You know when you go for an aperitif and munch on that half kilo of peanuts without shame? Here, the Zuba Wanki association takes care exactly of this: it produces and processes peanuts!

When we meet the women of the association, in fact, we jokingly call them Mesdames Cacahuètes.

Zoulahya is 24 years old and for 6 years she has been part of the Zuba Wanki association, benefiting from the training and support of the “Social enterprises and migrants participation for social inclusion in Burkina Faso” project co-financed by AICS and Maria Enrica Foundation. She says she is satisfied not only because she has learned so many things she did not know before, but also because she feels directed towards the right path.

Peanuts, she explains, are rich in zinc, which helps the immune system and the development of the fetus in pregnant women, and they also contain manganese and copper, which are used in the fight against free radicals and therefore keep us young!

For this reason, the Zuba Wanki association, which in the local bissa language means “we fight together against poverty“, has chosen to devote itself to this product, which is also very consumed and appreciated in the Central-Eastern region of the country.

The President of the association also participated, in 2016, in the international meeting of Terra Madre (Slow Food) in Turin, where she met the Italian association of Burkinabé migrants Song Taaba, which still supports Zuba Wanki through advice on associative life, promotional campaigns in Italy and financial support, also in the context of this project. In this sense, it has activated a fundraiser that you can find at the following address https://www.gofundme.com/f/donne-e-impresa-in-burkina-faso.

Bambara, the president of Song Taaba, remembers well the 2016 meeting with the president of Zuba Wanki and all that followed. Thanks to the project he returned a few months ago to Burkina Faso for two weeks during which he was able to work side by side with Zoulahya and Zuba Wanki to help organize the planned purchases and participate in training and exchange meetings.

Zoulayha, as is normal in this context of Burkina Faso, despite her young age is already used to taking care of her numerous family members, so she reveals to me a recipe that she cooks and which is very popular at her home. Obviously based on peanuts! Here it is below:


Ingredients: peanut paste and sorghum.

Preparation: pour the peanut paste into an aluminum dish and stir continuously in order to separate the oil from the rest. Set the oil aside and heat the remaining paste (called peanut torteaux) with a little water in a pot, stirring constantly. Meanwhile, boil the sorghum until completely cooked, in a separate pot. After 45 minutes, add the sorghum to the peanut mixture and cook for another 15 minutes. The Zonli will be ready to be served!

Zonli is an excellent dish but it is a bit long to prepare, in fact for Zoulayha there is nothing better than grilled peanuts, ready to munch quickly… et voilà, in a moment it’s an aperitif!

A deepening on Bambara, President of the Song Taaba association

Bambara lives in Naples where the Association gathers 40 members even if there are on average 80 people at the events they propose. In addition to supporting Zuba Wanki’s activities in Burkina Faso, Song Taaba deals with integrating migrants and supporting their paperwork.

Bambara knows Mani Tese well, last year he did an internship with Mani Tese Campania precisely to learn how to better manage voluntary associations like the one he directs.

Unfortunately at this time, due to COVID-19, some activities they had planned to raise funds for Zuba Wanki are blocked but they have many ideas in the drawer and as soon as they can they will propose them to their friends and supporters.

I ask Bambara if he knows Zonli: he replies no, but he is happy to know the recipe for this dish and to be able to let his Neapolitan friends taste it. It is not the only thing, he tells me, that he is learning from this experience of partnership and exchange with Zuba Wanki.

Below are two photos of Zoulahya in front of a Zuba Wanki facility and in front of the peanut plantation.


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