Shea butter has been used for centuries on the African continent and it was due to becoming an expectant mother, the brand Emi & Ben was born. My name is Ronke Oke and this is my story…
During 2007 I became pregnant and it was a few months into my pregnancy that I informed my grandmother who lived in Nigeria, I was to bless her with a great grandchild. She was delighted and immediately informed me that she wanted to prepare some gifts for me to use at home in the UK during my pregnancy and to use on my newborn baby. Amongst these gifts was a block of something which visually resembled wax and my mother confirmed the Yoruba name for it was ‘ori’; which when translated into English meant ‘Shea butter’.
She reminded me that she used the ori in its raw condition as a skin moisturiser when she was growing up in Nigeria as well as on my brother, sister and me; however it became difficult to continue using it as it wasn’t readily available in the UK. She again reminded me ori was and continues to be, a staple moisturising product in most home in West Africa.
Shea butter is most beneficial when used unrefined, as it naturally restores the skin’s natural elasticity. It also enables our skin to absorb moisture from the air, resulting skin to become softer and moisturised for longer and is believed to be the reason why many people living in West Africa have blemish free, beautiful soft skin. In addition, shea butter has natural sunscreen properties and anti inflammatory agents. It also contains vitamin A which can improve many skin conditions and is rich in vitamin E a natural preservative that lengthens the life of the butter against rancidity.
I started using the product on myself throughout my pregnancy and gave some to my sister to use on my newly born nephew.
First hand experience from using the ‘unrefined’ Shea butter, was enough of a green light for me to take my idea to the next level to launch my skin care range ‘Emi & Ben’, making it accessible to those who live outside of West Africa. And yes, if you hadn’t guessed already, the company is named after my daughter Emi and my nephew Ben.
Emi & Ben Body Butter has been developed for easy application; I hope you and your family enjoy using it.
"Thank you to all Prince's Trust staff members for your amazing support since I launched Emi & Ben in 2009. I am forever grateful for the support provided then and to the present day."