Tenacity Magazine caught up with the Africa Future Leader of The Year 2019 nominee, Bochelo Monyela who is an Agricultural Economist by profession and co-founder of Farm Lifestyle. Bochelo is also involved in development programmes as a transformation speaker to youth and a mentor for Business Mentorship and Career Advancement (BMCA). She talks to us about her journey as an Agricultural Economist.
Please kindly tell us who is Bochelo Monyela?
My name is Bochelo Monyela, I was born at Ga-Mothapo, and grew up in Mantjana Paledi Village, Limpopo. I am the only child to my parents who are my pillars of strength and best friends. I am determine, ambitious and I have always known from a young age that I wanted to be great. My parents and family have been my greatest support throughout.
Tell us about your educational journey?
My schooling journey started at Manthe Primary School and matriculated at Gerson Ntjie Secondary School with good grades. I went to further my studies at the University of Limpopo (UL) where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics. I have also completed a certificate of “Agriculture and the World We Live In” by Massey University of New Zealand for personal development.
What motivated you to study Agricultural Economics?
My childhood revolved around agriculture. My grandfather had livestock and few pieces of land where they would plant maize, water melons, beans, pumpkins and groundnuts. We would be the ones overseeing the whole production process from germination to harvesting to make sure that we get the desired yield and that excited me. My love for agriculture grew more during my high school days because of an amazing agricultural sciences teacher. I also wanted to understand what determines the prices as well as the link between Agriculture and the Economy.
How was your transition from school and into business?
I was fortunate to get an internship at the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform in Bloemfontein immediately after completing my studies. I did enterprise development, and project management at Rural Enterprises and Industrial Development (REID) division. I worked with good supervisors who empowered and groomed me to be an Agricultural Economist I am today. I learnt a lot through my internship at REID and used the experience to start my own company called Farm Lifestyle.
Please kindly tell us what Farm Lifestyle is about?
Farm Lifestyle is a company that offers agricultural consulting services for research and development. The company assist people with bankable business plans, feasibility studies, marketing, project management, trainings, expos and seminars. We also have a network of over 10 000 agricultural students, farmers and the initiative bring together stakeholders from various Agricultural Fields to develop strategies to address issues that affect rural producers.
Tell us more about your involvement in development programmes for youth.
In my spare time I do motivational speaking at schools with an attempt to enlighten our youth about life and the life of today. I also do agricultural presentations at summits and seminars. Back in primary school my teachers would ask me to give speeches on behalf of learners during annual farewells and that is how I developed my public speaking. I continued to be active in almost all school competition projects and served in the Leaners Representative Committee (LRC). In 2017, I served as the chairperson of Agricultural Economics and Animal Production Student’s Association at University of Limpopo.
You are nominated as the Africa Future Leader of The Year 2019 in the Young Leaders Summit Awards, how did that come about?
I honestly don’t know who nominated me but I was surprised when I got the nomination notification letter. It felt unreal because I have never expected such recognition.
What are the awards all about?
The objective of this summit and awards is to inspire individuals from around the Africa region and recognise their contribution that has added value to the creative endeavours in serving humanity. The Young African Leaders Summit will collate ideas from some of the continent’s finest youth figures and aggregate them into relevant themes able to shape policy on the continent. It is also intended to be a platform for cross-country idea-sharing and assimilation and an opportunity to bridge identity gap that is often perceived to exist within the youthful population of Africa.
How can people vote for you in the Young Leaders Summit Awards?
They can vote for me online as many times as they can by simply following the instructions below:
- Scroll Down to Africa Future Leader of The Year
- and click on Bochelo Monyela to submit
Any new and exciting things that you would like to share?
As Farm Lifestyle we are eagerly looking forward to hosting our first Agricultural Expo at Polokwane in Limpopo on the 23rd of November 2019, to provide a perfect spot where farmers can effectively share every opportunity to contribute, develop and strengthen the agricultural space in their vicinity.
What are your social media handles?
Facebook: Kholofelo Bophelo Mokgohloa
Twitter : @Farm_Lifestyle
Photo Courtesy of Continuum_Visual_Studio