Theophile will meet you in Musanze town (or Red Rocks Campground), then take you to his workshop, located near his home, about 10 minutes outside of town. He'll take you on a walk through the gardens and show you the plants used in traditional healing and explain the diseases they cure. He'll also show you how the plants are cultivated and processed to make the desired treatment. Traditional plants include natives such as umuravumba, kimbazi, and umubilizi, and non-natives such as lemon-grass, eucalyptus, mint, and many more. Theophile uses nearly 145 species of plants in traditional healing practices.
He'll also show you how herbs, seeds, roots, and essential oils are prepared for use in traditional healing, and how local resources are used to process and administer treatments.
"Traditional healing for me is like a god - it keeps people safe, healthy, and happy."
Theophile has 3 children and lives with his wife in a rural area outside of Musanze town. In addition to his natural medicine work, he's an agronomist, overseeing a large bamboo plantation near his home. He also works with the nearby Red Rocks Campground helping to cultivate herbs for use in the kitchen. Theophile also makes soap, utilizing the herbs he cultivates and the traditional plants found nearby.
Theophile learned about traditional and natural healing remedies through his grandfather, father, and heritage he grew up with. When his father was sick, he asked his sons to look for a sign that would indicate that one of them would be the one to carry out the family tradition. When Theophile began having a problem with one of his eyes, he took it as the sign that he must carry on the work of his father. He's been practicing natural healing in the community ever since.