This week marks 7 years since our momee (grandmother) transitioned to be with the Lord, but I feel closer to her now more than ever.

Growing up, she told us stories of her farming her land. Born in New Jersey, but raised in Ghana for a few years at a young age, I didn’t really know what that meant. I’ve lived in the suburbs and city all my life. We knew momee had a green thumb because she had plants all around her house — inside and out. But it was her stories that brought to life the secrets held in those plants. And these 20 Zimbabwean women that brought plants to my life.

Visiting an insect farm at Chinoyi University Farms

She once  told us of a story about giving birth in the house and going back out to farm her land right after to prepare food for the family. As a mother of three, I can only imagine the strength she embodied.

It’s the same strength I witnessed earlier this month in the eyes of  20 Zimbabwean rural-based women farmers as part of a fully funded U.S. Embassy grant to run a program we proposed titled Advancing Women in Agriculture Through Technology.

20 women were selected out of more than 300 applicants to complete a program titled Advancing Women in Agriculture through Technology

With each conversation, each session taught on technology and business development, each dance and laughter as we shared stories of our families and businesses, I began to fully visualize all that my momee had been transferring to me since I was a child.

I never knew back then that I would launch a tech company and food manufacturing company focused on producing whole foods made from mushrooms, but perhaps momee did.

She taught me early on the importance of sourcing food, farm to table, and how it impacts lives around the world.

Honestly, when I arrived in Zimbabwe, I was excited but depleted. Between raising three children and navigating the growth at The VGC Group and scale at The Mushroom Angel, all while managing a married life, self-care and mental health, I didn’t have much to give.

But in this case, showing up was the giver. Sometimes in life, it takes just showing up, irrespective of how you feel. That is where the power to live lies.

Momee showed up for me and as a result I showed up for the women farmers turned agribusiness entrepreneurs so that they too can show up for their families and communities.

A special thank you to our partners for helping to bring this vision to reality: U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe, Strategically Positioning Lives in Technology (SPLiT), Women in Agriculture (WAU).

I am back home with a renewed sense of purpose and determination to break through to the next level of impact through the food productions of mushrooms.