Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
Two days after graduating in accounting, Mr. Takudzwanaishe Bonyongwa (28) tendered his resignation at his workplace and enrolled in an agricultural school, a decision that was not welcomed by his father.
After investing in the education of his youngest child, Stanford Bonyongwa, a former executive mayor of Kwekwe, was furious and heartbroken.
That has now changed as her son is now a successful farmer who runs his farm and rents four others.
Mr. Bonyongwa, who now employs 130 workers on his farm, grows corn, wheat, soybeans and barley.
The now prosperous young farmer left town and went to live on the farm permanently, 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 Accounting diploma.
He then enrolled in an agriculture degree at Blackfordby College of Agriculture and his disappointed father refused to pay his tuition.
Mr. Bonyongwa must have turned to his two brothers for assistance and they paid the expenses for him.
Born on May 25, 1993, Mr. Bonyongwa embodies a true African who ventures into the bush to hunt without knowing whether he will catch a hare or a buffalo or return empty-handed.
Mr. Bonyongwa, who was born into a family of three boys, says he was motivated by his two brothers to always aim high.
Both are chartered accountants, so he also graduated with an accounting degree, but later decided that wasn’t good enough.
After attending elementary school at Russell Primary and later Midlands Christian College, Mr. Bonyongwa joined a local accounting firm.
But soon after graduating in 2017, he quit to pursue his passion for farming.
Mr. Bonyongwa’s father did not begin to appreciate his decision until he saw that he was successfully passing agricultural high school.
“He started to support me and ask me how I was doing in school and that made me happy because I knew I had won her heart.
In fact, I can say that the need to prove he was wrong was kind of a motivation for me, âBonyongwa said.
He said he had started visiting his father’s 100-acre farm along Mvuma Road, where he would give a tip or two.
âI would visit the farm out of passion and just assist, with a tip or two and go.
It was only when my father agreed that I knew what I was doing that I got involved in the agricultural activities of the farm, âhe said.
A graduate in Agriculture, his father handed over the farm to him when he was only 26 years old in 2019.
âThe first thing I did was move the farm permanently so I could supervise while I was on the ground.
My father used to stay in town and visit the farm every now and then, but I moved there and quit city life, âBonyongwa said.
He said that before moving in, they harvested an average of five tonnes of maize per hectare, but that yield has since improved to 8.5 tonnes per hectare.
âMy dad literally handed over the farm to me and he’s now focusing on other businesses.
However, I consult it before making important decisions such as the purchase of agricultural equipment, âsaid Mr. Bonyongwa.
He said since his arrival, the yield of winter wheat has increased from four tonnes per hectare to around 6.5 tonnes.
The family farm he runs, Golden Barley Enterprises, held his first day in the country the first year he took over.
Mr. Bonyongwa said that due to the many agricultural activities in which he is engaged, he realized that the farm was now too small, which is why he now rents additional land from neighboring farms.
âWe only have 100 hectares which were no longer big enough and I decided to rent additional land from neighboring farms. I now have a total of 400 hectares of land where I farm, âhe said.
Mr. Bonyongwa said his wish is to increase the area to around 750 ha.
âI now employ 130 farm workers, so I answered the government’s call to create jobs,â he said.
Mr. Bonyongwa attributed his success to his hard work and honesty.
âI have been successful in making deals with companies that supply farm equipment and I always honor my promises to pay for the equipment.
Even if I go without a dime and ask for a tractor, I can get one because they know I’m paying, âhe said.