“Township Farmers is a non-profit organisation trying to re-green the townships of Cape Town, one tree at a time. As well as slowly transforming the dusty, dry land, Township Farmers also focuses on food security and environmental awareness.
Growing up in Khayelitsha, Siyabulela Sokomani remembers a childhood without any trees around him. In Grade 10, he joined his school’s Environmental Club, where he was “bitten by the green bug”. After school, he studied horticulture.
In 2016, he co-founded Township Farmers with Ondela Manjezi. “We saw a need in our community for small-scale organic farms at early childhood development centres and orphanages,” says Sokomani.
Together with SouthSouthNorth, Township Farmers recently started developing food gardens. After identifying keen backyard gardeners in the Kuyasa area, Township Farmers provided them with training and support to start growing their own food.
“Nguni people and other tribes lived sustainably for centuries,” says Sokomani. “We are now looking into the past for solutions. For the future of biodiversity and humankind, we all depend on sustainability.””
“If we are to increase our climate change mitigation efforts, we have to involve everyone from the most vulnerable communities to the most affluent. It is up to us as citizens of these under-priviledged communities to be active in the creation of green areas in township schools and communities.”