BBL PARTICIPANT: Ipotseng Johanna Molotole, Rankelenyane, North-West Province
In a Nutshell
Through her participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Ipotseng Johanna Molotole from Rankelenyane in the North-West Province has gained farming and business skills. Her young son is also learning to farm and sell food.
When I first started the SocioTech training in February, I was quite nervous because I had never gardened before. Fortunately, Jabu and the team start at the beginning and teach from start to finish – from soil preparation through seeds, seedlings, and planting to mulching, irrigation and pest control. And they keep checking up on you while you are learning, so you don’t feel alone. If you have a question, there is someone to ask. Now that I have a tunnel, everything I have learnt is starting to show.
It is hard work to start a garden - all those deep trenches and collecting cans and bones takes time. I was fortunate that my husband helped me with the digging and my five children helped with the collecting cans. I wasn’t sure if I would like gardening. At the beginning I was saying: “this is too hard” but if you keep going you realise that it is not so hard. And after a while you start to enjoy the work. These days I smile and sometimes sing while I work. Even when I am not in the garden, I like to think about what I am going to plant next year. Imagining that future garden makes me happy. My kids tell me they want me to plant strawberries next year.
I have cabbage, onions, beetroot, carrots, tomatoes in my own garden, and chickens, so it is like an onsite 7 Colours! My kids love it – especially my 10-year-old who likes to help and is learning fast. He is growing his own onions and has already made enough sales to buy his school supplies for next term.
When people walk past my garden, they see the quality of what I am producing, and they ask to buy. This community is far from the supermarkets, so people like me, who grow crops and sell close to home, are much appreciated. At the moment I only have this little area to grow vegetables, but I think that over time I can get more land and become a larger business supplying shops like Pick n Pay.
"We have been learning about how to use money and how to save for the things we want."
I have started the MyFuture training with Charles. We have been learning about how to use money and how to save for the things we want. In my case I know what I am saving for. I am trained as a seamstress, and I have a small business making traditional Tswana wedding clothes, tracksuits, and trousers. I know that if I had an overlocker for my sewing business, I could make much more money. Now I have a plan as to how I am going to get one. Every time I sell a R10 bunch of spinach I put R2 in the bottle. I have done the calculations and I think it will take me 3 years to save for that overlocker but when I get it the business opportunities will grow.