• Local Cigar manufacturer launches the first local brand of hand-rolled cigars
  • The firm intends to expand its export market by entering the Russian and Belarusian markets
  • The company is presently enjoying favorable market acceptance in the region

Harare - Mosi Oa Tunya Cigars is the country's first homegrown brand of hand-rolled cigars. To develop a foothold in the upscale cigar market, Bongani Cigars, another recent entry from the region, will have to fight with the local firm.

Zimbabwe is the sixth-biggest tobacco producer in the world and the largest producer in Africa. The three types of tobacco that have traditionally been farmed in the nation are oriental, burley, and Virginia flue-cured. The flue-cured kind of tobacco, known for its flavor, makes up more than 95% of the tobacco grown in Zimbabwe.

In 2021 and 2022, respectively, Zimbabwe produced 211 and 212 million kilograms of tobacco. The nation expects to produce 300 million kilograms this year, most of which will be exported because domestic processing has remained so meager.

Zimbabwe is well known for its tobacco, primarily exported to China and Europe and utilized as a flavoring by cigarette manufacturers worldwide.

Shepherd Mafundikwa, the founder of Mosi Oa Tunya Cigars, hopes to change that with Mosi Oa Tunya, the country's first hand-rolled premium cigars. Since the brand is generating attention in foreign markets, local handmade cigar manufacturer Mosi Oa Tunya Cigars aims to increase its exports.

Shepherd Mafundikwa emphasized that the business intends to expand its export market by entering the Russian and Belarusian markets. The company currently has a customer base in Dubai and a distributor in the United Kingdom.

Mosi Oa Tunya cigars are presently enjoying favorable market acceptance in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), South Africa, and other neighbouring countries.

The company also works with different sports clubs, hotels, and liquor supplies to distribute its product to the local market in Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.

Elias Lopez is the head of production and training for the firm. The 52-year-old from the Dominican Republic has worked for cigar makers Arturo Fuente and Davidoff. Mosi Oa Tunya has one factory in Harare which employs a maximum of 13 employees at full capacity.

Mosi Oa Tunya cigars are naturally an African project which depends on local raw materials. 90% that comes in the cigars is local and only 10% which is the wrapper is imported.

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