You may know him for Motswako hits such as “Footprints” and “A Sia”, but these days the acclaimed Motswako rapper Motlapele “Mojo Man” Morule, is showing off his talents in agriculture.
This rapper turned farmer better known as Mo’Molemi (meaning “farmer”), is on a mission to simply fight poverty, food insecurity and unemployment through toiling the land that he was raised on.
The 39-year-old operates a mixed farming operation in the North West with his father, Gideon. Together they farm with cattle, chickens and sheep. They also grow maize (on 60 hectares) and sunflower (on 50 hectares).
Apart from that the farm also houses vegetables for which Morule is solely responsible.
Despite what most believe, the Motswako rapper has always been a farm boy.
“I came into the industry with the rap name Mo’Molemi because my vision was always to build a food brand using music as my marketing tool. This is basically what I have been doing for the last 15 years or so,” he says.
When Morule left the farm life for the city lights it was not that big an issue for his family because he promised that he would return. In fact, some of his musical earnings were always sowed back into the farm.
He believes rapping was a detour and a lot of his friends were surprised by his decision.
“They were like ‘what’s going on?’ And I said ‘No guys, I’m going back to the bush’.
“I pursued farming because I discovered its potential and the kind of money that is in this business. I thought that if I could stabilize this business in another 10 to 20 years, I could be doing this until I’m 80,” he says.
Morule is now fully in tune with his crops and livestock and thinks deeply about his future in agriculture.
‘When I left rap music to dedicate myself to farming, there were many questions, but I always knew that a hip-hop career is short.’
Not so long ago he decided to venture into processing vegetables, packaging it and selling it to formal and informal markets.
This year, he did more than that and opened up his very own Bak-Wild farmers’ market. It’s a project he’s been planning for a while now and his fresh produce store sells vegetables and Mo’Molemi merchandise.
“It’s been doing well. A lot farmers are producing food, and it’s not easy to launch yourself as a food brand in our country.”
Morule employs ten people under his mentorship, including three students from the Taung Agricultural College in the North West and one graduate from North West University.
The rapper turned farmer has also been playing his part on the covid-19 frontline by supplying hospitals and prisons with produce during the crisis.
“This very moment vindicates my decision to become a farmer. When I left rap music to dedicate myself to farming, there were many questions, but I always knew that a hip-hop career is short. But this will carry me for life,” he believes.
His company, Arable Parable, supplies food to people housed under quarantine sites in the North West. He also distributes food hampers across Mzansi.
Furthermore, Morule can be seen running an online delivery service to supply food for those in need. He packages surplus food and gives it to destitute families free of charge.
“This is my call of duty. I am a farmer, but I am a human first. When the president called on us to help, I put my hand up because we don’t know when this will end.”