It’s the end of the second season of African Farming. Host Lindiwe Sithole says it was a privilege to share the stories featured in Season 2. “Each of the farmers had a unique story to tell and we can learn a valuable lesson from each of them.” In the last episode she travels to Kroonstad to interview Patrick Sekwatlakwatla and Zacharia Matli, a dream team duo farming with cattle and vegetables.
Patrick Sekwatlakwatla and Zacharia Matli met through the Sernick Emerging Farmers Programme. Sekwatlakwatla is the head of transformation at the Sernick Group. He saw potential in Matli, they formed a close friendship and out of that friendship their partnership was born. “Patrick always has a solution to a problem, and he doesn’t take long to find it,” says Matli. “If it wasn’t for him and the Sernick Group, I won’t be where I am today.”
Praveen Dwarika, managing director of Lemang Agricultural Services, has been on several of the farms featured in Season 2 of African Farming. He has also been serving on a panel of experts for the past two seasons of the show.
“It is the passion and dedication with which these farmers overcome their challenges that keeps me going and inspires others,” he says. “It is a real privilege to be a witness to their success and to see each of their stories told on the programme, to know that we have been part of their journeys.”
Dwarika gets excited when he talks about how several of these farmers committed themselves to mentoring others. “It is so wonderful to see how they mentor others with great passion, how they make time for skill transfer and how they prioritise the development of the generations to come.”
According to him, real transformation takes place when farmers interact with communities and communities, in turn, interact with farmers. “We started off by working within a broken system, but over the years we experienced real transformation when farmers, their communities and agribusiness partners took hands, collaborated and gave one another real support.”
Dwarika says he is thrilled to get to live out his passion by making a real contribution to the agricultural sector. “It is quite a journey, but so far it has been amazing!”