The farmer feeding South Africa through TikTok
Inequality in South Africa has sowed division among the population. Many are struggling to put food on the table, while a small percentage has access to an excess of resources.
This nation has a booming agricultural sector, yet people face numerous barriers to taking up farming.
Support is scarce for people planning to farm on a large scale, and tools and information can be hard to come by.
But there’s one farmer who’s empowering people to flourish in this industry – and he’s doing it through TikTok.
Growing up, Njabulo Yamhlaba Mabaso learnt about agriculture from his parents who were farmers.
As an adult, he worked as a social media marketer but lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, he returned to his roots. Along his journey, Mabaso decided to support others in growing their own food.
“Because there is so little information easily accessible about agriculture, many people are afraid to start,” Mabaso says.
While working with spinach, pumpkin, cabbages and chillies from a two-hectare plot in Ermelo, Mabaso started spreading seeds of knowledge through TikTok by publishing videos of his efforts.
“I began sharing insights that I have learned, from starting a business to what pesticides work with which plants,” he says.
Since he began filming in 2020, the nation took notice, and Mabaso soon received a flurry of followers who showered him with support. “I was so surprised at how many people started asking questions about farming,” he says.
Mabaso has even earned a nickname – “The TikTok Farmer”. With each view, Mabaso is enabling people to pursue agriculture and start their own enterprise.
“We all have something to offer and social media is a great place to do that,” Mabaso says. “Sharing information will help the whole South Africa.”
Through the reach of online platforms, his farming expertise is set to bridge the divide facing the nation and uplift people of every background.