Local entrepreneurialism coupled with natural ingredients and domestic products is one of the leading wellness trends to emerge in Africa, according to research conducted by the GWI (Global Wellness Institute).
Other trends identified by the GWI include tapping into African heritage, rituals and ancient secrets; energy healing and traditional healers; African plant extracts for therapeutic and healing herbs; holistic self-care touchless treatments and products for mental wellness; and ‘Virtual everything is the new engagement’.
Another wellness trend on the African continent is community care and volunteering, as in ubuntu. Says Elaine Okeke Martin, president of the Spa & Wellness Association of Africa (SWAA). “As an organisation, SWAA has always promoted ubuntuism. We expect to see more support for communities and a deeper focus on the actual involvement of caring for those who need it. Volunteering and genuine care for others counteract the effects of stress, anger and anxiety. Helping others continues to boosts our overall psychological wellbeing, and we expect to see more of this.”
In terms of local entrepreneurialism, natural ingredients and local products, Emmy Stoltz, head of spa distribution at MatsiMela Home Spa, notes that since COVID, most people want to support small, local businesses, and this has led to a bigger focus on ingredients readily available in Africa, for Africa.
“We have always had an extremely abundant offering, and now, more than ever, it makes sense to tap into these,” continues Stoltz. “With borders closing and flights limited, the import of products as well as ingredients has become expensive, cumbersome and costly in terms of time.”
Nthabiseng Shongwe, operations & communications director for Spiral Aloe Health & Wellness, has seen an increase in the services of herbalists, naturalists (Nyangas) and traditional healers (Sangomas), offering support through their practices to individuals both in Africa and abroad. “Many ancient healing rituals are bringing people back to their roots and offering a sense of calm and wellbeing during this pandemic.”
The GWI concludes that online meditations, sound healing, self-massage for facials and stress release, and branded natural products that offer healing properties to reduce stress are trending all over the world, and Africa will be no exception.