Nadine Farrag, an Egyptian entrepreneur transforming the country’s wedding industry — Lionesses of Africa

What does your company do?

Farahy is the only one-stop-hub for everything wedding related in Egypt. We understand how stressful and challenging the wedding day can get, with the thousands of details that need planning and all the service providers out there. We want to help make the planning process as smooth as it can be so we’ve created a platform that will act as the one-stop-hub for all the big day’s needs. In summary, we’ll take care of everything starting from the proposal planning until your honeymoon.

What do we do?

Farahy Shop: Your one-stop-shop for all your wedding day needs! Whether you’re looking for matching Mr. & Mrs. outfits or items for your bridesmaids, we’ve got you covered!

Farahy Directory: Your one-stop-hub for all your wedding planning needs! Starting with your dream venue till your magical honeymoon, our directory has it all including prices and other customers’ reviews! You can check suppliers’ availability, book and pay online, invite guests, plan your gift list, and much more!

Farahy Coverage: Be a celebrity on your big day! Book our wedding coverage service and have your wedding featured on all our social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok). We’ll even engrave your love story!

Farahy Genie: We make your dreams come true! We’re your personal 24/7 assistant in anything you need. We’ll recommend, organize, and book everything on your behalf. Wedding venue, photographer, catering, honeymoon, you name it!

What inspired you to start your company?

I personally love weddings. I believe it’s the happiest day in anyone’s life and I never miss attending one. After years and years of attending weddings, it was my time to be a bridesmaid and help my best friends with their planning. I realized how ugly the process was and that was a turning point. How can such a beautiful day be loaded with all this stress? Why can’t the process be easier and fun?

Why should anyone use your service or product?

Farahy is Egypt’s largest wedding platform and the only one-stop-hub for everything wedding related. We’re the only ones to date who are able to provide the full service from the proposal planning until the honeymoon including all services and products. All customized to suit each couple.

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Is there such as thing as divorcing a client? — Lionesses of Africa

by Teboho Seretlo

I am an independent business consultant, meaning I earn my revenue from paying clients, who are prepared to pay for my time and expertise. I get most of my clients from word-of-mouth, followed by social media. In the last few years since I started this consultancy, I have realized that it is very important to know your worth and be confident in what you can deliver. If you don’t know your worth, you will be chopping and changing things such as your fees, the minute a client complains about your fees. You don’t want to get into such a debate with a client, especially if the client is not even one of those that contribute a lot towards your monthly revenue. Once you get into such a debate, then rest assured the client will always come back to you with this line of cornering you into lowering your fees.

So, in this case, I have learnt over the years, it’s okay to walk away from such a client, divorce is warranted. And then, there is the client who will not argue with you upfront about your fees, but once you send the invoice, they turn around and say they never agreed to pay that amount, and give you the run-around before they pay you your money. This means such a client cannot be trusted, plus they are changing your payment terms that are clearly articulated on your invoice. The time you spend chasing after your money from such a client can be put to better use elsewhere. So, walk away from such a client, with your head help up high.

One of the other services I provide is business mentoring. I then come across people who either email me or send me a WhatsApp wanting to engage on a variety of things like how to go about starting a business or how to get access to customers and or financing. Some of these people are referred to by friends who happen to know what I do, like I pointed out earlier, my business relies on word-of-mouth to get clients. Now, the downside to these clients is that either they expect you to call them or they expect to have free advice (or both). When you ask them to book a ZOOM session and give them your rates, they suddenly disappear.

In my earlier years of being in business, because I was not too confident in what I was trying to achieve and I was hung up about making money at all costs, I would “chase” and be the one to make the phone-call or ZOOM without even watching the time. Yes, of course a free 15-minute mentoring session is what I also offer. But I would find that some clients took advantage of this and would email or WhatsApp and when I calculated the amount of time, I had spent on this one client, it would exceed the 15-minute free slot. Such a client is a little sneaky and trying to score a free service from you and it is okay to divorce them too. So, I have learnt to put my foot down and insist that they book a slot, pay for it before I can engage with them, so that I am also paid for my expertise and my time; to enable me to make a living.

Additionally, I take it that if a client is serious about wanting to get some advice, then at least they need to show their seriousness by taking the time to make the call, show up and show up on time. If they repeatedly fail to show up and or show up on time, then clearly, a divorce in this case is inevitable. Trust me, I have been there, where I had a few would-be-mentees showing up 20 minutes into the scheduled meeting, coming to the meeting unprepared. That can be very frustrating and time wasting.

