Gugs farmer reaps the harvest with win

2017-08-24 06:01
Nomonde Kweza, founder of Ulimo Lwethu Food Garden and Phumza Mayalo are flying high in farming.PHOTO: Supplied

Nomonde Kweza, founder of Ulimo Lwethu Food Garden and Phumza Mayalo are flying high in farming.PHOTO: Supplied

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Being nominated for awards which recognises the role of women in business has given impetus to a small scale farmer to work even harder.

Gugulethu’s Phumza Mayalo,55, of Ulimo Lwethu Food Garden, which is based at Ikhaya Loxolo Old Age Home, was nominated for Female Entrepreneur Awards, under Best Worker category.

The awards, a brainchild of the provincial government were held in Paarl on 10 August.

Even though Mayalo did not win, she said her first ever nomination was good enough to motivate her to reach even greater heights in farming.

“Yes I did not win, but that was an eye opener for me to polish the areas that I realised that I am lacking in. It told me to work ever harder to achieve more in future. I know what I want in farming,” Mayalo said.

Mayalo grew-up in a family that loved farming, but she did not show any interest until 2009.

She was then given a piece of land at Phoenix High School where she started farming.

Mayalo said she is happy about the decision she took to be a farmer.

“It helps me a lot, because I get money and I am able to put food on the table for my three children. I encourage other women to do farming.”

Nomonde Kweza, the founder of Ulimo Lwethu Food Garden, said they were happy with Mayalo’s nomination.

“It meant that I have the potential to creating jobs for others. It also shows that I am able to transfer my skills to the next person. Skills should not be monopolised. It also shows that there is power balance here,” Kweza said.

Kweza won the provincial award as a top female entrepreneur in 2014.

She then went on to compete in the national contest, which was held in Mahikeng, in the North-West province in the same year, however, she failed to make the grade, but was not deterred.

Kweza said she is planning to nurture seeds to grow trees as a forester and also do aggro processing whereby she will also do packaging for her products in the garden.

“I am now farming on 0, 65 hectares and I am soon going to use 1, 5 hectare of land. I am close to competing with commercial farmers ... they must watch the space. I am the first woman in the province to do that,” she added.


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