- A doting mother is proving that her background won’t define her, and is growing a poultry farming business and reached several other career milestones, all by age 21
- The young lady didn’t have an easy upbringing and grew up in homes where she was exposed to hardship
- But despite her traumatic childhood, Ntobeko Mafu, 21, is determined to make something of her life
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A young mom-of-one from Edendale in Pietermaritzburg is determined to become a success and is running a poultry farm, has authored a book, and graduated from Durban University of Technology (DUT) in May.
Ntobeko Mafu is only 21 and has already achieved so much. But it wasn’t easy for this young lady to become the triple threat she is today, with the goal-orientated young woman growing up in abusive households.
The young farmer spoke to Briefly News about her poultry business, which she named ‘Madame Clucks A Lot’, her book, traumatic childhood, and future plans for entrepreneurship.
Being exposed to domestic unrest
Ntobeko had a very painful upbringing and was exposed to gender-based violence (GBV) at a young age, with the entrepreneur explaining that her parents had her as a last-ditch attempt to try and salvage their marriage.
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“My parents were high school sweethearts, were married for years, and throughout [their time together], my father abused my mother. He also had multiple kids outside their marriage. I was the child they had after they had recently ‘taken a break’ for a long time. I was the child that was supposed to ‘fix’ their marriage,” she said.
The young woman’s parents had a rocky relationship, and during their various separations, the young woman mentions that her mom would tell her stories about her dad's abuse.
“From the ages of 0-8, I had always heard of my father’s abuse from her my mom. Other than that, I had never seen it happen until the day she decided to get remarried,” she said.
After Ntobeko’s mom eventually tied the knot again, she was sent to live with her dad and would only see her mom once or twice a week when they bonded at the farmer’s market.
The young woman says that the days spent with her mother at the market and growing up around farming led her to take on the agricultural sector.
The mother-of-one adds that she moved from house to house during her childhood and was often resented by both her mother’s kids and the children of her father, who has since passed away.
A young author and graduate
Despite everything, Ntobeko says that her upbringing, although challenging, shaped her into the person she is today and inspired her to write a book, which she self-published in 2020, titled Letters to whoever needs to hear this. Ntobeko also shared posts about the book on Instagram.
“The traumatic events that happened in my life were the inspiration for my book, although I did not write about them specifically, I wrote about things that I could have done better in third-person as advice to people going through the same thing,” she added.
On 16 May, Ntobeko graduated in Human Resource Management (HRM) from DUT, with the determined young woman currently studying towards her advanced diploma.
“I intend to study all the way through to my masters if I can acquire funding or have my business grow to the point where it could fund me,” she said.
Ntobeko runs Madame Clucks A Lot from her local community and supports herself and her son through the business.
“I rear and sell broiler chickens, leafy greens, and I am about to initiate a community engagement project to equip people with knowledge and skills about agriculture, food security, and how it is all directly linked to our nutrition,” she said.
The young mom notes that she makes sure to keep prices low for the neighbourhood to be able to afford the meat.
“I sell my produce at low prices because the reality is, in my community, we are surrounded by the lower and middle class, therefore, meat consumption is a privilege in some households,” she said.
Ntobeko’s funding mainly comes from competitions that she has won, and she previously told IOL that she regularly upskills herself with agricultural training.
“I have been through multiple training programs from DUT Innobiz, NYDA, Seda, the KZN Poultry Institute, and the Pan African Women Lagos Business school."
“I am currently in a national competition called YoungStar Entrepreneur, where I could win a R100 000 cash prize and a brand-new car which would make my business easier. The money would also help me capacitate my chicken house in full and build another two houses on-site,” she said.
The entrepreneur also creates employment opportunities for people in her community and has five workers who help her. She notes that if she won the YoungStar contest, she would be able to employ more people and rear more chickens.
“The condition is I need to find a donor who will sponsor R5000 in exchange for having their company branding at the YoungStar Entrepreneur high tea in Johannesburg," she said.
"I need to raise R5000 before the 23 June and am accepting donations and selling digital copies of my book at R100 a copy,” she adds.
Plans for expansion
Ntobeko currently has 200 chickens and wants to be able to fill her broiler house with 630 in a year or two.
“If I win the competition and acquire funding, I will also be able to double my money per annum, creating more employment for my community, ” she said.
But the determined woman also has other plans beyond poultry farming in her local community and seeing change happen in the area.
“My biggest dream is to become a world-renowned author, public speaker, farmer and agriculture enthusiast," she said.
"I want to contribute to educating people regarding agriculture, help end environmental problems and make a commendable change in multiple lives through skills development programs."
The ambitious young lady adds that she wants her company to grow into the next Rainbow Chicken and dreams of becoming the Oprah Winfrey of agriculture.
Cape Town lady thrives in male-dominated farming sector, inspires young women to take on agriculture
In a related story by Briefly News, a young hun from Cape Town is thriving in the agricultural sector after farming for only two years.
After closing her takeaway business during the height of the Covid-19 lockdown, Khayelitsha resident, Ncumisa Mkabile, started farming.
This boss babe believes that young people should create opportunities for themselves instead of waiting for handouts.
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Source: Briefly News