South Africa’s first farmers’ show to be simulcasted on both DStv and Openview kicks off on Monday evening. Described as a first for local television, For the love of the land is a series about the journeys of Mzansi’s new era farmers, mostly black, who continue to farm against all odds.
The show is hosted by award-winning presenter Ivor Price and Piet Potgieter, a KwaZulu-Natal-born farmer who trades a life of extensive cattle farming for one in front of the cameras.
The first episode features the 73-year-old Samson Mahlaba who worked as a labourer for 50 years before transitioning to a commercial farmer five years ago.
“Often their lives aren’t pretty. Their farms are not glamorous. Their journeys are painful, and yet these up-and-coming and newly commercialised farmers are going above and beyond to feed the nation,” says Price, who is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Food For Mzansi.
‘Farming is like a disease’
Like many of the farmers featured on For the love of the land, Mahlaba always wondered whether, one day, the nation and the agricultural sector would value his contribution as a black agriculturist.
“I always dreamed of becoming a farmer because I loved the farm,” says Mahlaba, who farms with his two grandsons. “Farming to me is like a disease that I was infected with. It’s a disease that I do not know where it came from.”
The show – described as a raw, real, and cutting-edge – highlights the exceptional relationships between farmers and their mentors, who are often retired white men now devoting their lives to the upliftment of others.
‘Nation-building in action’
Potgieter, himself, has been actively involved in the upliftment of black farmers since 1986 when his family was involved with the 1986 Ngotshe Cooperation Agreement in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
In an earlier research article published by Gerhard Maré and Georgina Hamilton in the Journal of Natal and Zulu History, the accord is described as “a pact between rugged Afrikaner farmers, conservative to the bone, and skin clad Zulu men.”
“Doing development work in South African agriculture is like working for the welfare where you put in a lot, but don’t easily see success. But, for me, it is enough to know that I am doing the right thing by advancing farmers who have not had it easy in this country,” says Potgieter.
Kobus Louwrens, the co-founder of Food For Mzansi who produced the show in partnership with VKB, says, “We find and tell the stories of ordinary South Africans working together for a better future.
“The people in these stories choose to emphasise what they have in common rather than what divides them. They do so for the sake of their own prosperity and that of their communities. I find that enormously exciting because it shows nation-building and personal growth in action, all for the love of the land.”
Where can I watch For the love of the land?
- The show is broadcasted on two different channels at the same time. Hop on over to People’s Weather (PPL°WX) on DStv channel 180 and Openview channel 115.
- From Monday to Thursday at 18:00 with a repeat of the day’s episode at 21:00.