Thabo Dithakgwe

Thabo Dithakgwe of Nasi Ditha Farming started farming at 13 with the donation of a pregnant heifer from his father. Today he inspires many, young and old, as a shining example that success in farming comes through hard work and determination. Thabo is a commercial livestock farmer who runs 200 cattle, Boer goats and sheep on 2 500ha outside Tosca, between Vryburg and Mahikeng, in the North West. 

Gerswin Louw

Gerswin Louw was the right man for commercial farmer Schalk Viljoen to bring in as a shareholder in Dasberg Farming, an agricultural transformation project in the Riviersonderend district of the Overberg. Livestock manager Gerswin has a solid background in sheep that he continuously grows while building his farming experience and his leadership skills. Gerswin says success in the agricultural world needs diligence, commitment and a lifelong passion for the job. 

Raymond Koopstad

Wanting to grow produce is something that is either in your blood or it is not. It’s always been part of Raymond Koopstad’s make-up. Through perseverance he is now an export producer of deciduous fruit in the Witzenberg district, earning the respect of his peers. At the Deciduous Fruit Industry Gala awards in 2019, Raymond received the New Generation Award for his exceptional performance and intelligent decision-making as a new entrant to the industry. 

Rudzani Sadiki

Many farmers are specialists in their fields and Rudzani Sadiki, originally from Mokopane, Limpopo, was well on his way to becoming a poultry specialist when circumstances forced him into a completely different farming direction – farming oilseed crops. Not a man to allow change to put him off his stride, Rudzani adapted quickly and applied his mind to making a success of oilseed farming. He currently plants 974ha sunflower, which is supplied on contract.

Gopolang Tladinyane

Farming seems to come easily to Gopolang Tladinyane and his sons, Motlapele and Reaobaka, who are happily dedicated to their family team and to their farming business. Gopolang knows the value of early learning in agriculture and finance, and has made his boys profit-sharers in the business. Gopolang is a well-known Simmentaler and Simbra stud breeder and with his sons, grow dryland sunflowers on communal land they lease in Bethanie, whereas the home farm of 100ha in Sanddrift is dedicated to producing feed for the intensive livestock operation of 60 Simmentaler and Simbra breeding cows, 80 Meatmaster sheep and 100 Boer goats.

Loretta Visagie

From humble beginnings with little more than the clothes on her back and ten cattle, Loretta Visagie has built a healthy diversified farming business in under a decade. She has two outstanding character traits that have made this seemingly impossible story possible: She never gives up and she actively seeks out opportunities to learn about farming and to network with others. Watch African Farming to find out how Loretta turned her dreams into reality on her farm, Kings Farming Cooperative.

Emmanuel Mudau

Emmanuel Mudau, of Mathuba Genetics in Limpopo, had his first brush with genetics during his childhood when he bred and reared pigeons as a hobby. Deliberate selection for colour traits in the birds gave Emmanuel an early opportunity to experiment with genetics. Years later, in 2016, Emmanuel joined a group of three other farmers and they started a genetics project breeding what became the Bosvelder sheep. He is the former founding deputy president of the Indigenous Veld Goat Breeders Society and the current founding deputy president of the Bosvelder Sheep Breeders Society.

Seitshiro Marumoloe

The value of learning about farming from a young age is inestimable, but unfortunately the policies of the past separated many potential farmers from the generational knowledge that should have been their birthright. Seitshiro Marumoloe was raised by his grandparents, who were small-scale farmers, and exposed to agriculture from his early childhood. His grandfather and mentor Hendrik Segatle farmed maize and sunflowers on communal land at Springbokpan village, close to Mahikeng in the North West province. Today Seitshiro is a commercial farmer and the proud producer of white maize, small white canning beans and sunflowers, which he grows on his farm near Sannieshof and on communal land in Springbokpan.

Keith and Jacqui Middleton

Keith and Jacqui Middleton  have faced some tough challenges in 15 years of farming, but this has not weakened their determination to take their business to the top of the emerging commercial farming sector in the next ten years. The Middletons, whose farm African Joy is part of the Orange-Riet irrigation scheme near Jakobsdal in the Free State, farm with maize, lucerne and 10ha of pecan nut trees. They also run 150 Bonsmara cattle and 300 Merino sheep.

Keneilwe Raphesu

As a young woman, many people were sceptical that 24-year-old Keneilwe Raphesu had what it takes to assume control of her father’s 405ha enterprise in Holfontein. Yet the trust, knowledge and support from her dad – along with impressive skills acquired through the Sernick Emerging Farmers Programme – gave Keneilwe the tools to take the farming operation to new heights. Keneilwe was handed the reins of the cattle, pig and grain farm in 2020 when her dad, Dr Mamabolo Raphesu, resigned to focus on his political career.



Mlungisi Bushula

Forestry is often overlooked as a form of agriculture but is in essence tree farming at its best. To succeed, one needs patience and a very good sense of long-term planning. It’s a sector in which Mlungisi Bushula has found his feet since 2013. The 32-year old’s plans also include the wildlife sector and crop production in the Eastern Cape. “Forestry isn’t your normal farming operation, but it requires just as much hard work,” says Mlungisi.

Lavhengwa Nemaorani

Israel Nemaorani, a pioneer black farmer, started farming vegetables in Tshivhilwi outside Thohoyandou in the 1990s and took title to his land in 1994. In 1996 he began to transform the 202ha farm into what is today a successful black-owned commercial citrus farm. Sadly, Israel passed on in 2019. His son, Lavhengwa Nemaorani, intends to make his father proud and take the farm to greater heights.




Amos Njoro

Amos Njoro found his passion for farming by accident as a lack of funds stopped him from following his dream of becoming a teacher. Today, Amos is qualified in agriculture and runs a successful grain operation on several farms in Gauteng. He also runs an AgriSeta accredited company, Ya-rona Temo, which offers training and mentorship to many aspiring farmers across the country.

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