Golden Hill Farmers Market
The logo for African Sister’s Produce contains silhouettes that are meant to represent Tsitsi and Iszai Mustseta, two sisters from a small village in Zimbabwe. The patterns and colors of the headdresses reflect their heritage and the fresh produce that they grow and sell. Working with the sisters and International Rescue Committee, a banner, table runner, two aprons, and chalkboard signs were made at minimal costs to fit the stand’s budget. The branding helped the sisters become a recognizable produce stand and compete with neighboring stands. The logo also helps with the sisters’ entrepreneurial mindset and drive to become a bigger company and eventually sell their local and soon-to-be-certified organic produce to local restaurants.
COMPASSION FOR AFRICAN VILLAGES is the long name of the North Park Thursday Farmers’ Market’s latest agricultural addition. Located in the city of San Diego, just a few miles from the market, the farm has produced tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, kale and other crops since 2007.
Compassion for African Villages was started in June of 2007 by Ms. Tsitsi Mutseta, then a full-time student at San Diego State University majoring in Public Health. At the time, Tsitsi (whose name means ‘compassion’ or ‘mercy’ in Shona, her native tongue) worked three jobs to raise money for orphans in her home village of Rundogo, Zimbabwe.
When Tsitsi left the village of Rundogo for the USA in 1999, her village was sustaining itself through subsistence agriculture, like many rural African villages. The village had been devastated by disease–HIV/AIDS, cholera, and malaria. The villagers had asked Tsitsi for help. She was the only one who had ever traveled to America.
Tsitsi worked three jobs, sending money to keep the orphans in school, to clothe them, to feed them, and even to buy them coffins. After 5 years, almost half of Rundogo had vanished, leaving no one between the ages of 18-40. All who are are orphans and the elderly who take care of them.
In 2007, tragedy struck closer to San Diego–Tsitsi was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. Ever courageous and hopeful, she decided to start the all volunteer, non-profit charitable organization Compassion for African Villages in order to educate others about the problems faced by impoverished villagers in Africa and to raise funds to help solve those problems.
Since then, Tsitsi and other members of the San Diego community have banded together to fight hard for Rundogo and other villages in Africa. A chapter of the organization was started at San Diego State University. The SDSU students work closely with other members of the community to raise awareness about poverty and social injustice in Africa, to raise money for relief efforts in African villages, and to support Tsitsi.
We welcome anyone willing to help us. There is always something to do for the orphans and villagers. We hope some day to become successful enough to spread our mission throughout Africa.