Interview with Thabani Sibanda

Q: Give a brief outline of your background?
A: I come from Magobeni area near Nduna Primary school. Nduna Primary school is one of the local schools in the area that is approximately 3km from Ebenezer. I don’t know my parents as I was left to be raised by my grandmother, a brother and 2 sisters. I understand that my father has died and my mother is still alive.

Q: How did you hear about Ebenezer?
A: I heard there was a Centre opening for people that were 18 years and above from people in my community. I went to Shalom Camp Site to collect a form and I attended the Selection Camp. I enjoyed it very much. I liked sharing my life story and ideas with the camp leaders.

Q: What has been your greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer?
A: My greatest challenge since coming to Ebenezer has been stumping trees (taking the roots out of the ground) and communicating/interacting with other apprentices. I overcame that and now I can communicate freely with anyone.

Q: Wonderful Thabani. What has been your greatest joy in being at Ebenezer?
A: Farming – planting tomatoes, cabbages and other activities.

Q: You are the only apprentice that had a tomato crop from February until now. How did you manage to keep your tomatoes for so long?
A: I watered them regularly and made sure that they were tied up so that the leaves did not touch the ground. This prevents them from getting diseases.
Thabani with his tomatoes that he harvested this month

Q: You are planning to be the Ebenezer Farmer of the year. What is your motivation?
A: I am so passionate about farming. It gives me courage and energy to run my business.

Q: You and Brilliant Khoza(a fellow apprentice whose field is next to Thabani’s) have an outstanding tomato crop in your plots right now, you are in “friendly competition” and yet you encourage each other and spur each other on. It is amazing. How do you do this?
A: Yes. We are good friends. We “inspect” each others plots, help each other by digging holes, giving advice and so on. We have a vision and we are focused.

Thabani’s latest tomato crop

Q: Who has been your role model?
A: My role model is Peter Cunningham. When I see how he has helped people in my community, I feel so encouraged and want to do likewise.

Q: Where do you see yourself in five years time:
A: In 5 years time I see myself having a big business in my community, owning stores, supplying people with food and paying school fees for orphans.
Thabani taking poles to his field using a donkey cart
Fantastic Thabani. May God bless you as you continue to be a light at Ebenezer and in your community.
Interview done by Molly Manhanga

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