The cooking and salad oil shelves in the supermarket can be confusing and downright intimidating. Extra virgin olive oil has become one of the oils that is highly recommended because of its health benefits, and how it assists in the prevention of illnesses.
Noting its benefits, Eastern Cape born Loyiso Manga made it his business, creating a boutique olive oil brand he calls Ubuntu Extra Virgin Olive Oil. “It was only when I started doing research on olive oil that I became attracted to it because of the health benefits.”
Business inspired by an elder
Manga spent his childhood in Erhini (in Makhanda, formerly known Grahamstown), in the Eastern Cape. He says that he came from a household where everyone, notably his grandmother, had an enthusiasm for farming, which sparked his interest in both farming and business while he was growing up.
Manga earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Helderberg College in Somerset West. Following that, he worked for numerous firms up to the point when his entrepreneurial spirit erupted, he says. This led him to establish his business.
“I was looking for a certain market in agriculture, so I went to a field and spoke with the farmer there. He told me about the olives he had. From that point on, I instantly connected with some of the health advantages olive oil offers, such as a decrease in high blood pressure. As a result, the Ubuntu brand was formed in 2019.”
Start your day with a spoonful
Olive oil has long been known as one of the healthier oils. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, some of its beneficial properties include its healthy, *monounsaturated fat content and its supply of *polyphenols, which are antioxidants that may prevent heart disease and stroke and lower blood pressure.
Manga tells Health For Mzansi that olive oil is beneficial for heart conditions, cancer, immune boosting, dry skin, and that drinking a spoonful of it on an empty stomach first thing in the morning is highly recommended.
He adds that olive oil is versatile, from salad dressings to hair food.
“Apply some extra virgin oil to your hair, particularly if your hair is damaged from hair styles or maybe damaged from hair treatments. Extra virgin olive oil repairs that.
“[You can] add it to salads, use it as a salad dressing, body lotion, hair food, and of course for baking, dipping, roasting, marinating and grilling. It can even function as a substitute for butter in bread,” he says.
“I use some of it when I take a bath, and I also use it as my body lotion. As a result, my skin is silky smooth and it has a healthy sheen.”
Keep this in mind
“The fact that extra virgin olive oil is completely unfiltered is something that everyone should be aware of. As a result, it is essential that it be kept in a dry and cold location; failure to do so may result in the flavour, fragrance, and consistency of your olive oil deteriorating,” he says.
Price is a critical factor when choosing an olive oil for your kitchen, and, like wine, what you pay for is what you get.
“Another thing is that extra olive oil; as much as it is costly, a 500 ml bottle may be enough for two people for the whole month.”
Manga says that he is focusing hard on acquiring funding to achieve his vision. It’s just a matter of time until Ubuntu Extra Virgin Olive Oil makes its way onto the shelves of major supermarket chains.
Health For Mzansi: Words of the day
*Monounsaturated fat: Monounsaturated fats are simply fat molecules that have one unsaturated carbon bond in the molecule, this is also called a double bond.