Bora was born to do this!

Most farmers start out by learning the daily farming activities from a very young age. But this was not the case with Bora.

Forced into farming

Bora was literally thrown into the farming fraternity when both his uncles, Pule Monyatsi and George Letlojane, died within a year of each other in 2013 and he had to step up to fill their shoes in 2014. His father Wesley, who is a securities clerk at Senwes head office in Klerksdorp, was the one who made the call to throw Bora in at the deep end.

The start

Learning how to swim was the only answer. In fact, while growing up Bora was actually terrified of cows. But he took on the challenge with one piece of advice from his father: “You need to farm because of passion, not for money.” And with that advice his passion for farming grew.
He especially likes an old photograph of himself with a goat and his grandfather, Andrew Aphiri. This is something that he thinks about a lot lately and which gives him the idea that he was born to farm. 
At the outset you must be able to accept that you will make mistakes. When they first planted he had already planted about two hectares of maize  when one of the workers, Elias Dlamini, stopped him because he didn’t use a marker. So he had to replant and learned from his mistake.
Now, after two years on the farm, he has become a confident farmer who knows exactly what he wants. He now knows different cultivars, how to drive a tractor, how to plant, how to prepare the soil, etcetera.


Bora, who was born in Mafikeng, speaks English fluently and is currently a vibrant 29-year-old chap. He went to different schools in Klerksdorp, Stilfontein and Potchefstroom in the North West province and matriculated at Milner High School in 2005. Interestingly, Bora studied Civil Engineering and Information Technology before he changed to Marketing Management, for which he received a diploma from Unisa.

Before farming

After he finalised his studies he literally went around the block, from being an account administrator at Standard Bank and a salesman at Discovery, to name just a few positions before being thrusted into farming.

About his farm

Bora farms on the farm Pula Ke Khumo – Trading One. Loosely translated it means ‘Rain is a Gift’. Pula Ke Khumo is 1 365 hectares in extent, 450 hectares of which are arable land.
The farm's name rang true this season, even during the drought, as Bora says that the farm still received 600 mm over the past year, while they usually receive between 450 and 600 mm. But its not like that for every farmer in the Vereeniging region, where rain fell in patches. “Other farmers weren’t that fortunate.” All in all he utilised 600 hectares of land for grazing and leases the remaining land to other famers in the area.

Sensible farming

This year the family decided to plant only 80 hectares. The reason for this was to minimise the risk during the drought season. “In retrospect we could have planted more, but the risk was too great.” He decided to plant 45 hectares of white maize and 35 hectares of yellow maize. When Senwes Scenario visited him, they were busy making bales to sell. This, as well as the rental income they receive, assists their cash flow situation to a large extent - something most farmers are familiar with.


Bora employs two people on his farm who help him with everything. He adds that there are about 5 houses on the farm which he leases from Government, where his workers as well as other people stay. “I look well after my staff. First and foremost I provide a house, electricity and water for them.”


The lady in Bora’s life is Boitumelo and they have known each other since high school.  They have two children, a son Onthathile (2) and a girl Leano, who is 5 months old. They live in Mafikeng but he sees them whenever he can.

His Mentor

His mentor in farming is Herculas Willemse, a large commercial farmer in the area. He always tells me to learn as much as I can from him while he is still there, which is exactly what Bora does.


He also has a lot of respect for Senwes Agronomist, Julias Ramohlabi. “Julias is like an older brother to me. There is a lot of mutual respect between us and he is very understanding.” Besides the assistance from Julias Senwes also offers other services, such as the extension of loans to farmers. He is also in the fortunate position that the farm is only 3 kilometres away from the nearest Senwes silo, namely Raathsvlei silo.


He believes in the saying: “Don’t be afraid to be yourself.” As a Christian Bora says that one has to have a strong character to weather all challenges. “If you don’t go through something tough now and again, you will not be able to meet challenges.”


Bora admits that things can get hard at times. When that happens he applies the advice he was given by a motivational speaker / psychologist. “Once in a while I go out in the veld and just shout. I’ve learned to shout where nobody can hear me. The veld is my therapist.”

Things he learned

One thing he learned is that as a farmer, your job doesn’t stop when the workday is over. “I’ve also learned to look after my stuff”. Here Bora refers to stock theft that has plagued him since 2014. At one stage 52 cows were stolen and they got 27 back.  Since then the herd has grown to 37.
After two years of farming it seems as though Bora has experienced the highs and the lows, which are shaping him to become a great farmer.  May the name of his farm "Gift of Rain" ring true in the future!