Einstein Sibanda is a poultry farmer in Rocklands, Simonstown and owns a business called Hands-on Entrepreneur. He has 1700 chickens on the two-hectare free-range farm and produces eggs, inspiring the catchy produce name, ‘Einstein’s Eggs’.
Originally from Zimbabwe, Einstein moved to South Africa in 2006 and studied Agriculture in order to upskill himself in the farming sector, spending three years at Living Hope (an umbrella of ministry projects engaged in various forms of community service).
“Where I come from, people engage in agriculture only for family use, not really for commercial purposes. After finishing my schooling, I decided to take agriculture further and make it my career,” Einstein said.
“At Living Hope, I grew tomatoes and was also involved in chicken farming, which I then decided to take further.”
“I rented a farm closer to Living Hope in Solole, that was previously used as an animal zoo, in order to start up my poultry farming business, but after some time, the council bought the land and I needed to find another place to farm.”
“In December 2015, I found the land in Rocklands that I am currently farming from and the owners agreed to my proposal of farming on the land as it was not being used at the time. The farm had previously been used for piggery and dairy farming.”
Einstein collects around 1600 eggs from the chickens each day. He then supplies these eggs to the local community, restaurants, and any interested parties wanting to buy his eggs. He also sells individual chickens.
Free-range farming requires special techniques and Einstein works long hours ensuring the quality of his products.
“The difference between free-range poultry farming and other forms of poultry farming is that we do not keep the chickens in cages and let them run freely, touching and pecking at whatever they please within that safe, spacious enclosure.”
“We do not use any forms of science when it comes to the grooming of the chickens and raise them in the most natural way possible, we realise that using chemicals is damaging to the eco-environment, so we don’t spray the eggs with any of those substances.”
Special care is also paid to the types of foods that the chickens eat.
“A lot of time and money is spent in giving free-range chickens special feed. We also let them peck at the soil and eat the worms found in there which are filled with proteins that are good for the chickens.”
People come from far and wide in order to get a taste of Einstein’s organic eggs, as local musician, Nhoza Sitsholwana, who had popped in for a tray or two, enthused.
“It’s amazing what Einstein is doing here. If you’re in a small town like Port St Johns, where I’m from, it’s hard to get any supplies and you have to travel very far, sometimes as far as Umtata, unless you have a little farm of your own.”
“People are not really that aware of what they can do to produce more food for themselves. It’s good to teach people what they can do to produce their own foods.”
Einstein believes that farming is great for the eco-environment and important an important skillset for anyone, including the youth, to learn.
“Farming is not only for old people, young people can also engage in agriculture, appreciating nature and the fact that what they are eating was produced by soil they ploughed themselves. It can also be a great source of employment for the youth.”
Einstein’s words of inspiration for the youth: “Young people should dream big, but also take the actions needed in order to make those dreams a reality. It’s all about action and doing!”