Up close and personal with Sibusiso Mogale

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

You are more than enough and completely capable, and you know where you come from.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD?

I definitely would have started a farming business while I was still in school.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST SUCCESS SO FAR?

I have more than one: qualifying for the Paralympics, winning swimming awards, and becoming an international traveller. I also count my children among life’s greatest successes.

WHO HAS MADE THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTION TO YOUR BUSINESS TO DATE?

My grandmother, my mother and many others have played huge roles in my life. There are so many people who have helped me in one way or another – even people with whom I had only brief encounters have said things that helped me on my journey.

WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP DO YOU HAVE WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS, AND DO THEY PLAY ANY ROLE IN YOUR OPERATION?

I don’t really have a serious relationship with any of my neighbours – most of them do not know me, although they may have seen me on TV or in the newspapers. Those I do know have been supportive of my work, and some ask whether I can mentor them.

WAS IT A STRUGGLE TO SECURE FINANCE? DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR OTHER EMERGING FARMERS WHO ARE IN NEED OF FUNDING?

It was hectic getting finance. I was helped by Rob Gibbs, a private investor who is extremely supportive of my dreams and goals. My advice is not to give up even when doors are being closed in your face.

IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE SOME ADVICE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

Firstly I would thank the minister for reaching out to me and for adopting me into her agricultural family. Then I would ask her to continue to be a soldier for her people. I see her as a mother figure. When I cried for help, she stepped in and helped me.

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