Feeding the nation is a massive responsibility, and the next generation of South African farmers are taking on the task no matter the challenges.
South Africa (18 March 2021) – ‘For the love of the land’, a new show saluting the unsung heroes of South African agriculture, debut on People’s Weather (DStv channel 180 and Openview channel 115) on Monday, 15 March 2021. The show will flight on both the subscription as well as a free-to-air channel, another first for the show.
According to the producers, it offers a raw, real, and cutting-edge agricultural perspective for the viewer – a first for local television. For the love of the land is a ten-part series about the journeys of Mzansi’s new era farmers, mostly black, who continue to farm against all odds.
The show is hosted by award-winning presenter Ivor Price and Piet Potgieter, a Kwa-Zulu Natal-born farmer who trades a life of extensive cattle farming for one in front of the cameras. The first episode features the 73-year-old Samson Mahlaba, who worked as a labourer for 50 years before transitioning to a commercial farmer five years ago.
“Often their lives aren’t pretty. Their farms are not glamorous. Their journeys are painful, and yet these up-and-coming and newly commercialised farmers are going above and beyond to feed the nation,” says Price.
Like many of the farmers featured on For the love of the land, Mahlaba always wondered whether, one day, the nation and the agricultural sector would value his contribution as a black agriculturist.
“I always dreamed of becoming a farmer because I loved the farm,” says Mahlaba, who farms with his two grandsons. “The farming bug bit and I was hooked, still am, and I remain passionate about the farm.”
The show highlights the exceptional relationships between new era farmers and their mentors, who are often retired white men now devoting their lives to the upliftment of others.
Potgieter himself has been actively involved in the upliftment of black farmers since 1986, when his family was involved with the 1986 Ngotshe Cooperation Agreement in Kwa-Zulu Natal. In an earlier research article published by Gerhard Maré and Georgina Hamilton in the Journal of Natal and Zulu History, the accord is described as “a pact between rugged Afrikaner farmers, conservative to the bone, and skin-clad Zulu men.”
“Doing development work in South African agriculture is like working for the welfare where you put in a lot, but don’t easily see success. But, for me, it is enough to know that I am doing the right thing by advancing farmers who have not had it easy in this country,” says Potgieter.
Food For Mzansi co-founder Kobus Louwrens, who produces the show in partnership with VKB, says, “We find and tell the stories of ordinary South Africans working together for a better future. The people in these stories choose to emphasise what they have in common rather than what divides them. They do so for the sake of their own prosperity and that of their communities. I find that enormously exciting because it shows nation-building and personal growth in action, all for the love of the land.”
As mentioned above, the show will air on DStv channel 180 and Openview channel 115. It will contain full English subtitles too!