Growing up shy, Nsika Shabalala didn’t expect to become a farmer. His farming journey began when both of his parents passed away and he was left in the care of his uncle who owns Afrikan Farms, Vusi Khanyile. Today, this 31-year-old farmer feels happy and fulfilled for the success and growth that agriculture has given him.
With the plan to educate and prepare him in the farm life, Khanyile enrolled Shabalala in agricultural schools, both for his secondary and tertiary education. Upon graduating, Shabalala worked as assistant farm manager in Afrikan Farms where he saw that although farm workers are experienced, they lack in technical knowledge in running the farm. From then on, he applied what he learned from school being a beef production major graduate. After years of hard work, Afrikan Farms was awarded by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) as the National Commercial Beef Producer of the Year.
At present, there are 2,000 Beefmaster-type beef cattle, and 1,200 breeding cows in Afrikan Farms, as well as a feedlot that can fit 400 cattle at a time – a growth where Shabalala has been instrumental. He said that farming would be successful if it would be treated and managed as a business, alongside gratitude to the person who helped you as you get through to life – Shabalala has always been grateful to his uncle in all the successes he has achieved in life; for the young farmer, farming is a journey of love, hope, and patience.