Our Story -

Our Story

If asked to describe the influence the Zanzibari spice trade once had, we would have to quote the proverb:

When you play the flute in Zanzibar, all of Africa dances’…but also parts of Asia and the Middle East too.

While not much is known about Zanzibar, except it being a paradise destination for tourism (which it absolutely is), Zanzibar actually has one of the most diverse socio-cultural settings due to its long history of influence from traders, merchants and settlers.

Our Story -

Historically known as the ‘Spice Islands’, Zanzibar once had one of the most thriving trading ports in the world due to its high quality production of spices and subsequent global demand. However, this all changed in the aftermath of the 1964 revolution.

Since then, Zanzibar has consequently experienced a downward economic spiral with increasing poverty and political instability as the years pass by. Now it is one of the poorest nations, with hardly any economic activities beside gated luxury hotels, of which the locals barely reap any benefits from.

Due to the collapse of the economy, Zanzibaris have struggled to export their products which are now only sold locally at low undervalued prices. This has led to the demise of many spice farming traditions as well as a decrease in quality of life. 

So, how does Ujamaa relate to all this? With Ujamaa we want to connect smallhold farmers to a market in the West to ensure they are paid a fair price for ethically and sustainably sourced spices which are not only delicious, but also good for health due to their organic nature and anti-inflammatory properties.

Through our website, you will be able to fully trace your package back to the family that planted the seeds, tended to the trees and harvested the spices. Not only that, your purchase will enable us to reinvest our profits to help these communities

So, what makes us DIFFERENT?

Well, unlike the traditional, long supply chain, we work directly with trusted farmers and sell directly to you. This way we have complete transparency and control of our supply chain, benefiting both the farming communities and yourself!

who are we,
and why do we care?

My name is Jawahir [Ja-wa-hehr] 

I wear many hats and have many titles but the most important ones are: mother, storyteller, Zanzibari and founder of Ujamaa.

Simply put, my own interests in Ujamaa is to pick up that flute once again and hope that the dancing continues for Zanzibar but also… help you bring that extra oomph to all those dishes you’re going to make!

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