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Farming without arms – how Sibusiso Mogale farms chickens, vegetables using only his feet

Farming without arms – how Sibusiso Mogale farms chickens, vegetables using only his feet

Sibusiso Mogale was born without arms, due to a disability called phocomilia. However, nothing stopped him from pursuing his passion. He always gives his best when he accomplishes something.

He was a Paralympian who represented South Africa in many sports across the world.

He now works in a completely different sector.

Sibusiso Mogale was born without arms, but it hasn’t stopped him from succeeding in business. He’s a prosperous farmer who relies on his feet for almost everything.

He is now 34 years old and pursuing several goals. He was once the toast and talk of the town after receiving an honorary award from the Gauteng Sports MEC in recognition of his exceptional achievement.

“I used to do a lot of sports throughout my schooling journey, and it was one thing that consumed most of my time, energy, and I dedicated my whole life to it because I loved sports so much that I became very good at it. And opportunities started opening up to a point that I even represented South Africa overseas, you know in Brazil, England, and the list goes on.”

As already mentioned, He has disability called phocomilia

“We don’t know what the cause of it was but there is a speculation that my mom could’ve taken medication that was perhaps removed from the shelves but assuming the fact that the hospital was in the rural side of Nelspruit and might have them longer to remove them [medication] as opposed to the other hospitals that are closer to town or in town. But those are assumptions.”

As a kid, he had to relocate to several locales in quest of a school that could meet his needs. He claims that the one closest to home could not accept him.

“One of the reasons was that they didn’t know how to teach someone like me and the other reason was that kids would make fun of me. So my mom got me a school in Limpopo, called Helen Frans and I was there for three years then moved from Limpopo to Gauteng at a school called Hope School in Joburg near Zoo Lake.”

He then received a scholarship to study at the prestigious Bishop Bavin school in Gauteng. He says this, however, was not a special school. After completing his matric, Sibusiso enrolled for a qualification in finance at Boston City College.

“I worked in a finance company and then I came back home in 2014 and got a job at the department of social development for a year before I got a better position at Transnet thereafter went into farming full time.”

Sibusiso calls himself a mixed farmer. He says although he loves ploughing vegetables, chickens are also in the equation.

“I do two types of chickens, broilers which are meat chickens and then layers which are egg laying chickens. Then the vegetables, you know, anything between cucumbers, carrots, beetroots, onions, tomatoes,” and his favourite, cabbage.

“I am so used to it because we have had it a lot when I was growing up and my grandmother really knew how to cook it so she will make it with meat, whether it is chicken or beef and bones.”

He tells us he still pretty much uses his feet to plough because it is how he started. He has also opened up job opportunities for young people.

“I still use my feet because that is how I started. I use my feet for a lot of things, if not everything. I don’t have to bend much because it will take a toll on my back so I do lot of the tasks on the field using my feet.

“I am very handy,” he quips.

“I don’t know if that even make sense because I am using my feet so how can I be handy?” he laughs.

“But when we speak of a field that is quite big – and not a size of a backyard – I would need workers.”

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