MEET THE TEAM

IVOR PRICE is a multi-award-winning journalist. His accolades include three ATKV Mediaveertjie Awards as the nation’s Best Columnist (2017) and Best Presenter of a Radio Current Affairs Show (2016 and 2017). The former SABC2 News Anchor also presented Landbouweekliks, a popular VIA television show (DSTV channel 147), in which he traveled more than 100 000km to interview the movers and shakers of Mzansi’s agricultural industry. Other career highlights include a stint as a London based foreign correspondent.

KOBUS LOUWRENS is Strategy Director of YehBaby, a digital marketing agency. He is an award-winning environmental journalist, who previously published leading magazines and community newspapers in both South Africa and East Africa. This MBA graduate developed digital strategies for various small-to-medium enterprises and entrepreneurs. Under Kobus’s visionary leadership YehBaby has developed breakthrough digital marketing for numerous agricultural, wine and tourism brands.

DAWN NOEMDOE is a journalist and content producer who cut her teeth in community radio. She brings a natural curiosity instinctively dedicated to truth telling. Persistent and nurturing a strong sense of commitment, Dawn’s heart for equality drives her work, also as Food For Mzansi’s Project Editor. Private life? “Well, it is a competition between partner, son and our furry caretakers Mifty and Billy.”

Chicken or beef? Chicken. Deep fried. Baked. Braaied. All day. Every day. Depending on how scrumptious it’s prepared. you’ll find me nibbling on the bones too. Ssshhh…

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… I’d pay tribute to my late grandfather, Christie Naik, who was a farmer in his own right. Growing up he always maintained a vegetable garden. He produced tons of green beans, cucumbers, butternut, squash and not forgetting the pigs and chickens. I’d love to make him proud by running my own successful farm one day. “Ons Dala, No more Dreaming”.

CHANTÉLLE HARTEBEEST is a young journalist who has a fiery passion for storytelling. She is eager to be the voice of the voiceless and has worked in both radio and print media before joining Food For Mzansi. Besides telling other people’s stories, she secretly tells her own through poetry.

Chicken or beef? If I have to choose, it will definitely be chicken. As the bearer of many dreams I need wings in order to soar.

When I was a child I thought farmers were… all white people, until I watched the Afrikaans TV news with my father, Colin Hartebeest, one Sunday evening. I was confused and couldn’t understand why the reporter called a black person a “boer”. My father had to explain, and from then on I knew that farming was and is not restricted to one specific racial group, but that everyone could farm.

Faeez van Doorsen

FAEEZ VAN DOORSEN is a freelance writer and content producer with over 18 years of experience across multiple media platforms, including television, radio, print, social media and film. The only three things he loves more than writing is… writing, writing and more writing!

Chicken or beef? In a samoosa, definitely beef!

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… Wait, before I allow myself to dream that far, let me get my hands on some land first!

Melissa Javan

MELISSA JAVAN is a freelance writer with nine years’ experience in the media industry. She studied journalism at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and previously worked at leading news publications as well as for Brand South Africa. She enjoys blogging and taking part in Twitter chats.

Chicken or beef? Chicken, as long as I don’t have to run after it to eat it.

Growing up my idea of a farmer was… Someone far away. A farmer’s job sounded like an impossible job for city people like myself. Now I know that if you are passionate about a job, no matter how impossible it may look, you can make it work.

ELANA VAN DER WATT is a freelance reporter with extensive experience in community journalism. She started her career as intern at the Worcester Standard and moved through the ranks to the editor’s position and digital editor of the Boland Media group. She has since gone solo.

Chicken or beef? Chicken every time, except when the beef option is fillet.

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… I would probably say “wow” a million times. I marvel at everything from how a tiny seed begins to sprout, to the sheer scale of agricultural production. And since women in business have changed the world for the better, I would invest in getting more women into influential positions in agriculture.

HEINRICH BOTHMAN is a certified Cape Sommelier, wine evaluator and judge. He has a decade’s experience in the wine industry. Heinrich studied Business of Wine at the Graduate School of Business of the University of Cape Town and also obtained his international judging qualification from Stellenbosch University. Heinrich grew up in the Robertson Wine Valley and works as a public relations officer for a leading wine cellar.

Chicken or beef? I’m proud to still use “the seven colour chicken brand”.

When I was a child I thought farmers were… For whites only, to be honest, until the day I got home from school with a bean. After it germinated I planted it in good compost soil which I made myself. I then understood the role of farmers as compared to a specific colour or demographic. Today, I want to farm and create jobs in Robertson. Who knows, I might even start my own black-owned winery – a first in my region.

CANDICE PEARCE is a young writer in a candy store. She is finally exploring her sweet tooth for all things media and believes that the world’s mysteries are just waiting to be revealed. Holding a Nelson Mandela University qualification in media, communications and culture she observes, analyzes and writes. 

Chicken or beef? Beef. I tried having the chicken, but it already crossed the road. 

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… I would be the most stylish farmer, rocking up in my overalls and boots, ready to show this “comfortable” generation that you could be anyone that you desire to be, if you put in the work.

LINDSAY JEFTHAS resides in Beijing, China where he works as a mathematics teacher. He holds a bachelor’s degree in education and has also previously taught at a school in the Western Cape. Lindsay has been writing since his high school days, and his work has since been published in a leading magazine. These days he mostly writes poems and short stories. He is passionate about economics, both in South Africa and globally.

