Nombewu Transitions From High Heel Wearing Business Lady to Gum Boot Wearing Award Winning Farmer

Nombewu Transitions From High Heel Wearing Business Lady to Gum Boot Wearing Award Winning Farmer

  • Zoliwe Nombewu may be doing well in the farming industry now but when she started out, she lost 15 of her cattle to rustlers (livestock thieves)
  • Nombewu had traded her high heels for gumboots and after some initial hiccups, the results are astounding
  • Nombewu started with just two hectares of land but now owns a whopping 200 hectares, doing the most with her resources and winning aawards

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By Llyod Dlongolo - Freelance Journalist

When her business was not doing well, Zoliwe Nombewu decided to change the dynamics. She swiftly moved from business to farming maize, beans and vegetables. And she is surely making a good living through farming.

Nombewu Transitioned From High Heel Wearing Business Lady to Gum Boot Wearing Award Winning Farmer
Plagued by the struggles her enterprise was facing, a businesswoman decided to quit the shop for farming. She traded her high heels for gumboots and it paid off. Photo credit: Supplied.
Source: UGC

Just to prove how viable farming has been for Zoliwe, she started with just two hectares of land in 2008. She now owns a whopping 200 hectares.

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"My husband has been my biggest source of inspiration. He also started with nothing and gradually grew through farming. It drove my interest and passion for farming," she said.

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Nombewu specialises in farming maize, dry beans and vegetables in the Madwaleni administrative area in Tsolo, in the Eastern Cape. She singles out hard work, passion and a willingness to learn as her biggest motivations.

Nombewu suffered a huge setback when 15 of her cattle were stolen just as she was getting on her feet.

"It was a very huge setback but it did not stop me from pursuing farming. I never threw in the towel. Gathering that strength to soldier on after losing so many cattle," she said.

She has been credited with several farming awards, something she never got to pocket during her business days. One of her biggest farming awards was scooping the coveted Agriculture Female Entrepreneur Award in the Eastern Cape.

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Nombewu has also used her farming expertise to empower her community. She has been the light at the end of the tunnel - one that has sparked so much hope for poverty-stricken families.

"Farming is an ongoing cycle. When Madwaleni farmers asked me to assist them, I took it as an opportunity to empower other farmers. They were planting on fields that were not fenced and so I bought a fence that we used. The land was also not fertile and so we yielded just 2.5 tonnes per hectare. There is now a bit of improvement," said Nombewu.

Apart from her own land, Nombewu also owns a fleet of farming equipment, including rippers and boom sprayers.

The Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development & Agrarian Reform (DRDAR) aided Nombewu through the provision of mechanisation, a borehole and production inputs.

"Farming has taught me that people can sustain themselves and they do not have to rely on government grants. The results are evident.

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"I have seen many young people venturing into farming and it is indeed very encouraging. But more support needs to be given to these young farmers. They need to be guided accordingly so that they are able to move from just sustenance farming to commercial farming," she concluded.

This is a great farming story which proves that there is power and money in the fields.

Female farmer Keneilwe Raphesu lists career achievements, named Emerging Farmer of the Year 2021

Briefly News previously reported on another female farmer who has been making a name for herself.

Farmer Keneilwe Raphesu, 23, has wowed peeps online after she posted about her achievements last year. Raphesu farms cattle, pigs and crops on a farm in Holfontein, which is in the North West.

The trailblazer was also named the Emerging Farmer of the Year in 2021 and she could not be prouder of herself.

Source: Briefly News

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