In 2019 we reported on our follow up with 𝗦𝗶𝘆𝗮𝗯𝗼𝗻𝗴𝗮 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗯𝘂𝗹𝗮, one of our Waitrose bursary recipients. Siyabonga grew up on a farm in Malalane, Mpumalanga. The Waitrose Foundation funded Siyabonga's diploma studies at the Lowveld College of Agriculture for 3 years until he graduated in 2012. He then continued his studies for another 3 years doing a Bachelor of Science degree in Crop Science at North West University (also funded by the Foundation). Siyabonga is currently working under Golden Frontier Citrus (Komati Fruit) as a section leader and started in that position on the 1st of March 2019. His goal is to continue with his PhD while working so that he can contribute to the body of knowledge through his research.
Raymond Engelbrecht, our Manager Farm Support, connected with him again last week on this birthday and Siyabonga sent us this beautiful peace of writing he dedicated to his grandfather: "As I grow older every year, I normally like to take a step back and look where I come from and what I have achieved in Life. Today I can boldly confess that I have grown, and this growth is inspired by the likes of my Grandfather who worked his whole life on a farm. I still look back to many years ago when I used to help my grandfather burn sugarcane during the burning season and little did I know that one day I will be a Masters Graduate from the top 1% universities in the world in the field of Agriculture.
Farming to me is not just a career but is a lifestyle, mainly because my grandfather made it look easy and that’s when I developed interests in the field of agriculture. I believe I have set a great foundation for my career, and I know I will continue to work hard until I reach my next Goal. A wise man once said: 'Do not forget the people who held your hand to get high' and today I want to acknowledge my grandfather who showed me the way. Happy 30th birthday to me."