The saying hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extra ordinary destiny defines Mr Tsholofelo Mothomedi and Mr Kereemang Lekobane’s paths.
After realising that his wages as a security guard were not fulfilling, 29 year-old Mothomedi, decided to opt for backyard farming to top up, which also did not make a difference.
Despite that his passion for horticulture grew. For unemployed former convict, farming was the only way to sustain himself. Indeed some disappointments are a blessing in disguise, initially the unemployed Lekobane, had wanted to venture into horticulture with some people who later withdrew from the plan.
Being the owner of the plot, and having secured some seeds he did not abandon his dream and Mothomedi’s arrival was such a blessing for the 59 year-old.
The two partners who shared the same interest, saw life in horticulture and embarked on the journey to realize their dream.
Unlike those who wait for someone else to come and ignite a spark in their lives, the two entrepreneurs financed their business, from the money they realized from selling firewood and carrying out menial jobs around the village.
Despite their 30 year old difference, the two, Mr Mothomedi is adamant that they have a cordial relationship; furthermore he has learnt a lot from his partner and perceives him as a father than a business partner.
This is indicated by the two’s successful business. Some of their produce includes onions, tomatoes, beetroots, spinach amongst others.
“The time I spent in jail gave me an opportunity to extensively acquire knowledge on agriculture, therefore our market analysis showed that there is a huge demand for vegetables.”
For Mothomedi things are looking up for them, and does not regret quitting his night job for the business is more rewarding.
The senior partner said the business was growing at an unexpected rate, on daily business they receive orders from hawkers, fresh produce entities such as butcheries and while they enjoy patronage from villagers too.
Currently they have managed to acquire a 5000 litre tank which they use for irrigation and get their water from a nearby stream.
Furthermore the two businessmen use bicycles to sell their farm produce around the villagefor those who cant access the farm, adding that using the bicycle enables them to travel house to house which increase a potential market and builds relationships with customers.
Mr Mothomedi said the main challenge they are facing is lack of a reliable generator and irrigation pipes which could help them expand their business.
They said pests were their major concern as a result they are forced to sell some of their produce at low prices because it has been damaged by pests.
The duo is planning to approach Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) to help them to expand their business, given that Mr Mothomedi is eligible for YDF plans and intends to seek financial assistance.
They said business needs patience and determination.
“We used axes to cut down trees to fence he field and we have never hired a tractor to plough this field,” said Mr Lekobane.
He further challenges mostly the youth to be self-reliant and reduce the time spent on social life, and said they are willing to help anyone seeking assistance on horticulture.