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Go on, give some 'botho'.

'Mma Ramotswe had a detective agency in Africa, at the foot of Kgale Hill. These were its assets; a tiny white van, two desks, two chairs, a telephone and an old typewriter. Then there was a teapot, in which Mma Ramotswe--the only lady private detective in Botswana--brewed redbush tea. And three mugs--one for herself, one for her secretary, and one for the client. What else does a detective agency really need?'

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency

At Redbush Tea we have the exclusive UK rights to our grade of rooibos tea, and as such you will not find anything to compare to its excellent aroma, full and rounded flavour and outstanding brewing properties. No wonder then that we are the tea of choice of Mma Ramotswe and her No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency, the only ladies' detective agency in Botswana.

Still produced in the same way as it has always been; Redbush is harvested by hand, and laid in piles over vast yards overnight to ferment. When the sun rises the next day over the Cederberg Mountains, the wet leaves are spread out in a thin layer across the yards to dry before being taken for pasteurisation and grading. The fact that rooibos is the only herbal tea that is produced in this time honoured way is something of which we feel Mma Ramotswe would highly approve. It is this natural purity and adherence to tradition combined with its quintessential 'Africanness' that makes Redbush a daily part of Mma Ramotswe's life. She embodies all these things herself, so it is only natural that she should seek solace, inspiration, energy and comfort in a hot mug of redbush tea, when after all it has offered all these things to so many people for such a very long time.

One of the most endearing qualities of Mma Ramotswe is that without exception she shows everyone complete respect. Apart from this being just plain good manners we should not be surprised to know this ethical code which she so wholly embraces is central to Botswana society. Known as 'botho' in her native Setswana, it is an example of mutual respect, responsibility and accountability that a family and community have towards each other.

Showing your parents, children and colleagues 'botho' is therefore considered a matter of the utmost importance and at the seat of a good Batswanian.

Respect can be extended to everything around us; we respect the environment in the production of rooibos and also our bodies by drinking this delicious and reputedly healthy tea. You are also showing respect for the tribes who many centuries ago first used rooibos as a medicine. Each year The Redbush Tea Company gives a percentage of their profits to support the indigenous peoples of the Kalahari (www.kalaharipeoples.org) to assist in their Village Schools Project. Just last year we teamed up with BP Solar and Sony to purchase a comprehensive IT kit to help them preserve their history and culture through their national curriculum. We have worked directly with the San through the important medium of education which is crucial in a society that traditionally places such a high value on teaching and the family unit. This belief is roundly reflected throughout the No.1 Ladies' series with the support that is shown to the local orphanage and the value set at achieving excellence at the Botswana Secretarial College, as well as the irrefutable opinions of its central character, Mma Ramotswe. So remember to say thank you, or 'Ke itumetse thata'* when someone buys you a box of our delicious Redbush Tea, as you are not only respecting the environment but also an endangered and remarkably beautiful race of people.

'This was what it meant to live in Botswana, when the rest of the world might work itself into a frenzy of activity, one might sit, in the space before a house with ochre walls, a mug of bush tea in one's hand, and talk about the very small things; headmen in wells, goals and jealousy.'

Full Cupboard of Life

Go on, give some 'botho' with a mug of the finest Redbush Tea.

* Thank you Setswana, the language of Mma Ramotswe.
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Title Annotation:respect is Botswana
Publication:Geographical
Article Type:Advertisement
Date:Mar 1, 2005
Words:697
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