Tshilidze “Chilli” Matshidzula, the award winning dairy farmer from Alexandria, had the 20 participants of the Thabiso Life Skills Course at the Assumption Development Centre in Joza enthralled by what he has managed to achieve, in the last 10 years as an emerging farmer, when he spoke to the group recently.
In 2007, the 19-year-old arrived in the Eastern Cape, from Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province, having studied animal production at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). He took up a practical position in the Cookhouse area, under the mentorship of farmer, Walter Biggs. Now aged 28, Matshidzula engaged the Thabiso Life Skills group with his story of how hard work and determination had created opportunities for him to now be the majority share-holder in a multi-million rand dairy farm enterprise in Alexandria.
He identified a number of contributors to his success, including mentorship, the willingness to learn, and - if need be – to change behaviour. “Farming is a whole lot more than having land allocated to you,” he said. “It is about being business-like in one’s approach to that land and having a vision to make it productive.”
What a privelege it was to have had Tshilidze share his story with us!