Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Passing the torch, the importance of passing knowledge in family businesses

Transmitting business knowledge to the next generation is vital as it can retain and sustain them to evolutionary process by which an individual either remain, modified or altered to fit in to the current trend and demand.

Thobo Jenamiso, a vegetable and fruits vendor operating in Gaborone bus rank correspondingly says he was initiated to the business by his mother. He says his mother would just take him every time she went to sell (she would sell food around lunch time and then get to sell vegies afterwards).

“The fact that my mother could not do it anymore due to her health problems made me to take it by the scruff and roll with it, plus I saw an opportunity to also make money to go for my culinary studies,” Jenamiso said.

He adds that he is very passionate about food and have a dream of being a chef but cannot acquire the right funding for such studies.

Yet the 24 year old declares that he did not do well during his Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations as he did not get the points for tertiary studies but decided to do a short course on Business Management with the hope that he will get help from the government afterwards but that did not happen.

However Jenamiso emphasized that in these business, “The biggest challenge comes when there are no vegetables for us to sell, sometimes we go outside borders to get things like potatoes and onions when there are not available in the country, as for tomatoes they are the main source of our business so if they are not there it is a huge struggle for us.”

His sentiments are lamented by reports that show that South Africa’s horticultural farmers continue to benefit immensely due to Botswana’s inability to produce enough vegetables and fruits to satisfy the local demand. Despite government’s efforts to come up with measures that could help the country to be self-sufficient, big retailers still cross the border for their vegetables.

Jenamiso says while he believes that his business will grow, he is at the same worried because more people go into it creating more competition.

The young man says the other challenges come from the big shops as they always have what they sell even at times when the products are scarce.

He says even though there is also shortage of land in Botswana which has created some problems here and there for the development of both agriculture and the urban centers of the country, he wish to own a farm.

“I am hoping to get land for the business and wish the government could help me with that, in order to produce my own vegetables,” Jenamiso noted.

When asked how he markets his business he says he does not have any marketing strategy but he just parks his car at the station and commuters come to support them.

Jenamiso believes that determination, hard work and a good heart towards people can get one to their destination even though sometimes it takes much time to get there.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.