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Farmer Ncumisa Mkabile

Farmer Ncumisa Mkabile
Tuesday 2 August
Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, Ncumisa Mkabile had little interest in becoming a farmer as a child.
“Everyone is farming in the Eastern Cape,” says Ncumisa. “[But] I’ve always wanted to be in the tourism industry.”
She studied Travel and Tourism at Boston City Campus & Business College. When Covid-19 hit, Ncumisa owned a catering company, which subsequently closed.
“I had to ask myself the following questions: ‘Ncumisa, are you going to sit down and complain? Are you going to blame the government? Or are you going to take action?’”
According to the Khayelitsha-based farmer, “Entrepreneurs don’t have time to sit and look at the problem, they need to find the solution.”
Ncumisa started delivering ‘uMleqwa’, or hard body chicken. “When I saw the demand was high, I decided to become a supplier myself,” she says. Not long after, she expanded Dawana Fresh Produce to include spinach, then green peppers, broilers and eggs.
“I took a big risk and I planted 20 000 seedlings of spinach… I always say that we as entrepreneurs should be risk takers. Maybe a risk can be a blessing in disguise.” When Ncumisa planted her first crop, she didn’t yet have a market.
“As a farmer when you start planting, you need to know who you’re going to sell your product to. But because my community and social media friends have always supported me, I knew that they would support me,” she says.
When the spinach was ready for harvest, Ncumisa posted the details on social media. “Everything was sold out in less than an hour. I managed to sell over 1 000 bunches of spinach!”
Sometimes, the award-winning farmer says it feels as if she’s dreaming. “I believe that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my community and my social media friends,” says Ncumisa.
“As you know in every business there are challenges. But when you hear someone telling you every day that you’re an inspiration, that gives you hope,” she adds.
Follow Ncumisa on social media:
@ncumisa_farmer / Ncumisa Miesah Mkabile

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