Theft impedes progress

2018-10-18 06:01
Members of Masithobelane Food Garden in Town Two working. From left: Nonzame Mavuso, Nomathamsanqa Pekula and Bonakele Khoboka. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Members of Masithobelane Food Garden in Town Two working. From left: Nonzame Mavuso, Nomathamsanqa Pekula and Bonakele Khoboka. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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“Agriculture is no child’s play, as a farmer, you need to focus, be passionate and dedicate all your time to the garden,” according to Nomathamsanqa Pekula, one of the co-founders of Masithobelane Food Garden in Town Two, Khayelitsha.

Pekula(66) has been working in the garden opposite the Town Two taxi rank for the past 14 years. In the garden they plant vegetables such as spinach, onion, beans, cabbage, pumpkin, carrots and turnip.

She has urged the youth to join them so that they could take over the initiative once her lot has retired. She said instead of the youth going for the quick buc, gardening has lifelong benefits.

“We used to have young people here, but they left because they said there is no money,” she said. “All they want is to sit down and write. They don’t want to work hard and get dirty.” Pekula said she started gardening because of the passion. “We were about 10 when we started this garden, but some of them dropped out and others died. Because I enjoy what I am doing, I decided stay and recruit new members,” he said.

However, she said they struggle to market their produce. “We sell most of our vegetables it to the community or to Abalimi Bezekhaya. The rest we take to our families,” said Pekula.

Pekula said they only planted organic food, meaning they don’t use chemicals. “This is what people should eat,” she said.

Project member Bonakele Khoboka,67, said he joined the group about seven years ago. He said crime remained a threat to their work. “Our fence, including tools, has been stolen ... We now fence our garden using mattress coils. Even our rake, hoe, two fork spades and other implements were stolen,” he said.

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