"I think (the retrenchment) was a nudge for me"

"I think (the retrenchment) was a nudge for me"

Pam Ngwenya found her passion in farming after being let go from her job during the pandemic. 

A person farming inside a green house
A person farming inside a green house/Pexels

As the pandemic slowly becomes a distant memory to many, the success stories are the stories we want to choose to take with us into the future. 

One of them is of a 50-year-old woman, Pam Ngwenya, who was retrenched during the pandemic. 

But she didn't let that be the end of her story. Ngwenya used that as her driving force to pursue her interest in agriculture. 

And with the consistent support of her family, she is now able to say she is a thriving 'Farmpreneur'. 

"When Ngwenya was a child, her family would visit relatives in rural KwaZulu-Natal, where she would spend her days in open fields and getting stuck into produce alleys. She says that she never saw women doing agriculture commercially, and it never occurred to her that she could pursue it as a career." (IOL)

We love that even though she never saw women in the agricultural sector, it didn't stop her from pursuing her farming career. 

The typical profile of what a farmer is has evolved, and Ngwenya is definitely one of the supporting images to what a farmer looks like in 2023. A mother who isn't afraid of pushing herself to achieve something she can call her own. 

“I think (the retrenchment) was a nudge for me; it seemed to me like I was being driven or pulled towards where I’m supposed to be." (IOL)

Her journey into completing her studies began just before COVID-19 hit and it was her determination to study and pursue her farming career that has equipped her in becoming a 'farmpreneur'. 

She has said that the fear of getting into farming was something that stopped her for many years, but has attributed the Department of Agriculture as being a driving force in encouraging women in farming. 


"Ngwenya has gone from tending a little backyard garden to being a full-time farmer who is producing quality vegetables which line the stores of leading retailers. Now, she is looking to expand and diversify her farming activities with chickens and eggs." (IOL)

She is planning on erecting greenhouses to protect her crops, such as spinach, kale, mielies, green pepper, chillies, beetroot, carrots, and onions, which she produces at her solar-powered farm.

Her story is a wonderfully inspiring way of showing us that with support and determination, you can achieve your dreams.

What better time than now to let go of fear and thrive?

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Image Courtesy of Pexels

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