An entrepreneur, Livhuwani Nemaungani, better known as Luvhuki in business circles, believes that in order to preserve a business enterprise one needs to work hard and have a strong, motivated team.
“Youths out there need to understand that there’s no quick formula to help you reach your business goals. You need to set down your goals and work hard towards achieving those goals. If you need to build a strong working team that is grounded on respect don’t be bossy towards your employers because you suspect they might not respect you due to your young age.”
Luvhuki, a highly-spirited woman, owns Madidingwe Security and Projects, a company which deals with, among other ventures, poultry farming and crop production farming. The farm is situated at Ramavhoya village in the Vhembe district of Limpopo.
“At the end of the day one needs to understand that one doesn’’t run a farming business for the purposes of getting any form of glory. We do it for our district and our country; we are feeding the nation. It’ll only be fair to state that farming is a country’s economic cornerstone.”
Madidingwe Security and Projects specialises in producing, among other things, cabbages, tomatoes, spinach, baby marrow, onion, mustard, beetroot, butternut and green peppers.
“We purchase seedlings from a nursery, apply compost, plant and fertilise, and maintain the harvest. When harvest time comes we deliver our fresh produce to major supermarkets and fruit-and-vegetable open markets.”
Nearly a decade ago she resigned from her job as branch administrator at a bank to venture into the business world. Little did she know that her star would rise and see her winning prestigious national awards. She was named overall winner of the Eskom Business Investment Competition 2013.
“The award came with prize money amounting to R200 000 which helped boost production on the farm. There were people who said I was stupid to quit my work at the bank and enter the business world. They said my business ideas also looked unpromising. I had to use my pension money to start the farming project.”
With her strategised business plan and her full commitment to work hard she has also received financial support from major funding companies such as De Beers (R110 000) and LIBSA. This enabled her to grow the business and employ more local people.
So far, Livhuki’s challenge is that she has got a bigger supply demand than what she can supply at this stage. She is of the opinion that she can only beat that challenge if she can get some funding to create more jobs for unemployed men, women and youths.
“Once we have more employees we’ll be able to produce more and make more profit. Despite that challenge, which is quite addressable, farming is viable and one will never go wrong with farming as long as you know all the techniques and your market. People eat every day; they need food every day.”
She stressed that, just like in any other field, farming has got technicalities of its own and one needs to know all those in order to produce quality products. Failure to know and understand the use of certain chemicals to treat plants results in a greater loss. Sometimes there are natural disasters which are part of setbacks in this field.
“However, nothing beats positive spirit and good will. You need to motivate yourself and employees. So I have always learned that in farming we must always have insurance. In cases where natural disasters strike, we’ll know that we have something to fall back on.”
This mother of two, a 16-year-old daughter and an 12-year-old son, delights in juggling business and motherhood and does it without any difficulty. Indeed, hard work has paid off for Livhuki in that she has won numerous farmers’ awards and youth in business awards for her farming expertise. The prizes serve as a motivation for her to work even harder.
Tell us: Do you think we need more women to take part in farming?