Up close and personal with Thabo Dithakgwe

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

The advice I was given by André Bruwer. He told me if you start today, you will achieve your goal earlier than if you start tomorrow.

If there is one thing you could have done differently, what would it be? 

I think I should rather have gone straight into farming full-time right after high school and not gone to college. I had to sell a lot of livestock to pay up my college fees. 

What has your single biggest success been to date? 

Moving from a communal land setting onto this farm to start a commercial operation is by far my biggest success.

Who has made the biggest contribution to your success?

My mom and dad who built a solid foundation for me. 

What kind of relationship do you have with your neighbouring farmers and what role have they played in your success? 

I have an excellent relationship with my neighbouring farmers. They are my mentors, and this is where I ended up getting a loan of 100 Bonsmara heifers.  

Was it a struggle to get financing and what advice do you have for anyone looking for money? 

It is still a problem for me. I have never been financed and I had to rely on my parents. My advice would be to knock on every door – one is bound to open. 

What role have input suppliers, like animal health companies, played in the business?

They play an important role because they play an advisory role in terms of what I need to do when and what is the most effective way of using their products.

If there was a single piece of advice you could give the minister of agriculture, what would it be?

We need the minister on the ground so that she can see what we are doing and what our challenges are. She must also prioritise us the youth because we are the future of this industry.

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