Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
Two days after graduating with an Accounting Degree, Mr Takudzwanaishe Bonyongwa (28) tendered his resignation at his workplace and enrolled at an agricultural college, a decision which did not go down well with his father.
After investing on his last-born son’s education, Stanford Bonyongwa a former Kwekwe Executive Mayor was incensed and heartbroken.
That has now changed since his son is now a successful farmer running their farm and leasing four others.
Mr Bonyongwa who now employs 130 workers at his farm, grows maize, wheat, soya beans and barley.
The now successful young farmer quit town life and went to live permanently on the farm, a rarity for people his age.
Mr Bonyongwa was working for a reputable accounting firm when he decided to quit his job two days after graduating with an Accounting Degree.
He then enrolled for an agriculture diploma with Blackfordby College of Agriculture and his disappointed father refused to pay his tuition fees.
Mr Bonyongwa had to turn to his two brothers for assistance and they paid the fees for him.
Born on May 25 in 1993, Mr Bonyongwa epitomizes a true African who ventures into the bush to hunt not knowing whether he will catch a hare or a buffalo or come home empty handed.
Mr Bonyongwa who was born in a family of three boys, says he was motivated by his two brothers to always aim high.
Both of them are chartered accountants hence he also did an accounting degree but later decided it was not good enough.
After going through primary school at Russell Primary and later Midlands Christian College, Mr Bonyongwa joined a local accounting firm.
But soon after graduation in 2017, he quit to pursue his agriculture passion.
Mr Bonyongwa’s father only started appreciating his decision after seeing that he was passing with flying colours at the agricultural college.
“He started giving me support and inquiring how I was doing at school and that made me happy because I knew I had won his heart.
In fact I can say the need to prove him wrong was sort of a motivation to me,” said Mr Bonyongwa.
He said he started visiting his father’s 100-hectare farm located along Mvuma Road, where he would give one or two words of advice.
“I would visit the farm out of passion and I would just assist, with one or two words of advice and I would leave.
It was not until my father accpeted I knew what I was doing that I got involved in the farming activities at the farm,” he said.
Upon attaining an Agriculture qualification, his father handed over the farm to him when he was just 26 years old in 2019.
“The first thing I did was to move permanently to the farm so that I could supervise while on the ground.
My father stayed in town and would visit the farm now and then but I moved there and quit town life,” said Mr Bonyongwa.
He said before he moved in, they used to harvest an average of five tonnes of maize per hectare but this yield has since improved to 8,5 tonnes per hectare.
“My father has literally handed over the farm to me and he is now concentrating on other business ventures.
I, however consult him before taking important decisions like buying farming equipment,” said Mr Bonyongwa.
He said since his coming the yield for winter wheat had increased from four tonnes per hectare to about 6,5 tonnes.
The family farm he is running, Golden Barley Enterprises, held its first field day the very first year he took over.
Mr Bonyongwa said due to the many farming activities he is engaged in, he realised that the farm was now too smal hence he is now leasing additional land from neighbouring farms.
“We only have 100 hectares which was no longer big enough and I decided to lease additional land from neighbouring farms. I now have a total of 400 hectares of land where I am farming,” he said.
Mr Bonyongwa said his wish is to increase the hectarage to about 750ha.
“I now employ 130 farm workers so I have heeded the Government’s call to create employment,” he said.
Mr Bonyongwa atrributed his success to hard work and honesty.
“I managed to clinch deals with companies that supply farming equipment and I always honour my promises when it comes to payment for the equipment.
Even if I go there without a cent and request a tractor, I can get one because they know that I pay,” he said.