Uburanga,or Beauty in English, has succeeded in becoming a sought-after brand in the Rwandan cosmetology market. The company has six product lines and 20 employees.
Its founder and director general, Cephas Nshimyumuremyi, said he started this business with $10.
Since 2012, Uburanga has 5,000 distributors across Rwanda. Today, the company’s value is estimated at $40,000.
We make sure that the products we manufacture are intended in particular for Africa and that they are natural.
“We call these products Uburanga or beauty in English because they are made from plants that can protect your beauty and keep it constant until death. We make sure that the products we manufacture are intended in particular for Africa and that they are natural. Other products containing chemicals predisposed to destroy the skin”, said Nshimyumuremyi.
Herbs and plants are dried, crushed and mixed with various substances.
Cosmetic products include lotions, soaps, shampoos and hand sanitisers.
Marie Mukamuhigwa started using Uburanga, after having difficulty finding a cure for her severe acne.
“I started using Uburanga products because I suffered from terrible acne and it used to make me feel uncomfortable. In 2012, Cephas gave me a soap to use as a trial and everybody used to laugh because the soap was black and had a strange shape, but it cleared the spots on my face. After that, I started using the lotion from his range of products which I also used on my daughter who had white patches on her scalp. I used the Uburanga castor oil to treat the white patches”, she said.
Nshimyumuremyi hopes to expand his product range to include toothpastes and hair products. He currently exports to DR Congo, Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
One bar of soap costs 50 cents and a large bottle of lotion goes for $1.