BBL PARTICIPANT: Mphamba Nomalunga, Mfidikoe, Northwest Province

In a Nutshell

Through her participation in SocioTech’s Broad-Based Livelihoods (BBL) strategies to stimulate personal economic activity, Mphamba Nomalunga from Mfidikoe, Nortwest has….

She says…


I come from Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape, but I came here to the Northwest looking for work in 2013. That is a long time to be away from home but what can I do – there is no work there. I have 4 children; a boy who is 15 years old, twin girls who are almost 10 years old and my little Pricilla who is three. Only my last born is here with me. The other children are in the Cape. My baby is my joy – when life is hard, I look at her and she is like a ray of sunshine. I bring her into the garden with me when I am working. She is so smart. She watches me and she copies what I do. She loves to eat the spinach I grow, and I love to see her eat it. When I compare it with the spinach you can buy at the supermarket, I know mine is better for my baby. Who knows how long those wilted leaves have been sitting there at the store. Who knows what unhealthy chemicals they sprayed. That is not food the way God intended us to eat. When I see my baby eat the spinach from my garden, I feel confident that she is getting real nutrition that will prepare her to have a strong and healthy life. I want her to study and work - maybe as a nurse or policeman - I won’t chose for her but I will support her. These vegetables you see growing here today are the first step on that journey.

It is not an easy journey. Life is difficult and nothing comes for nothing. It can sometimes seem overwhelming, but Kwena taught me that if you take life seriously there are ways of making progress. Stay focussed on your business plan. Sell what you grow. Save money -even if it is only a little at a time – and over time those little bits of savings will all add up.

Creating a garden is also something that needs to be taken seriously. You can’t just dig a little hole and hope it will work out. I found it difficult at first – those trenches are not for weak people.

I struggled with the first one. But as I continued it got easier – because I got stronger – not only in my muscles, but also in my mind. My confidence grew and with it came motivation.

By the time I got to the 3rd one I was happy and confident. I struggled, but I thought: “Follow the instructions, do it properly, commit to the process.” I did that, and now I am seeing the results in these big, green, healthy crops.