At a tender age of 23, Tshifhiwa Mafua of Madimbo village outside Musina is a shining example of how the youth can succeed in creating their own jobs. A qualified plumber, Mafua ventured into farming last year and he is slowly reaping the rewards of his hard labour.
Mafua said: “With the level of poverty and unemployment sky rocking on daily basis, youth must shift from the mentality of looking for jobs but they must strive to be job creators and employers. Government is doing its best to empower the youth but it is impossible to provide every young person with a job. That is why I realized that there is a need for me to play a role in improving the economic situation of my country.”
He added that it was very difficult for him to venture into farming without any start-up capital. “As a qualified plumber, I had to save the little money I made from plumbing in order to buy some farming equipment. As a young person, I have several basic needs but I had to be highly disciplined so that I can achieve my dreams in farming. I then worked on acquiring a 15hector farm here at Nwanedi.”
He said the land on which he is farming today was a bush full of thorny trees and shrubs. “I had to clear the bushes by myself to prepare the land for farming. I don’t even have tractors but I made sure that I hire some to make sure that the land is ready for farming. Farming is a very challenging but interesting job and if you are not dedicated, you can easily backslide.”
Mafua has now planted green beans, pepper, cucumber and eggplant (aubergine) which he sells to the local and national markets. He employs three seasonal workers who assist him in his farm.
However, Mafua admits that there are many challenges in farming but they don’t supersedes his interest in the trade. “Shortage of working tools like tractors and non-availability of transport to take my products to the market are some of my challenges. Most of my farming profit ends up paying for the hiring of tractors and paying for transport to take my products to the market. I would also appreciate any funding support to expand my farming business so that I can employ more people.”
He says he is willing to share his knowledge free of charge with other young people who would like to follow a career in farming. “Young people must stand up and build their own future. Those who want to gain some agricultural knowledge or want to assist me in expanding my farming business can contact me on my number, 079 293 3081. I’m always readily available to assist anyone who would like to venture into the farming industry.”