BBL PARTICIPANT: Molefi Mamokete, Mfidikwe, Northwest Province
In a Nutshell
Through her participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Molefi Mamokete from Mfidikwe in the Platinum Belt in Northwest, has diversified her economic activities and is building savings to provide the best future to her young daughter.
I like farming, because it is life. Without growing food in the soil there is no life. I have been farming since I was a tiny child. First, with my father and later at school. I come from Lesotho, and we grow the usual stuff – spinach, beetroots, lettuce, onions and so on. In terms of fruit, you can’t grow things like mangos and avocados there because it is too cold, but apples, pears, peaches, apricots grow well.
The way we farmed then was a bit different to the way Kwena taught us, but life is about learning. Being flexible and open to new ways is the secret to success. That, and putting your heart and soul into everything you do. When I met Kwena he said we should dig and plant 4 trenches, but I did 8. I am not a big talker, but I am a doer. I don’t cut corners. I got the information, and I followed it. I implemented the way that Kwena showed me. If you do that, the SocioTech way works really well. If you cut corners and take chances, don’t expect things to work!
My baby Bohmane Stintakha is one year and 9 months old. She is small but she likes to try and help – watering is her favourite activity. I can see she enjoys it when we pick spinach and then cook it. She eats well on those days. Being a child who grows up with a garden is good in so many different ways. Part of it is learning discipline and how to work hard. Part of it is the vitamins and minerals that they get from eating from a healthy garden.
" I save so that if she needs things money is there."
When they eat well, they get strong bones and teeth and brain power. I want my baby to have a strong, thoughtful brain full of wisdom and knowledge so that she can be whatever she wants to be in life – I won’t tell her you must be a lawyer, doctor, whatever, but I want to support and motivate her and make sure she has the power to do whatever she decides.
Right now, I have two garden beds growing – I have done my calculations and I know that when they are ready each one can bring me R200. So, I know what I have going forward. When I get money out of my beds, I use that money to lend to others – I have a loans business and when people pay me back, I use the interest to buy seedlings.
I am saving – for every bunch of spinach that I sell and for every bit of money that comes in from the loans, I set aside a portion so that later in life I will be able to help my child. I save so that if she needs things money is there.