Chicken or beef? Beef, definitely. I’ve always loved meat. Whether it’s braaivleis or a medium-well steak! I prefer beef, mainly for the amount of protein it contains, since I’m trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… The thought of me in a traditional farmer’s attire is hilarious! I’d be overwhelmed responsibility of feeding a nation. I’d honour my hardworking agri-workers and give them the recognition they deserve, because not everyone can work as hard as these often humble individuals.

LEAGAN PHILLIPS-LAWS is a former Food & Wine radio presenter whose absolute passion in life is bringing the magic of wine to as many people as possible. His love for carbs unending and he firmly believes that buttery garlic bread can bring world peace. The sultry singer and actor has performed in, amongst others, Sketches of Exes, his one-man show, as well as the Suidoosterfees production Kaapse Draai and Rolling In The Deep With Leagan.

Chicken or Beef? Like they say in the Free State, chicken at a braai is a salad, so definitely beef.

If I were a farmer for one day? I’d harvest all my potatoes and throw the world’s biggest “slap chips” party.

IVOR SWARTZ is a pastor by day, and a beer evangelist by night. You will find him screaming the loudest at music festivals around the country. Oh, and he loves a good pulled pork burger on any given day. Ivor frequently writes about beer, food and faith on various social media platforms.

Chicken or beef? Is that even a question? Of course beef. Aint nobody got time for a chicken who can’t figure out why she crossed the road. 

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… I would be a most terrible farmer, but I would want to drive a tractor for that whole day though.

ANDREA DU PLESSIS is a well-known registered dietician with a passion for healthcare through nutrition, natural remedies and a healthy lifestyle. She regularly presents talks and educational workshops on nutrition throughout the country. Du Plessis is also known as the resident health and nutrition expert on SABC3’s Expresso breakfast TV show.

Chicken or beef? I would still ask, are there any lentils? I am not a vegetarian, but I love lentils and beans – not just for the health benefits and nutritional value, but even more for the versatility in cooking and its affordability. Lentils add such a nice texture and flavour to salads, soups, stews and meat sauces. You can sprout them in your own kitchen for some extra crunch and flavour in your salads, or make the most delicious dips and spreads.  

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… I would find it very exciting to learn as much as possible about the best way to grow the most nutritious vegetables, making the smallest impact on the environment. How do you get the best fresh produce, using the smallest quantity of water, make use of natural fertilizers and pesticides? What are the best natural ways of replenishing your soil with nutrients to maintain the highest nutritional content in your plant foods?

TIRELO MABETOA is a freelance writer, illustrator and home baker. An avid admirer of words, he was afflicted early in life by “restless-pen syndrome” and is constantly creating in whatever medium is available to him. He’s also done illustrations for Food For Mzansi.

Chicken or beef? Chicken is more versatile, so definitely chicken.

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… When I was a child I thought farmers were strictly male and very burly, always bearded and rugged. As someone who has been suffering from food insecurity for over a year now, I’d definitely look at helping out people in my community learn how to grow food for themselves.

IMMACULATE ZINDE is a marketer extraordinaire with over 16 years’ experience in classical marketing, strategy conceptualisation and execution, branding and communication. She is passionate about giving birth to revolutionary and radical creative concepts, but she’s more passionate about seeing those concepts prosper and reap rewards.

Chicken or beef? The stingy supply of fried chicken at black funerals has created the perception that chicken is better than all other meats. Hahahahahahhaaaa! Chicken it is.

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… I’d write a book on the art of patience. If I could master to be as patient as a farmer, my life would be total bliss!

SIYABONGA MNGOMA is the owner of Abundance Wholesome Foods, selling organic fresh produce to people looking for convenient ways to make their lives healthier. She is passionate about global food systems and promoting organically grown foods, as she believes that lifestyle diseases can be tackled through diet. As a by-product of her learnings, she launched a blog to further spread the word and hopefully change lives for the better. Her blog features well-researched, expert content on how to create a healthier lifestyle. You can follow her @abundance_wf on Instagram and Twitter.

CHRIS MARAIS has been in the South African media world since the rough-and-tumble era of 1976, but for the past 12 years he has been a Karoo boy.

Writer, photographer, teacher, indie publisher and general Big Sky gypsy, Chris works with his wife and partner, Julienne du Toit, in their multi-faceted Karoo Space enterprise.

Chicken or beef? Out here, chicken is a vegetable. Beef is tasty, but Karoo Lamb is the main deal.

So, imagine you could be a farmer for a day… A good and successful farmer is like a rock star in my neighbourhood. A lot of competency, strength of character and good fortune is required to make a farm work in SA.

JULIENNE DU TOIT is a freelance writer specialising in travel, environmental issues and lifestyle. She has worked on newspapers, edited her own environmental magazine and now lives in Cradock (Eastern Cape Karoo) writing features and books on the Karoo and life in the platteland with her husband Chris Marais. If you see a journo frantically scribbling down notes at an anti-fracking meeting, it’s likely to be her.

Chicken or Beef? Those are fighting words in the Karoo, where sheep outnumber humans 7 to 1. If not Karoo lamb, then freerange chicken, preferably sourced from a farmer’s wife in the district. 

If I could be a farmer for a day…  I would sign up to be an apprentice first. Since planting veggies in our small back yard, I have learnt a whole new respect for farmers and some of the issues they face. 

Want to help us change the narrative about agriculture?

– Editorial suggestions: editor@foodformzansi.co.za
– Ivor Price, co-founder of Food For Mzansi: ivor@foodformzansi.co.za
– Kobus Louwrens, co-founder of Food For Mzansi: kobus@foodformzansi.co.za