Those in the Springs area may know the dynamic Gugulethu Cindy Mahlangu from the Springs market…

The enthusiastic agripreneur also sells her produce to the informal sector and local outlets in Boksburg. “The goal is to start selling my own brand to retail,” says Mahlangu.

Mahlangu’s company is called ‘House Harvest’. She’s currently leasing a tract of land near Boksburg in Gauteng where she farms rape and spinach using tunnels. Her passion is not just growing her veggies, but sharing her knowledge about farming and food security with her community.

“I have dedicated my social media accounts to educating and exposing farmers to opportunities,” she says.

“My biggest passion is education. I want to get my post-grad and investigate the food security our country faces and needs. Everyone has the right to food – how to grow it in a sustainable way and the knowledge on what foods actually do for our bodies.”

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Starting with some savings and a dream

Having received no assistance from government or external funding, Mahlangu used her personal savings and some investment from family and friends to get her business off the ground. As it expands rapidly, she is now looking into getting a bank loan to assist in the expansion.

Big dreams!

In 10 years time, Gugulethu aims to be a commercial organic farmer focusing on modern tech in the agriculture sector. She wants to focus specifically on additional hydroponics and aquaponics, and farming in urban areas like cities and towns.

Dealing with prejudice

Farming is a typically male-dominated industry, and Mahlangu has had her fair share of frustrating experiences. “One guy demanded to see my boss because he assumed I was calling as a secretary! After I explained that I’m my own boss, he started throwing jabs and questioning me on agriculture to prove a point that I don’t know what I’m doing,” recalls Mahlangu.

“It was so strange and belittling to say the least. But that’s the thing about being in this sector you grow up fast and learn to remain strong and that builds up your confidence because now, I have the ‘I’m coming for everything’ attitude.”

Take charge of your own future

Mahlangu advises anyone who wants to join the agricultural sector “to start.”

“Nothing is impossible or difficult. That is what my dad taught me. Some dread the paperwork, some get discouraged due to the lack of resources available, but you have a smart phone, you have a paper you have a pen.”

“Do your business plan. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery have a business plan guideline template that you can download. Completing this is a step into understanding the industry better, and you will be inspired to go open your business. Get a business account and card, design your logo. It’ll be a fun experience that will propel you to the right channels needed to start farming.”

Follow Gugulethu Cindy Mahlangu on her social media accounts to be inspired!