BBL PARTICIPANT: Dikeledi Mokwena, Mogaladi, Limpopo

In a Nutshell

Through her participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Dikeledi Mokwena learnt the skills to increase food production in her garden. She is developing plans to expand her side hustles.

Her grandchildren are gaining life skills and learning from their grandmother how to use money and work to make more money – a great skill to take control of their own future.

She says…


I am already 60 years old, so when I heard about the BBL MyFuture training, I wasn’t sure if I would be eligible to attend but there were lots of people even older than me involved. And why not? We all want to make the days ahead as successful as possible. Nothing is impossible with God and I am eager to learn. Through continued teaching, let the Almighty grow us bigger and bigger.

Older people like me already have skills that we learnt through our lives, but there is always room to learn more. As the world changes, so we must also adapt. For instance, I have been gardening for a long time. I grow beetroot and marrows and sweet potatoes and butternut but I learnt many new things through BBL MyFood. Where I live there is a big problem with water – most of the time no water comes out of our taps. Only once in a while on weekends – so I was very interested in learning how to grow vegetables in a waterwise way. What I learnt from Mr Damba at SocioTech about digging deep trenches (with bones and tins and ashes), mulching and irrigation, helps me to use this precious resource better.


" can I do things better than before?"


It makes me so happy when I see the plants growing well. I love to see them with that healthy glow. It’s not just about me. BBL MyFuture opened my eyes to the importance of families working together. Older people are an important part of that family unit. I have four granddaughters – the eldest is 12, then there are twins aged 9, and the baby is 8 years old – everything I learnt through MyFuture also applies to them, and it is my duty to pass it on. Knowing how to plan time and money, and work together with God, those are things that they can already use in their young lives. I say to them ‘make me proud. Love God and when there are problems, find solutions. That is the way to a bright future’.

I am going to try and include my granddaughters in all my side hustle plans going forward because I want them to learn those skills. My current side hustle is baking. I make biscuits and scones for community events and the girls often help me with that.

Since I have done the BBL MyFuture training I am thinking of ways to increase the number of side hustles that I have. I am considering expanding into ice creams – when the schools open again, I think I will sell ice creams and frozen ices in small packets at the school gates. I am thinking that this might be a better side hustle than baking, because the ingredients for baking are very expensive. A box of ice creams has more profit in it than biscuits.

It has also inspired me to look at what I have and say “how can I do things better than before?” I am thinking about the same activity, but in a better way. For instance, I am now looking at my garden and thinking about how to make it work better for me. In the new year I hope SocioTech can come back and train us on making jam and hot atchar, because I have mangos and peach trees and, if I learn how to make those products, I know I can sell them. Especially hot atchar – people love that. I think that can sell well.