BBL PARTICIPANT: Girly Hamisi, Tshepisong, Gauteng Province

In a Nutshell

Through her participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Girly Hamisi from Tshepisong in Gauteng has learnt business planning and personal finance skills that have increased profits within her food gardening, chicken farming and scholar transport enterprises. She is transferring this knowledge to her daughters.

She says…

Girly Hamisi

My days are quite busy. I operate a scholar transport business, which means that my mornings are engaged in driving children to various schools from 5.45am to 7.45am. Following that, I dedicate my time to my chickens and gardening work from 8am to 12pm. At 12.30pm, I return to the schools to pick up the children and take them back to their homes. The younger children are the first to be collected, and the grade R students require special attention, needing to be signed for by their teachers. We wait until 2pm for the older kids to finish school – so I am sort of a childminder as well as a chicken farmer, a gardener, a wife and a mother! Once all the children have been safely dropped off at their homes, I return to my chicken business to feed and pour water for them.

I credit my strong work ethic to my father, who instilled the value of hard work in me. Though I was born and raised in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, my father ran a business selling mangoes and avocados in Dobsonville.

"...always with the dream of establishing a family business."

I used to accompany him to work, and although I didn't fully realize it at the time, observing his work ethic laid the foundation for my business education. From him, I learned how to build relationships with suppliers, work with people - even when they're challenging - and take charge of my own future without waiting for external help or government. I'm immensely grateful for the inheritance of these skills, which I use every day. I am determined to pass on these same skills and ways of working to my daughters.

After completing my schooling, I pursued a career as a security guard at Fidelity in Robertsville, where I eventually met my husband. However, we both aspired for more than the security industry could offer. I used to tell my husband, "I know how to sell. I understand the City Deep market. I can teach you, and we can work together." In 2008, my husband resigned, and we ventured into selling fruit. Initially, I continued working at Fidelity, but I would assist my husband during my off-duty hours, always with the dream of establishing a family business.

In 2011, a friend of my father's advised us to switch from fruit to the chicken business, emphasizing its year-round profitability compared to the seasonal nature of fruits. This led to the inception of our buy and sell chicken business, dealing in with different kinds of chickens including Rooks, Batteries, and Broilers. This advice reshaped our business mindset and proved invaluable. Unlike mangoes and avocados, which have limited seasonal availability, chickens can be sold throughout the year, with some seasonal considerations in the winter, such as providing heat. At first we just bought and sold, but in 2021, I initiated a chicken production project called Muvhulawa Chicken Farm, growing broiler chickens and supplying them to our Buy and Sell chicken business for maximum profit. We now employ two women to sell our chickens, each operating from their designated spots.

In 2017, we expanded our business into the student transport sector, using the profits from our chicken business to purchase two taxis. We identified a gap and opportunity for profitability in this venture.

In July 2022, I launched a garden project in my backyard, cultivating vegetables. Subsequently, I received an SMS from a community group informing me about the (SocioTech BBL MyFood) garden training. Encouraged by my eldest daughter, who motivated me to attend, I participated even while pregnant. I engaged in tasks like digging, collecting tins and bones, and running around while pregnant – all in dedication to building a better future for my child. It's never too early to teach your children the value of hard work and perseverance.

Girly Hamisi

"The advise reshaped our business mindset and proved invaluable. "

Girly Hamisi

Initially, I went door-to-door distributing free samples of the vegetables I grew, and once people experienced the quality of my products, they started coming to me. I followed up the garden training with the SocioTech MyFuture and MyBusiness courses, which taught me the importance of budgeting and financial planning. Previously, I had been living day by day without a clear plan, but now I have a well-defined strategy. Charmaine from SocioTech instructed me on how to separate business and household finances, the significance of saving, and how to make thoughtful purchases. It's easy to waste money on unnecessary things when you lack a clear vision for your future.

Just as my father taught me, I'm involving my daughters in the business aspect of my life. My 11-year-old daughter is already skilled in caring for chickens, helping with cleaning and feeding. I've created a chart in the chicken coop with information on different medicines and supplements required for the chicks at various stages. Young as she is, my daughter reads the chart, counts the days, and measures the doses. Although I currently supervise her, I'm confident that by the end of the year, she'll be capable of looking after young birds independently. As a parent, there's no greater joy than witnessing her growing confidence and independence.


Girly Hamisi
Girly Hamisi