From Furniture Shop Sales assistant to Limpopo celebrated sheep and goat breeder

EDUCATION NATIONAL NEWS

By Staff Reporter 

MAKHADO-Emmanuel Mudau, 38, from Ha-Ravele village near Makhado in Venda, is a testament to the power of determination and self-education.

Born into abject poverty and raised by a single father, Mudau has transformed his life from being a furniture shop sales representative to a celebrated goat and sheep breeder.

Mudau’s farming journey began in 2009 when he used his pension money to buy three goats from a local man after resigning from his job. “Then in 2010 I bought 10 Damara sheep, a Namibian breed, with money I got from selling the goats. I continued farming from my backyard,” Mudau recalls. His initial customers were local people seeking livestock for traditional ceremonies.

In 2015, Mudau registered Matuba Farming Project, which now employs full-time workers. He has developed his own breed, Matuba genetics, a mix of Dorper, Van Rooy, and Pedi sheep breeds. “Farming is very effective in fighting poverty and hunger. I was born from a destitute family in Tshiozwi. Things were tough and I used to go to bed on an empty stomach,” he said.

Mudau’s passion extends beyond farming. Through his Mathuba Genetics training institution, he aims to educate the youth about agriculture. “People love to have animals but don’t know about them. As an experienced farmer with more than 15 years in farming, I am trying to prepare them for challenges that they may come across as emerging farmers,” Mudau says.

Recognizing the need to assist aspiring farmers, Mudau began livestock training in 2020 from his farm in Ha Ravele, a region filled with nutrient-rich bushveld plants. He explains that the local vegetation, such as sweetgrass and sekelbos, provides essential vitamins and minerals for livestock health.

Mudau’s farm has flourished, now home to 60 cattle, 300 goats, and 500 sheep. He specializes in savanna, indigenous, and Boer goats, as well as Bosvelder sheep, selling his livestock at auctions three times a year and occasionally selling meat in the Vhembe district.

His farm also attracts students from across the country, including those from Stellenbosch University, Tshwane University of Technology, and Venda University, who come for practical experience in breeding, animal health, nutrition, and livestock management.

Emmanuel Mudau’s journey from a humble beginning to a successful farmer and educator serves as an inspiring story of resilience and the transformative power of agriculture.

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