Other clients lack the respect for boundaries and call you at all sorts of hours in the day. I have had a client call me on a Sunday evening, not once, not twice, but on several occasions. The client would also WhatsApp me at any given time on any given day. It took me time to learn to either ignore the calls and return them during “working hours” or send a WhatsApp saying I would call back the next day. Again, if the client was among the bigger ones contributing a lot to my revenue, I have no issues bending the rules slightly. However, as a rule, I have also learnt that keeping a separate business number which is only switched on during so called working hours, has brought some semblance of structure and sanity to my life.

Finally, please remember not to let the fear of not having money lead you to making unsustainable decisions of compromising on your worth and your fees. I know you must be saying it’s easy for me to say this, but trust me, I don’t have a fat bank balance either, but I would rather believe in my services, my value and my worth. For, if I don’t, how do I expect clients to believe in me?

Go ahead and divorce those clients that make your life miserable, that don’t respect your craft and your time, and that want to play by their own rules.

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How green is my valley? — Lionesses of Africa

by Eldari Visser

Amidst the huge outcry of global warming warnings and several energy crises looming, a group of big corporations and government sectors, NGOs and Greenpeace nature lovers are putting their minds together, to find the next best solution for our planet. Operation “Going Green” seems so be on all the agendas. Some agendas are very close to serious activism if you ask me. We read in newspapers from around the globe on some of action taking place, some even to the tone of tomato purée and art! Gosh….

We can see that our environment is indeed taking hard knocks. When a fire breaks out in a big area, it takes nature a long time to get back to the previous lush woods and vegetation. Here in South Africa where I reside, the fires at the Table Mountain nature reserve create absolute havoc and desolation to our beloved fynbos. Higher temperatures always cause fire break-outs. Simply the change in weather patterns can be devastating. I recently read about the portions of Germany that are battling with water supply. Water is a crisis and green is a crisis. I also know that there is a full delegation of Native American indigenous people that want to take on the government heads-on about the Amazon being slowly killed by bigger corporations.

With all of this we can imagine the strain put on nature on a daily basis, yet, it is still amazing that nature has a way of keeping up. Bouncing back, growing different, adding its own safety measures in place. Through good times and bad times. She always delivers. So, let’s take a look at nature as we always do and see what she can teach us.

Elephant herds are masters on going green. Green space means water and rest and time for babies. A herd can travel many miles over very dry terrain and pass extremely dangerous situations but the matriarch knows she has to find the water and the greenery. Going green is for an elephant herd the absolute must-find-spot for their existence and for their bloodlines, for their next generation. They travel long distances and many die along the way, they die before they have reached the green and the water. The end was just too far along. Ok, so ask an Elephant to find water.

Satellite images over continents show the ever-increasing desert-like patches taking over the green. It is clear that our planet is really suffering. We must realize that nature cannot wait till we have done yet another discussion on this. She will roar and carry on! Or die trying!

Another group that goes for green are the masses of Blouwildebees. This buck will stop for nothing to get to safe places, green juicy grass and safety. Many times, it is part of their day job to dodge the crocodiles… but it’s done. The alternative is being left behind and starving to death or Mr. Lion will be constantly on your *ss. So, you have to take that leap through the water to the other side!

Trees and shrubs find interesting ways to find water so that their leaves can bloom again as food for the animals. Their circle goes on even if it means a contortionist move is necessary. Take a look around and see the shapes of trees.

So how green is your company?

Is it always good to go green?

This seems to create a lot of diverse reactions when placed on the table. Yes indeed, we must all consider nature, good clean gas, products and packaging that can be used again and again… but on a serious scale, how many companies do?

Polystyrene packaging? Hmmmm! Take away food packaging. Beauty products. And the list can go on. This is not a reflection on these industries but rather a tough question for the business entrepreneurs of the future. Do you support a company that does not have a good rating? Do you own a company that does not have a good rating? Or maybe we should just rather ask the following: How can I be like the Elephant and “find” the solution, the Wildebeest that will stop at nothing to “get” to the solution or the tree that will “ grow” towards the solution? I am sure these are much debatable topics. Let me not start on the “ negative” going green agendas… they also exist!

