the community where making and selling of shea butter was the business for the women. My mother was into it too. They worked so hard for nothing. Women were not respected because, to even buy hair cream, the men are the ones they turn to. I wanted to empower women in the community and help eradicate the poverty amongst them.

  • Explain your project

I constructed the processing center to help reduce the man power being put into the making of the butter and also reduce the time being put into it. I sometimes buy the nuts for the women and they do the processing or I buy the shea butter already prepared from them. After the butter has been prepared it is packaged and exported.  Currently, I started adding value by making cream out of the butter.

  • How do you fund the project?

Funds from “Campaign For Female Education” under the “Enovation Bursary Project” (IBP) – (2012); Engine Ghana also supported the project – (2014); “Youth Enterprise Support” also supported in -(2015) and self financed.

  • How much impact has your project had?
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The center is the biggest achievement which currently supports over 600 women from 10 different communities who come there to sell to us their products. I give them a ready market.

  • What are your major achievements?

Women are now economically independent (which was my main aim). They have a job which brings a good income and sometimes even support their individual families. Women are no more a burden but are respected now.

  • What challenges have you faced

Finance to expand the processing center and even open other centers in the other communities.

  • Do you have any plans for the future?

My whole plan is to eliminate poverty and give the children of Namoo and beyond the best education they can ever have.

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