Manpower puts Maria on highway to success

Not that long ago, Maria Tswayi ran a few cattle on communal land in Masilonyana village near Theunissen in the Free State. Today, with the help of fellow black farmers and the Sernick Group, Maria is an award-winning farmer well on her way to commercial success. She tells Peter Mashala how hard work and consistent effort got her to the top of her group.

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ABOVE: Five years ago, Maria Tswayi, the Sernick Group’s Emerging Farmer of the Year 2021, was running a few cattle on communal land near Theunissen. Today she runs a commercial Bonsmara herd of 90 breeding cows and six bulls on Scheerpan outside Hertzogville. PHOTOS: PETER MASHALA

Farming with no excuses

Sibusiso ‘Sbu’ Mogale, a former paralympian turned farmer, produces poultry and vegetables in his home village of eNgodini near White River in Mpumalanga. He talks to African Farming’s Peter Mashala about the legacy of plant knowledge his grandmother left him and about overcoming physical challenges to live your best life.

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A land legacy transformed

Thabitha Chauke dropped out of university in 2002 to answer what she believed was a call from her late father to work the family plot. Years of hardship followed before Thabitha built her business, Amokelani Farm, to what it is today – a thriving commercial tomato growing operation that supplies the local market as well as international buyers from Botswana and Mozambique. In 2018 her ability was recognised when she was named the top female producer in the Waterberg district and the Lephalale municipality. Peter Mashala caught up with her to find out more.

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Sugar cane queen builds her empire

Nonhlanhla Gumede-Shabalala gave up a blossoming career in banking to help her father through a crippling drought in 2010. The 35-year-old has not looked back since and is now the proud owner of a flourishing sugar cane farm worth an estimated R10 million, writes Peter Mashala.

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Nonhlanhla Gumede-Shabalala is the owner of Uthandimvelo Farm in KwaZulu-Natal. PHOTOS: PETER MASHALA

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