Jungle greetings

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How to Conquer Your Fear of Public Speaking — Lionesses of Africa

by Lori Milner

As much as you dread public speaking and presentations, this is one of your most incredible opportunities to demonstrate value and catapult yourself in your career. If it’s not your strong suit, you’ll shift away from speaking opportunities and convince yourself you’re an introvert or prefer to be behind the scenes. How can you shift your perspective and develop these skills, whether conversing with a few people, presenting to your team or addressing an auditorium? Here are seven things to consider:

How did you label the opportunity?

How do you label the situation internally when you’re asked to present something to your team or a bigger group? Do you tell yourself it’s going to be awful and dread it? Do you panic about being judged or not being perfect? In those first few moments, you’ve created the energy for how you will show up for this talk.

If you do get anxious, notice it and get curious. What about the situation are you afraid of? What part makes you uncomfortable? When I have situations that throw me a curve ball, I ask myself – how can I make this the best talk I’ve ever done? I also use fear as fuel and remind myself that I’m uncomfortable because this is the next level of my growth.

Self-doubt is not a sign that you should abort the opportunity; it’s an awareness that you’re about to move out of your comfort zone. Your internal dialogue and how you narrate your story will be the difference between rising to the challenge or letting fear take over.

Be aware of potentially placing too much pressure on the outcome. Do you create the story that a simple fifteen-minute presentation to the team determines the future of your career? Then no wonder you will do anything to avoid these situations. You’re the narrator – choose a better story.

What is your self-talk?

Once you’ve labelled the opportunity in your mind, place your self-talk under a microscope. Is it positive and encouraging or critical and destructive? The most important conversations you have are the ones you have with yourself. You’re already nervous as it is, don’t summon the inner critic to make you feel worse. What you communicate to yourself significantly impacts how you project yourself to the rest of the world.

Remind yourself that you are presenting because you have valuable information to share. You are the subject matter expert, and you are there to add value. Encourage yourself to relax, take some deep breaths and tell yourself you’ve got this. When the message is perfect, you don’t have to be.

Forgive yourself if you made a mistake or the nerves took over, and you forgot to mention something. Remember, no one knows what you were meant to say but you.

Develop a learning mindset and ask yourself how you can improve next time. What did you learn? Beating yourself up and telling yourself you’re pathetic will not help you develop this muscle. To set your future self up for success, you need to master this skill today.

Own your physical presence.

People start sizing up your physical presence the second you enter any room. Your body language accounts for 55% of non-verbal communication – think about how confidently you walked in. How firmly did you shake hands? Even online, is your camera on? Are you smiling? Are you sitting upright or slumped into the chair?

No matter how nervous you are, use your body language to boost your physiology. Social scientist, Any Cuddy did research that revealed standing in a power pose for two minutes (like the wonder woman pose or the victory pose when a runner crosses the finish line with arms raised) boosts your testosterone and lowers your cortisol levels.

Before your presentation or conversation, stand in a power pose for two minutes – preferably in private and let your body do the work for you. If it sounds crazy, I encourage you to watch her TED talk. Even if you’re terrified inside, own the room by bringing certainty in your body language – shoulders back, head up and smile.

Preparation is the antidote to anxiety.

Before preparing your content, take a step back and think about your audience. If you’re presenting to your team, a client or a packed auditorium, take a moment and reflect on what they need to hear and what will be most important to them. Tune into their frequency of ‘what’s in it for me?’. Even if you’re presenting internally, how will your information benefit that specific division?

Preparation is equally about how you want to feel when you deliver your message. To calm your anxiety, practice saying your content as much as possible in advance. I like to use pockets of time in my day, such as driving time or when I’m getting ready to get comfortable saying the words out loud.

Maybe you need to have a courageous conversation; what does it feel like to say the words out loud? Have you considered the tone? Maybe you want a raise. Have you practised asking for the number you want? Are you coming across as confident or apologetic?

Not all presentations are created equally, and not all require PowerPoint. Having said that, if a PowerPoint is required, create a compelling slide deck if you are presenting to an external audience. It should be a visual masterpiece for your audience with beautiful images and few words, not designed for you to remember your talk.

One piece of advice I came across in Akash Karia’s book on ‘How to Deliver a Great TED Talk, – “If you and the slide are saying the same thing, then one of you is not needed.” Is the slide there to help you remember your content or to benefit the audience?

Visualise the desired result.

