Wheat farmer Kedidimetse is proving that you can reinvent yourself and pursue your passion
Cape Town - Although roles are slowly changing, women are traditionally the nurturers and feeders, in their homes as well as their communities. With their instinct for ensuring the well-being of anyone in their care, it’s no wonder they make great farmers too.
Kedidimetse Radebe left Taung in search of greener pastures. There she found not only a career but a man with whom she started a family. The couple went on to have three children.
After working as a professional nurse in for 15 years, Radebe felt it was time to reinvent herself.
She returned to her family home in Taung and took up farming. Her parents were farmers so, naturally, she felt at home on the land.
“I’m a rural girl at heart,” she says. “It stays with you. For all the bright lights of the city, there’s something about an open field that feels like home.”
Most farmers acquire their knowledge through generations of experience handed down by their families, but sometimes a little help from outside can make a huge difference.
As part of a collective known as the Baphuduhucwana Production Incubator (BPI), Radebe benefited from Tiger Brands’ R4.5 million investment in its ESD programme which is helping farmers in Taung build skills, assists them with equipment finance and securing large orders of wheat and white beans.
Through weekly training, Radebe gained new knowledge on crop cultivation and even won an entrepreneurship award in her district in 2018.
“Farming isn’t easy, but it’s very satisfying,” she says. “Every morning I’m up at 5am, checking my farm for wandering animals and ensuring that the sprinklers aren’t burst or blocked. When my farmhands arrive, we begin moving sprinklers around the farm to ensure even water distribution.”
Since returning to Taung, Radebe has learnt and done a lot. She likens her crops to her own children: demanding care and attention but offering an abundant harvest in return.
She’s proud of the house she’s built adjacent to her smallholding, the new Toyota Hilux parked in the driveway, and the legacy she is leaving her children, one that comes with the implicit message that any woman can start over and make it on her own.
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