A craftswoman. A knitter. A farmer.
And a mother of six children.
Kong Mumtaz Suphai breaks all the stereotypes of being the bread winner and the caretaker of her family. She has persisted a lot when it comes to providing for her family and she believes that she is capable of doing just about everything so as long as she is capable to of sustaining her family.
Born and brought up in the hot and humid region of Diwon, Ri-Bhoi District of Meghalaya, Kong Mumtaz Suphai has been engaged in farming and handicrafts for more than a decade.
She is also our trusted Roselle farmer! But before we get to that let’s talk about her early beginnings, shall we?
Before she delved into providing Zizira with her famed Roselle, Kong Mumtaz was doing other activities in the hopes of providing enough for her family. Before she met Zizira, she was introduced to our sister company first, Muezart.
Muezart dabbles in the fast-growing market of Eri Silk yarn and products, and they so happened to meet Kong Mumtaz as it became known that the latter was also a knitter and weaver. In one of the interviews with one of our Sourcing Team members, Khraw, Kong Mumtaz mentioned that she had a very close connection with weaving, more specially bamboo handicraft.
She would try her hand at weaving the traditional Khasi mulas (short stools made of interweaved bamboos and sticks). Fortunately, at that point in time, the government had a training programme initiated to educate villagers about traditional bamboo handicraft in the hopes that it boosts the profession.
Unfortunately, this endeavour would prove to be a tedious one as it did not bring in much money as she thought it would. Simply because there was no demand for it.
Nevertheless, her association with Muezart did not end in disappointment as was still able to provide quality bamboo products that were very much essential for Muezart.
But Kong Mumtaz’s story doesn’t end here. Shortly after, she was introduced to Zizira- a company working towards releasing the potential of farmers and bringing their produce out to the forefront. And let me tell you, boy did she have quite an enormous untapped potential just waiting to be released!
Kong Mumtaz’s Journey
To sustain her family is one of the core reasons why Kong Mumtaz seeks to find any job which would bring sustainable income for her household.
Apart from engaging in occasional farming activities, Kong Mumtaz is also an avid knitter and sewer. In fact, she loves it so much that Kong Mumtaz she would often sell her end products in return for sum of money. But this only brought a decent amount of income and it wasn’t enough to sustain her family.
Who would have thought that a tangy and sour plant would be the blessing in disguise for Kong Mumtaz and her family?
Prior to working with Zizira, Kong Mumtaz had been growing Roselle solely for personal use and consumption. In one of the interviews with The Zizira Team, Kong Mumtaz mentioned that she used the plant only to add it to their cooked vegetable dishes or their chutneys or pickles. The faintest idea of its benefits and uses came as far as using it as a refreshing energy booster after a long ride. Little did she know that it would change her life for the better.
Roselle: A homegrown plant turned popular ingredient.
It wasn’t until the demand of Roselle blew up that Kong Mumtaz realized the potential of this amazing plant.
When Zizira started sourcing the Roselle from Kong Mumtaz in 2019, it brought about a huge change in the way she perceived this wonderful plant. It made her realize the potential which it had and how she could benefit from this transaction. Because this transaction was stable, this transaction was to bring about a fair and steady income for her family.
Fast forward to 2021 and Kong Mumtaz is still providing Zizira with the best Roselle she has to offer, and she plans on doing so for a long time.
Now that there is an ever-increasing market for the plant all across India and the world, it gives her a sense of pride and humility that she could be part of something bigger than she could have ever dreamt of.
Kong Mumtaz’s Roselle is now known throughout India. Isn’t that great?