Apart from physically preparing, you can also use the tool of visualisation. Spend some time on your own where you won’t be distracted to close your eyes and see yourself going through the talk from start to finish in your mind.

The more emotion you can bring to the visualisation, the more powerful it becomes. Focus on the feeling you bring into the room and how you feel after. Imagine the audience smiling, fully engaged and clapping at the end. You could imagine the client signing the deal or placing the order you are pitching for.

It’s not about being perfect, but what energy do you want to show up with? The more you do this, the more certainty you can bring to the situation.

Visualisation is common for athletes; Olympic champion Michael Phelps did this consistently before his competitions and rehearsed every element of his swim mentally. He successfully completed his race and took gold before diving into the pool.

Congratulate yourself.

The way to build confidence is to acknowledge your success. Incremental wins over time build evidence for who you are becoming. You must internalise and truly acknowledge yourself to feel confident for the next presentation.

Courage supersedes confidence based on evidence of taking action and creating micro wins. You have to prove to yourself you can do it, not think your way to confidence. Did you show up despite the nerves? Make sure you give yourself credit and not minimise the accomplishment. It may seem insignificant, but it was a huge victory for you.

This becomes the starting point for the next opportunity, not returning to your career’s beginning.

You’re not an imposter.

If you take one thing from this article, please let it be this – the moment you give yourself significance is when your public speaking phobia disappears. Why? If you don’t believe in yourself or believe you’re not enough, you will constantly seek approval from others and live in imposter syndrome.

When you don’t back yourself, every presentation becomes a new opportunity to attempt to prove your worth, and it’s exhausting. When you believe I am enough and deserve to be here, you will walk into any situation fully charged. You aren’t this battery flashing in the red, hoping someone else can charge you.

How do you get to this place of charging your own battery? Go back to the beginning of the article – use kind self-talk, create certainty in your body, engage in deliberate practice, visualise the perfect result, acknowledge your wins and most importantly, know that you are enough.

Final thoughts.

Public speaking or difficult conversations are never going away. How you approach them will make the difference between sleepless nights or opportunities to grow and conquer a fear.

As my late father always used to tell me: “It’s fine to have butterflies, as long as they fly in formation”. Here’s to showing up fully charged,

Warm wishes


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Setting Boundaries or Employee Engagement Crisis — Lionesses of Africa

by Kulani Shiluvah, Founder of Shiluvah & Chief Solutionist

Quiet quitting is the new hot topic in the human capital space and everyone and their aunty has their point of view, with the majority coming to two conclusions that quiet quitting is a result of an employee:

  • Setting boundaries with their work (chasing the elusive work-life balance we always talk about, or

  • The worsening employee engagement levels

So, what is quiet quitting and why is it causing such a global stir?

Simply put quiet quitting refers to employees only working their 9-to-5 (or defined working hours), no more and no less, finish and klaar. Within those defined working hours employees are still meeting all their obligations to their employers as per the employment contract, and job description, as well as meeting all necessary targets but, have stopped going over and above as the saying goes.

This is a significant change from the always-on, hustle culture that has been so prevalent within organisations all over the globe. Employees are deciding to sleep more, and spend more time with family and loved ones doing things that make them happy, rather than replying to that “urgent” email or compiling that report after hours. Because as we all have come to realize, 99.9% of the time those things can wait because no one is dying.

So, what does this mean?

Are employees learning to set boundaries between work life and life, or are we seeing employee engagement levels, which currently sit at 20% globally, drop?

I think the quiet quitting phenomenon has been a long time coming, especially in this post-pandemic era we all find ourselves in, as the realities of burnout, stress and other mental well-being issues were highlighted and taken a little more seriously.

In recent times we have seen the rate of burnout and other mental health issues increase, more so in women because as Beyonce says: “Who runs the world…?” (This is not to say that our male counterparts aren’t also going through the most – as the youth would say – because they are) because of this always-on, hustle culture we all embraced.

Employees are finally learning to set healthy boundaries between themselves and their work and believe it or not, this is a good thing as quiet quitting allows employees to fully engage in the workplace during working hours while taking the necessary time away from work to recharge.

So, in my humble opinion, the quiet quitting phenomenon is not only beneficial for employees themselves but also for the employer as it allows people in the workplace to:

1. Work to live and not live to work

Setting healthy boundaries between work life and life, life allows employees to show up in the workplace ready to be productive and produce what is needed from them at a rate that is far higher than when those healthy boundaries aren’t there.

