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Meet: Nhlanla

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Have you ever thought about the existence of the simple Honeybee and the impact that they have on our lives? Honey bees can visit up to 5000 flowers a day. During a bee’s short lifespan, of only 6 weeks, it can travel up to 1000 kilometers trying to find flowers to pollinate, in this time a single bee will only produce 1/10 of a teaspoon of honey.

As William Shakespeare would say, “There is no darkness but ignorance.” If we ignore the future of bees, the work that they do and the importance of their little existence, we are bound to find ourselves in darkness.

Bees play a fundamental roll in the pollination of flowers, leading to the fruitful production of commodities we use in our everyday life. Whether it’s sunflower seeds or macadamia nuts, at some point a busy little worker bee attended to the flowers. Pollinated flowers will give way to the beautiful fruits and seeds we enjoy!

Just as important as the worker bee in our environment, entrepreneurs play a vital role in our economic development & business.

In the quest to secure the honey supply for the project, and a growing need to make sure our bees are protected, responsibly kept and maintained the “Future Me Programme” set out to identify a suitable candidate for the Mamope Project.

Meet, Nhlanla Siyenga. Raised in a small village called Moyeni in Mpumalanga, South Africa with his 3 siblings, Steven, Angel, and Mbongiseni. He grew up playing football in the streets with the neighborhood children. He belonged to a community group called Mzansi where he participated in cultural activities such as singing, writing, and public speaking. He attended Mthombo High School. He has always had a passion and aptitude for working with numbers. Once he finished school, he felt the compelling need to improve himself and his skill set in order to prepare him for the workplace and went to study accounting at the Tshwane University of Technology which he passed with flying colors. Since he was a little boy he had a passion for entrepreneurship and creating something he can call his own. One of his fondest memories is where he used to sell fresh produce (tomatoes, cabbage, and oranges) alongside the road with his father while he was still in primary school.

With tough times in the South African economy, Nhlanla was able to secure a position in one of the maintenance departments, in the EatReal.Today group of suppliers.

Although this was not his dream job he had a vision of a great future and worked hard, with dedication and accuracy, knowing one day someone would see his potential.

Mamope is the translation for the word ‘honey’ in Sotho – one of the popular African languages in South Africa.

Nhlanla with his willingness to work and learn, and bright persona, ticked all the boxes and he was selected for the development program, which he today heads!
In his journey with the program, Nhlanla has passed his driver’s licence – the first time. He passed the Professional Bee keepers Course and through the program, he is now equipment with all the nessaccery equipment he needs to effectively keep bees and harvest honey.

Nhlana and the Mamope project aims to secure the supply of honey. In an environmentally friendly manner, that is sustainable to both bees and badgers.

The bee farming sites are spread out all over South Africa. There are currently six different sites and more to be acquired in the future. These sites include: Machadodorp (Mpumalanga), Hartswater (North Cape Province), Mtebeni (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Marble Hall (Limpopo) and Lichtenburg in the North West Province.

Each and every site is equipped with a steel container which contains a series of brute boxes and flow hives. Flow hives are a revolutionary beehive invention that allows the keeper to harvest fresh honey without opening the beehive resulting in minimal disturbance of the bees and ensuring the safety of the bee keeper. The idea behind keeping the hives in an enclosed shipping container was to ward off unwanted guests such as badgers and other pests and insects.

Nhlana is excited about the future of his project, which is allowing him to generate his own income and steer his future on to a bright path of entrepreneurial success.

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