Taking farming to the people
SUPERWOMAN is arguably a fitting description of the Vaal woman who has rolled up her sleeves and is prepared to get her hands dirty - literally.
Wendy Tsotetsi, 34, started a farm, including a piggery, in De Deur south of Johannesburg in 2006 and also initiated several sustainable food garden schemes at schools and in communities in nearby Evaton East and Vanderbijlpark.
Between August and March - when there is a lot of work - one of her community development initiatives, Inkululeko Agricultural Cooperative, employs up to 100 people, who plough, irrigate and nurture the garden and harvest the vegetables, which include onions, carrots, cabbages, spinach and beetroot.
The produce from her farm is mainly sold at the Vereeniging market to informal traders.
"People should do what they love and love what they do," Tsotetsi says.
"As long as one stays focused on your goals, success will come.
"I still want to spread my wings. But for now I have space constraints and I am renting the land."
She has helped six schools in Evaton West to start and maintain food gardens.
Tsotetsi has also helped numerous families to start gardens in their backyards and also uses open spaces as communal food gardens.
"Seeing someone's life get better - and their appreciation - is what motivates me," she says, referring to her community work.
"My passion is also youth upliftment, especially if like me young people do not get a chance to go to university."
She won first prize in the National Youth Development Agency's SA Youth Award in the environmental category.