2. Show up as their full selves in the workplace

Showing up as our full selves in the workplace means we can utilize the parts of ourselves that would otherwise be unavailable to benefit the workplace if we left our authentic selves at home.

3. Thrive in the workplace

So no, quiet quitting does not mean your team is disengaged and unproductive, employees can remain highly engaged and productive while they set healthy boundaries between their work lives and life, life.

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Finished with late blight – African Farming

There’s good news for potato farmers struggling with late blight. Corteva Agriscience has just introduced a new fungicide, ZorvecTM Encantia ® (Reg. no. L11227, Act 36 of 1947), to specifically combat late blight, a bacterium that causes damage to potatoes.

Based on ZorvecTM Active, this product is the first in a new class of fungicides and has a unique biochemical action that has no cross-resistance with existing fungicides.

“After more than a decade of research, we have developed a new product with an unrivalled level of consistency and control, especially when it comes to combating water fungi (oomycetes). This lowers operational costs and improves overall efficiency,” says Stephan Marais, Product Manager at Corteva Agriscience.

The product has a favourable environmental profile, is effective at very low use rates and has no harmful effects on beneficial species. It will be available locally from distributors of Corteva products later this year.

PRICE: On request.


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Combat foot-and-mouth and other diseases – African Farming

The latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease is causing great concern among South African cattle farmers.

Nutrochem’s Envirosept SC disinfectant can effectively combat the foot-and-mouth virus and numerous other livestock and poultry diseases. It is effective against viruses, tuberculosis, bacteria and fungi.

Envirosept SC can be applied by foaming, fogging, spraying or dipping. Prior to application, the concentrated formula is diluted in water according to the manu- facturer’s guidelines for target pathogen.

In 99.9% of all cases, Envirosept SC will destroy diseases and viruses, such as bird flu, African swine fever, Escherichia coli and listeria. Envirosept SC is available in containers of 1 litre, 5 litres, 25 litres, 210 litres and 1 000 litres.

PRICE: Varies depending on pack size.

INQUIRIES: 017 647 2779,

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Get pricing about production costs – African Farming

PrysWys is an agricultural trading platform that enables farmers to save on production inputs on the farm.

Farmers can use the free PrysWys app to request quotes and the PrysWys team tracks down the best possible price from their network of suppliers right across South Africa. There is also an option to request your input from a specific supplier.

The PrysWys app was launched by Swift-VEE, an online livestock auction platform, after noticing a gap in farm-to-fork traceability in South Africa’s production cycle.

The PrysWys app allows you to record the purchase so it can be independently verified and to keep track of your expenses by uploading your invoices. Keeping track of all aspects of production, including the purchase of production inputs, is important in South FREE Africa’s digitised agricultural sector.

The platform offers the farmer inputs at the best price and offers suppliers a larger pool of buyers. This facilitates overall farm-to-fork traceability.

Using the PrysWys app is simple. Download the app on the Google Play Store for Android users or the App Store for Apple users and request a quote. Then accept your preferred quote and have your order delivered to your farm or pick it up when you unload your crop.

PrysWys is convenient and affordable.

PRICE: Free.

INQUIRIES: Quintin Vorster, e-mail:, cell: 073 548 1217, web:

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Withdrawal of state aid undermines vital progress – African Farming

Thousands of small communal wool farmers will lose out on progress that has been made in their industry over the past 20 years, if the state does not make its contribution to the NWGA’s successful wool improvement project. By Fredalette Uys.

Wool sheep farming in the communal areas of the Eastern Cape has undergone a complete transformation over the past 20 years. It has significantly improved the standard of living for many farming households – but a major hurdle is blocking the path of further progress.

At the start of the National Wool Growers’ Association’s (NWGA’s) communal wool improvement project in 2002, around 222 610kg of wool from communal Eastern Cape farmers was marketed for R1.5 million. In 2021, 5.4 million kg of wool was sold for R260 million, thanks to the interventions of the project.

This project is a shining example of how organised agriculture and the state can successfully work together to support trans­formation in rural South Africa; and it drew widespread praise.

Even the Department of Agriculture, Land Affairs and Rural Development director general, Mooketsa Ramasodi, congratulated the industry on the project at the recent NWGA annual congress in Port Elizabeth.

