Mutshinyani “Chichi” Madavha is a dedicated, upcoming female farmer.
The 23-year-old Mutshinyani “Chichi” Madavha is a upcoming female farmer who describes herself as a fatherless, motherless and fundless farmer whose work speaks volumes.
She grew up in a family where her parents were staunch farmers who planted maize and nuts at Tshitungulwane Mudziafera village at Tshimbupfe, near Vuwani. They had also utilised the space in their yard as a garden. Here they planted spinach, beetroot, carrots and onions.
“I didn't join my parents in farming then; all I did was to chase the joys of this world, such as fancy clothing – you know this whole lot of things about slay queens!” she smiled.
Chichi's mother passed away in 2012. In April 2019, her father gave her the farm and, sadly, he passed away in June. At some stage, Chichi reflected upon her parents' love for agriculture and started farming straightaway, without any first-hand experience or theoretical knowledge.
“That was in April last year,” she said. “I just started calling myself 'an upcoming female farmer' and planted a lot of cabbage, butternuts, tomatoes, spinach and chillies. Maybe farming runs in my veins.”
Today, Chichi ranks among the top producers in her area and her target markets are feeding schemes, open markets and her community. “My wish is to supply to the big market,” she said. “Farming has taught me to be patient and to work very hard, because it is not all about harvesting.”
She said she still experienced challenges, such as direct and indirect market access and farming resources. “But, as a female farmer, my biggest challenges are funding and not enough knowledge to run a big farm,” she said.
She said farming was not an easy activity and added that it required full dedication and a lot of hard work to yield good results and sustain the business. “You don’t have to give up so early,” she said. “My motto is: 'I am the upcoming female farmer without fear'.”
She has seasonal helpers on the farm, some of whom are family members, while others are villagers who work on a part-time basis.
Chichi believes that bringing her produce to the market can have a positive impact on the country’s economy. “I believe that my late parents would be proud of me,” she said.
Date:01 February 2020 - By: Tshifhiwa Mukwevho
Tshifhiwa Given Mukwevho was born in 1984 in Madombidzha village, not far from Louis Trichardt in the Limpopo Province. After submitting articles for roughly a year for Limpopo Mirror's youth supplement, Makoya, he started writing for the main newspaper. He is a prolific writer who published his first book, titled A Traumatic Revenge in 2011. It focusses on life on the street and how to survive amidst poverty. His second book titled The Violent Gestures of Life was published in 2014.