WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
Don’t just follow your passion without direction – do what you find fulfils your dreams.
IF THERE WAS ONE THING YOU COULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY, WHAT WOULD IT HAVE BEEN?
I would have started a lot sooner, even if that had meant not going overseas. I look back now and I think going abroad would not have made any difference.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SINGLE BIGGEST SUCCESS TO DATE?
Being able to create employment for young people in the community.
WHO HAS MADE THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR SUCCESS?
My mother and the Coca-Cola Mintirho Foundation who provided the much-needed cash injection at the time we needed it.
WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP DO YOU HAVE WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURING FARMERS AND WHAT ROLE HAVE THEY PLAYED IN YOUR SUCCESS?
We have a beautiful relationship, and they play a very supportive and protective role for me and my mom.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ANYONE LOOKING FOR FINANCING?
Although my mom struggled in the beginning, I was fortunate because, when I arrived, we managed to get funding from the Mintirho Foundation. My advice to farmers is to search for alternative sources of finance, like foundations and corporate programmes. Don’t look only at the mainstream financiers.
WHAT ROLE HAVE INPUT SUPPLIERS, SUCH AS SEED AND CHEMICAL COMPANIES, PLAYED IN THE BUSINESS?
They play a major role in terms of technical advice and services that we may otherwise have had to pay for in consultants fees.
IF THERE WAS A SINGLE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Come up with a strategy to support the youth; and come up with tailored support programmes that include training, funding and access to land.