However, shortly after the 2019 merger of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Land Affairs and Rural Development, government ceased its annual R10 million funding for the ram improvement project. This genetic improvement scheme plays an important role in improving communal wool farmers’ herds and consequently their wool income.

“Because the project has been stopped, there are still many communities that have not received the necessary support. We see that the quality of animals is slowly deteriorating,” said NWGA manager Leon de Beer.

“We are not saying that rams must be provided to the communities forever, but we do see that the communities that did benefit from the project generate sufficient income to now buy their own rams.”

Thanks to the project, almost 49 000 quality rams have been distributed to communal wool sheep producing communities since 2002, said Leon. Flock sizes vary between 70 and 100 sheep per farmer. There are approximately 40 000 individual communal wool farmers in 1 400 communities, mainly in the Eastern Cape who keep approximately 4 million sheep.

The aim is to distribute between 80 000 and 100 000 rams so that all communities can benefit. In 2021, the NWGA’s production advisors assisted about 100 farmers with the purchase of 150 rams from commercial farmers.

“It is not always easy to buy a ram at auction and know if he meets the genetic standards, but these rams have been specifically selected in a group scheme.”

Socio-economic surveys show that the project has had a real impact on the standard of living of communal wool farmers. Since the surveys began in 2004, every five years there has been a dramatic improvement in social indicators. This includes a drastic decrease in the number of children going to bed hungry, an increase in the number of households with savings accounts, and fewer households needing to borrow money for school fees.

All household members now have cellphones, and those with access to electricity own a TV or fridge. According to Leon, communal farmers’ income can double if their wool quality is improved, as the prices they realise are currently lower than the average wool farmer in South Africa.

Only 5.4 million kilogram of the total of 8 million kilogram of wool produced by the communal sector is delivered to market. If the full total is delivered to the formal market, communal income can increase to R700 million.

“And this is only the income from wool. Meat production can also be improved with improved pasture management.”


Communal farmers from the five production regions in the Eastern Cape gather annually to exhibit their best animals at regional competitions, followed by inter-regional competitions.

At these events, the top five animals are selected in the lamb-, two-tooth ewes, four- to six-tooth ewes and ram categories. A farmer who is placed in the top five of each category is named the overall winner.

This year, after a three-year break, the inter-regional flock competition was once again held in Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape.

“Flock competitions are also used as information days. So, when a farmer’s rams are not selected, we can explain that it is because it is a cross ram or a ram of poor quality,” explains Willem Goosen, NWGA manager of infrastructure and market development.

In this way, wool sheep farmers are encouraged to improve the quality of their livestock, thereby increasing wool production and resulting in increased profits. It also provides an opportunity to evaluate progress, explains Leon. Conformation of animals and quality of wool is examined at competitions, and thus the improvement of the project over time can be seen.

Willem says the competitions are a big attraction and are usually attended by around 300 people. Since the state abruptly stopped its funding of the ram project, which introduces quality rams through scientific-based measures, there has been a noticeable decline in the quality of communal flocks and wool.

“We can already see it in the field. The wool quality of young stock is getting worse. The farmers no longer get R90/kg for lamb’s wool. Instead, they get R60/kg.

“The farmers may have a project ram at home and one of his ram lambs in the pen. He won’t cut the young ram because he does not have another ram, but if he uses this ram it is inbreeding. He doesn’t have the funds to buy a new ram or to exchange the ram lamb for a better ram lamb, because the project does not exist anymore.”

There are currently only a handful of farmers who can pay R5 000 or more for good rams.


The NWGA’s wool improvement project rests on five pillars, explains Leon.

■ Between 20 to 40 small farmers are grouped together with nearly 2 000 sheep between them to shear and class. The formal South African market requires wool to be sold by the bale, so the farmers’ wool clip is grouped together as they cannot fill a bale on their own. Wool is traditionally sold informally to hawkers, who pack the wool into bales to get better prices. By grouping their wool together, farmers can participate in the formal market and can potentially quadruple their income.

■ As an accredited AgriSETA service provider, the NWGA provides training and mentoring in 13 basic wool sheep farming learning areas. These focus on key areas such as shearing and wool classing training, as well as nutrition, breeding, selection, field management and animal health.

■ Through infrastructure development, farmers gain access to proper shearing equipment and facilities. It is estimated that only 20% of communities have access to proper shearing infrastructure. Shearing houses are mainly funded by the state, but the private sector, including mines and banks, also provide support. The shearing sheds built by the NWGA are 132m2.

