Free State Valentines: Single young farmers’ plight signposted

2013-02-08 00:00

“BACHELOR ROAD SINGLES WELCOME”. This is the heartfelt message on a hand-painted sign a short distance from Wepener in the eastern Free State.

A black arrow helpfully points down the R701 road to Smithfield past the Caledon Nature Reserve. As it happens, five young bachelors farm along the road in the Welbedacht Dam area.

Stefan Joubert (31), Stiaan Grobler (23), his brother Werner (26), Rudo Opperman (22) and Roelf Jacobs (36) are happily mystified as to the who, why and how behind the sign.

Rudo’s father, Johan Opperman, however, just winked knowingly. He blames the signpost on romantic aliens, or maybe it was a jejune ghost who took pity on the bachelors’ lonesome plight.

But thank heavens, everyone is grateful, it is long overdue that these guys get wives, he said.

Rudo, the youngest of the bunch, is optimistic that the new sign will send the “right one” down the R701. He said this dirt road could get busy with tourist traffic come December.

But his bachelor mates say they don’t want to wait that long, the ladies must shake a leg.

“It is not about getting them here, but getting them to stay,” adds Grobler. They say city and farm girls are both welcome, but all visitors must please bear in mind shops are few and far between and mostly of the spaza kind. Also, visitors may have to shimmy up a windmill to get an Internet signal.

Not that these bachelors are hay-chewing yokels. Their tractors boast the latest satellite navigation systems that can analyse production on every square metre of land. And their diesel budget would rival the GDP of some small African countries.

Jacobs adds that girls who visit in diesel cars could even get a top up of farm-fresh diesel. But don’t expect home baked delicacies from this bachelor’s kitchen. “The town is far away. Please bring bread and Coke”, is his request.

The quiet one of the quintet, Joubert just smiled dreamily when asked if he had any requests for aspiring visitors.

The others explained that Joubert was the strong silent type with few words, but big thighs.

Singles who want to take up the invitation must follow the arrow and turn off to the first farm on the left. There the respectably elderly Schalk Jacobs would point them in the desired direction. Or write to

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