NIGERIAN FARMER SHINES IN SOUTH AFRICA

NIGERIAN FARMER SHINES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Edward Wisdom (48) is a Nigerian farmer based in South Africa. He has lived in the Rainbow Nation for about 25 years.

He produces and sells products that other African immigrants and expats struggle to find in Mzansi.

He is an Igbo, hailing from a line of subsistence farmers, their staples being yams, cassava, and taro.

In 2011, he obtained a 3.5-hectare piece of land in Vanderbijlpark, an industrial town on the Vaal River in the south of Gauteng province.

Wisdom grows bitter leaf, okra, basil, butternut, tomatoes, brinjal and rainbow maize. Photo: Funiwe Ngwenya

Wisdom grows bitter leaf, okra, basil, butternut, tomatoes, brinjal and rainbow maize. Photo: Funiwe Ngwenya

This made him the first Nigerian commercial farmer around Johannesburg. “I realized that most of the Africans in South Africa were importing a lot of their food. I saw a gap in garri [the powder of cassava] and bitter leaf plant.

These two are the major things West Africans import more than anything else,” he claims.

However, the staples are still not easily available in South Africa. Millions of Rands are spent every month on importing the staples. Noticing this gap, Wisdom says he decided to capitalize on it.

Edward Wisdom originally from the southeast of Nigeria has carved out a niche for himself by producing and selling produce that other African immigrants and expats struggle to find in South Africa. Photo: Funiwe Ngwenya

Edward Wisdom originally from the southeast of Nigeria has carved out a niche for himself by producing and selling produce that other African immigrants and expats struggle to find in South Africa. Photo: Funiwe Ngwenya

Now, this father of five mainly grows highly medicinal West African crops such as bitter leaf (an indigenous tropical African plant known for treating malaria, tuberculosis, kidney diseases and others) and okra (a plant known for reducing cholesterol levels) as well as basil, butternut, tomatoes, and brinjal. He sells his produce under the brand “Uncle Wiz”.

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Femi Oshin
Femi Oshin 185 posts

Femi Oshin is a publisher at Nigeriansinsouthafrica.ca.za and Producer /Presenter of Agogo Ayo on Africa Magic Yoruba.

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