Built with building blocks, they have skylights in the roof to allow natural light through, and are equipped with handling facilities, shearing equipment, shearing tables and dip tanks. By providing proper infrastructure and equipment, communal farmers are able to sell their wool on the formal market and improve their earning potential.

■ The commercial sector has been working together since 2002 to breed quality rams for communal farmers through the genetic improvement programme. Communal farmers’ self-bred sheep are removed, slaughtered and sold, and replaced with quality rams in order to improve farmers’ clip and wool income.

This involves a group scheme of commercial farmers from the same area as the communal farmers, so that the rams can adapt easily. There are more than 20 000 ewes collectively in the group which annually breed more than 10 000 ram lambs from which the top 3 000 are selected. An independent selector selects the rams according to the prescribed breed standards, and places them in communal flocks at two-tooth age. Participation in the project by communal producers is voluntary.

■ Access to the export market is obtained in cooperation with brokers. Brokerage agents are introduced to communities, with farmers able to choose who they want to market through.


The bulk of communal wool is destined for the Chinese market. Communal farmers in particular got the short straw when China introduced a ban on the import of South African greasy wool in April because of foot-and-mouth disease.

“We need to get the ram project going again, to raise wool standards and assure communal farmers that they will be less affected in future,” said Billy van Zyl, chairman of the NWGA.

“Figures from the past 25 years show that this is possible. We are in an upward curve and communal farmers’ wool quality has already improved a lot. The ram project is just what the farmers need to get more security.”

According to Leon, communication has been ongoing since 2019 with various senior members of the Department of Land Affairs and Rural Development to get the project restarted. Since the department’s merger with the Department of Agriculture, there have been several unsuccessful attempts at communication, says Leon.

The matter was raised again during Ramasodi’s visit to the NWGA congress. “What we have to understand is that when we get funding again, it will take a reasonable amount of time to contract farmers to once again adjust their production cycle to breed rams, which takes at least 18 months.”


It is a great honour for competition parti- cipants to walk away with the title of category winner. The overall winners of the competition in region 24 of the Utlaonang project, in Mount Fletcher, were represented by Nthuseng Mokupo. This project runs a total of 2 500 sheep owned by 32 farmers.

According to Nthuseng, this group of farmers intends to eventually produce their own young ewes and rams to sell to neighbouring communities to generate income. However, a lack of fenced camps to keep the sheep remains a challenge, she explains.

The project was initially part of the NWGA’s exchange programme for rams, and was able to buy another 15 rams through Wesbank. Because they no longer receive government aid, they now buy their rams from commercial farmers in the Barkly East and Elliot area, with the assistance of production advisors.

“I can increase my income through wool sheep farming by selling wool. Wool quality improves every day in our scheme.” Ndevula Hastag was a farm worker on a sheep farm for 34 years and today farms 450 sheep on communal land near Rossouw. He buys his own rams from farmers in Barkly East and Dordrecht – and this is how he learned about sheep farming.

He farms with Merino sheep as he can earn income from wool and also sell lambs for meat. However, he would like to learn more about wool grading, and says internal parasites remain one of his biggest challenges, even though he administers the necessary doses.

Bonani Fanteni farms 120 ewes on communal land near Rhodes, in region 25, and was very excited about his award. He believes his time of moving backwards is over and from now on he will only go forward. Limited grazing on communal land prevents him from expanding his herd; and he sells his rams and old ewes every year and keeps the best ewes.

The flock competition was a good learning experience for him, as he can see which sheep are culled and which make the final selection. He can clearly see the difference and knows he is on the right track.

“When uniformity and crimp are the same, then I know it is a good sheep.”

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Human resources in business — Lionesses of Africa

by Tsitsi Mutendi

This week we continue on our journey with Ms. Olivia Simbajena. Ms. Simbajena is a businesswoman whose business falls under the category of SME and MME. Hers also falls under the category of Family Business. As we have defined before Family Business is a business started by an individual for the benefit of his or her family and is then run by the individual to serve the interests of their communities as well as those of their family. Family Business’s main characteristics are that a family owns the majority shareholding of the business. However, from the characters and their situations, although fictional, we are starting to see that there are dynamic intricacies that effect Family Businesses. Laying down a foundation by introducing our fictional business owners will help to establish context when we go in-depth and unpack more problems and solutions for Family Businesses.

