Crowning achievement

Citrus talent shines at AGT awards


“I tell my students, ‘When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” Toni Morrison

Agri’s Got Talent (AGT)

When Anton Rabe, the force behind AGT, approached CGA to co-sponsor AGT and get the citrus industry involved, it was a no-brainer. For the past five years we have watched from the sidelines as this brilliant initiative supported by VINPRO, SATI and HORTGRO has grown and blossomed. In 2019 the citrus industry was added—and citrus industry workers were invited to join their deciduous and grape industry compatriots in sending a short clip showcasing their musical talent. Over the past five years’ workers in the grape and deciduous industry have been buoyed by the recognition that this competition brings. In the first year of involvement the citrus industry was thrilled to have two finalists in the top ten; Mario Christoffels (who has the stage name Mario Blunt) from Zandvliet Indigo, and Nonkululeko Sambo from KMI Farming in Nelspruit. A press release from AGT:

An agricultural worker in the citrus industry from KMI Farming in Nelspruit, Nonkululeko Sambo, walked away with the Agri’s Got Talent (AGT) 2019 crown in what was described as the toughest competition yet. Magdaleen Philander from Nonna Estate in Worcester was second, and Zenobia Pietersen from Marianne Wine Estate, near Stellenbosch, was third.

Eight days ago Sambo, who has never flown in an aircraft before, boarded a flight to Cape Town to join nine other talented agricultural workers to prepare for the gala evening final that was held at the Lord Charles Hotel in Somerset West on Friday night.

And the talent shone through. Sambo won the judges and the crowd over with her version of the Leonard Cohen song, Hallelujah. Sambo who started as a general worker on a citrus farm worked her way up to complete an agricultural diploma and is currently an intern at KMI Farming.

“I didn’t really have big singing dreams, but it was my friends and family who encouraged me to enter. So I took a chance,” an overwhelmed Sambo said.

She won a cash prize of R5 000, clothing, make-up and life-skills and voice training, as well as a recording contract worth R15 000 from Wynand Breedt, owner of Traxtudio in Worcester.

Congratulations Nonkululeko, the citrus industry is proud of you.

Dam levels

Growers in Letsitele are facing the same challenge as Western Cape did with day zero forecast for October/November 2019; the Tzaneen dam stands at 12% (2018 – 36%). Elsewhere in the country things are a lot better—the massive Gariep dam (4 903 million cubic metres) that feeds Sundays River is at 89% (91%); Loskop dam in Senwes is at 87% (99%); Flag Boshielo in Hoedspruit is 63% (93%); Berg River dam in Boland is 100% (86%); Clanwilliam near Citrusdal 92% (99%) and Kouga in Patensie has recovered from 7% in 2018 to 44% now. A full report on dam levels of importance to the South African citrus industry can be found on ¢

Justin Chadwick, CEO, Citrus Growers Association

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Issue 45


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