Season One Episode Galleries

Clifford Mthimkulu

Few things are more satisfying for a farmer than when his son (or daughter!) returns to the family farm to carry on a legacy of hard work and success. It was no different when Clifford Mthimkulu joined dad Koos at the family’s mixed-farming operation in Senekal in the Free State in 2008. It’s a tough farming area: Your cashflow depends on maintaining a fine balance between crops and livestock. The recent drought tested the Mthimkulus’ technical skills to the extreme. However, having survived the worst drought in a hundred years made handing over the farm that much more special for Koos, the first Mthimkulu in his family to be able to do so.

Palesa Moahlodi

You don’t have to start big to end up super successful. Ask Palesa Moahlodi. From there she never looked back, and today Palesa and her husband, Challa, an agriculturalist and soil scientist, own a 1300ha sweetveld farm outside Boshof in the Free State. Here in the heart of South Africa’s cattle country they manage a 120 Brangus and Bonsmara herd so expertly, their efforts have caught the eye of top South African cattle producer the Sernick Group. But het efforts don’t stop there – today Palesa has also added a 75-sow unit piggery to her business! Her stunning farming efforts have seen her win multiple awards, among them the Agricultural Research Council’s Emerging Beef Farmer of the Year in 2018.


South Africans love the Brazilians’ soccer brilliance. And, as it turns out, we love their farming, too! When Cocky Mokoka read about how Brazilian farmers had transformed their businesses by no longer ploughing or working their soil, he knew what he had to do.

Today, Mother Nature is the best farmworker Cocky has. In exchange for having stopped to fight her with chemicals and poison, Mother Nature has rewarded Cocky with soil that is becoming ever more fertile. This has allowed Cocky to cut costs and increase his profits across his farm – from his maize and soya crops to his cattle.


A trip halfway across the globe and the teachings of two renowned entrepreneurs set Duncan Moalosi Serapelwane on a path back to farming – one he vowed as a child he’d never walk. Today this former teacher is a Bonsmara stud farmer and has found meaning in making a name for himself as an elite breeder of these iconic red South African cattle.


Fast and intensive – that’s what it’s like to grow herbs in tunnels. Almost every day you’re harvesting, selling but also planting, just to keep ahead of your customer’s demand for daily fresh herbs.

To keep all the moving parts of such a fast-paced business running smoothly, one needs a well-oiled team, and they don’t come much better that Jimmy Botha and his daughter Lerato


Kobela Mokgohloa

Flying over a plot of land that had been in the family for three generations was all it took for pilot Kobela Mokgohloa to hang up his pilot’s wings. And so it also happened that Kobela started farming hydroponic cucumbers intensively on the family plot in Winterveldt, north of Pretoria. Not bad for a township boy who grew up in Shoshanguve and taught himself farming by reading books from his local library.


It’s one of the most prestigious awards in farming, won by some of the best cattle farmers this country has ever seen, and in 2016 history was made when Klein Gasekoma from Reivilo in the North West province became the first black farmer to win the coveted award of commercial cattle farmer of the year. “A true winner in every respect,” was how the judges described him at the time. A far cry from the days when he worked at the railways and dreamed of one day owning a farm of his own.


Great doctor, better farmer! It would take a family tragedy to launch this young doctor’s impressive farming career. Following his elder brother Rotham’s tragic passing in a car accident, Obakeng found himself increasingly having to take off time from his medical practice in Fourways in Johannesburg to help his ageing dad with the family’s communal cattle farming at Beestekraal, close to Jericho in North West.


She grew up herding cattle and milking cows in a remote rural village in the Ugu district of KwaZulu-Natal. Never in her wildest dreams could Ntsiki Biyela ever have imagined that she would one day make history by becoming South Africa’s first black female winemaker.

Theo van Rooyen

Growing up in Williston in the Northern Cape, all Theo van Rooyen wanted to be when he grew up was a sheep farmer. Then his father got a job on a fruit farm in the Koue Bokkeveld close to Ceres in the Western Cape, and his life changed forever.

NTshilidzi Matshidzula ​

Not only is Tshilidzi Matshidzula one of the best dairy farmers at the country, he also made history when he won the coveted Eastern Cape Young Farmer of the Year award back in 2016, the first black farmer to ever do so. It was the first of many historic firsts, and today, at just 31, this youngster that goes by the name of Chilli, is already one of South Africa’s black farming legends

Sinelizwe Fakade

Sinelizwe Fakade is smart, not because of his master’s degree in agriculture, but rather because of how he gets things done. Working for Grain SA in the Eastern Cape, he grew the number of farmers he was helping from just a few hundred to 3 500 who were planting 3000ha of maize – in just three years! But Sinelizwe Fakade wanted to be the one doing the farming. So he went to visit his old friend and mentor, the legendary farmer Rob Farrington, who agreed to help.

share this

Get the latest news

Subscribe to the African Farming mailing list

SEE the latest MAGAZINE

African Farming March 2021: Issue 5

March 2021

African Farming February 2021: Issue 4


African Farming January 2021: Issue 3

January 2021

African Farming December 2020: Issue 2


African Farming November 2020: Issue 1

November 2020