Last week we learned more about our trader turned enterprise builder Ms. Simbajena. Ms. Simbajena is one of the powerhouses in the SME and MME section. Ms. Simbajena is a Trader who managed to open a store, which then became a chain of stores and diversified into manufacturing. According to research done by the UN and World Bank, Women play a crucial role in trade in Africa and will be essential to Africa’s success in exploiting its trade potential. Daily, millions of women in Africa are engaged in one form of trade or another, either within their countries or across national borders. They buy and sell everything, from agricultural produce to manufactured products. It is mostly women who conduct cross-border trade, delivering goods and services, reports the World Bank. They also run the majority of agricultural small landholdings. Indeed, women traders’ contribution to national economies has become essential in boosting trade in Africa. It is well known that most women in Africa start a business out of necessity, and that necessity is to feed their family. Women Business owners are the majority of many Family Business Owners. The biggest obstacle is that they do not see their business as a business that can become bigger than just feeding their family, even though they contribute to the Ecosystem of many economies in a considerable way.

Ms. Simbajena has been struggling with Financial Management, especially her Taxes, and she was unsure what to pay or to whom. The accountant she had hired was not confident, and now she was being informed she had fines. These fines crippled her operational cash flow. She is unsure about her hiring practices. In the beginning, she would employ to empower those she believed needed an opportunity like the one she received herself. This strategy at times worked, but as her businesses grew, she realized that some members of her staff were treating customers rudely and at times, stealing stock. She becomes skeptical when hiring. In this process, she has so many family relations now coming asking her for jobs in her stores.

At some point with her mother’s convincing, she decided to forgive her brothers for their previous behavior when she was jobless and penniless. After all, they are family. Besides putting them as directors on her company paperwork, she decided to bring them into the business to give them a source of income and something to do. Her brothers now worked for her at some of her stores, but she was hearing stories of goods being sold without proper conduct and money not being banked. Her employees were not telling her what was going on, as they didn’t want to upset her brothers. And when she asked the brothers, they would berate her. This conflict was making her uncomfortable.

To add insult to injury, she was tired of going the cross border route herself. Traveling most of the month was no longer as thrilling as it used to be. And although she had “runners,” now she still was spending most of her time flying to foreign countries to source stock. She had resigned herself to this as she did not want to share her trade secrets with employees as they may take over her business.

A couple of issues are coming up in this installment of Ms. Simbajena’s story. The first being Human Resources. From an administration point of view and an operations point of view. Our founder grew the business without the foresight to plan ahead. Business Planning is an essential part of building and growing a business. And it’s critical to be very clear and precise in every area. This planning will help guide the business and future decisions. Plans can be changed and adjusted because of other contributing factors, but having a plan makes the journey a bit clearer.

In this case, Ms. Simbajena would have had a clear picture of what her Human Resources needs would have been. What skills are necessary, when are they needed, and why? Many factors should be considered when hiring. The criteria Ms. Simbajena used was more emotive and less strategic. With the vision she had for her business, it is clear she should have been more strategic. Again, consulting an expert would have helped her with her Human Resources plan, and it would have helped her manage her business better.  When too much time is spent on stress, less time is spent on growth.

Besides planning, another issue that is brought up is operations in relation to Human Resources. When growing a business, it is essential to formalize the structure of the business. One way to do that is by putting in place an operations plan and an operations guide. This gives all staff rules and regulations on what to do and when and how. And it also lists your essential resources and how they are utilized. A well-operated business should not be stressing about secrets being stolen because it has in place systems and procedures that protect its “secret sauce.” However, when the business is run and operated with no set parameters or systems, it is all controlled at a central point. It leaves the business vulnerable. If Ms. Simbajena were to meet an unfortunate accident that leaves her unable to run her business, there is no way her business will run because there is no formal structure to it. No operations plan, no specialization of duty. Everything is hanging in a central power and no other options.

If a Family Business is to grow and expand, it must be structured appropriately to allow it to grow. As with a body that has many limbs and organs that function differently, so is a business. And it’s critical that the founder and the family structure their business so well that it can run without their presence but with their overlooking the process. Firstly, understanding your business, structuring it, and then seeing the operations run on that structure is a critical step to wealth building as a family business.

Tsitsi Mutendi is a Succession and Estate Planning Expert specializing in SME, MME, and Family Business Services. She writes in her Personal and Professional Capacity. Comments and views: or

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