How Hosea started a farming business with just R9000

Thabang Hosea (25) made his farming dream a reality after he worked as a street hustler for two years. He used the money he saved up during that stint to get his business off the ground

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Lockdown 2020 was a period that brought a lot of uncertainty into the country. People were losing jobs their jobs left right and center and some didn’t know where their next meal would come from.

But Thabang Hosea, who was hustling in the streets of Musina in Limpopo at the time, was more courageous than the rest. The 25-year-old decided to quit his egg selling and photography business to take up poultry farming.

“Farming had always been my childhood dream, but I just never had the capital to pursue it before.”

“Around September of 2020 I had saved up R6000 from my hustling businesses and I felt it was enough for me to quit. I also sold my laptop for R3000 to an Indian shop in my neighborhood which gave me R9000 altogether.”

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Thabang Hosea says he had to believe in himself when no one did which is why he made many sacrifices to start his business. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

ALSO READ: “Farming has never been my backup plan,” says Mthiyane

Hosea says after he quit, he approached a poultry producer in his town and bought 300 boilers for R2750 in October of that year. After that he approached the Musina local municipality located in the Vhembe District and asked if he could lease a two-hectare plot in his community.

Getting off the ground

When he got access to the land, Hosea decided to buy feed and build a chicken coop for his broilers. He then registered his poultry business under the name Makave Enterprise Poultry Farm.

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“At the end of November of that year, I started to sell my broilers to my community for R90 each and I made a profit of R27 000,” he recalls.

His poultry enterprise was booming, but unfortunately towards the end of the year he was confronted with a few challenges.

“When I bought my second batch, I encountered a big challenge because of heavy rains at the time. The rain really came with a breakout of diseases, and I lost about 150 broilers out of 300. It was a really painful time for me because I was losing chickens every day,” Hosea sadly remembers.  

He says he tried to buy vaccines to save his chickens but only a few survived and he started over. “You can only imagine how I felt, I was a beginner so that was really painful for me,” he explains.

In January the following year he was presented with a new opportunity that he took with both hands.

“I ventured into goat farming on 11 January 2021. Someone from Venda told me they are selling goats and I bought 12 goats for R7500.”

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Limpopo farmer Thabang Hosea farms with Boer goats which he is cross breeding to create a much stronger herd. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Hosea explains that goat farming was difficult at the beginning, but he learnt through trial and error.

Today he is breeding indigenous Boer goats, which are considered to be one of the best meat goat breeds in the world, to create a stronger herd.

“I currently have 33 goats and I won’t be selling anytime soon, because I want to grow my herd first before I can start trading,” he explains.

He says juggling goat farming and poultry farming has its challenges, but he doesn’t mind because it is preparing him for the future.

“In the future I want to venture into all types of farming including sheep farming, cattle farming and vegetable farming. I want to own a big commercial farm and supply big supermarket such as Checkers, Shoprite, Spar and Woolworths.”

ALSO READ: Chicken farm guide: Preparing the poultry house

Farming is like coming home

Hosea says he is currently living his dream because he remembers how passionate he was about farming even as a young boy in Musina.

“I grew up farming. My family were farming with vegetables and indigenous chickens in our backyard. I wanted to pursue farming as a career, but my parents wanted me to pursue a career in engineering instead.”

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Thabang Hosea also grows spinach on a small scale which is a skill he learnt as a young boy growing up in Musina, Limpopo. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

He didn’t pursue a qualification in engineering after he completed matric in 2014 but worked as a paver at Coca Cola instead.

In 2015 he discovered how profitable poultry farming could be and his farming dream was ignited. But when he calculated the cost, he realised that he wouldn’t be able to afford it.

“I tried to approach people to invest in my business idea, but no one wanted to do it, so I put it on hold. But the vision never died,” he recalls.  

“I would sit alone, and I would fantasise about how my food trucks would transport my produce to retail stores.”

“In my vision I had a whole big army of workers, and I knew deep down that it would come true one day,” he says.

For the next two years he saved money so that he could leave Coca Cola to try and become an entrepreneur. He did leave Coca Cola in 2019 and become and entrepreneur selling eggs and clothes and doing photography part-time.

Eventually he was able to save enough to start his poultry business.

“The very same people that didn’t want to invest in my business are now approaching me asking to join me because they can see how much my business is growing. But I don’t want to.

“I want to encourage every young person out there to go for their dreams and believe in themselves because through hard work anything is possible.”

ALSO READ: Gogo to grandson, 23-year-old carries the farming torch

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