Nelly Bassily | March 24, 2013
Many Africans consider themselves to be farmers, even though they have other jobs. One such African was the renowned Malian musician, Ali Farka Toure, who always considered himself a farmer first and a musician second http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9713.
The story about Mrs. Mazibuko touches on one of the important aspects of ageing: choosing the right enterprise for your abilities.
This story from the Kenyan Daily Nation newspaper tells how Mr. Lawrence Njugun went into dairying while working as a teacher, and continued after retirement: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/money/How-half-an-acre-of-land-has-changed-a-farmers-fortunes-/-/435440/1397932/-/37qxv9z/-/index.html
Retired Captain Juma Seiko, from Uganda, still works on his farm. His story can be found here: http://allafrica.com/stories/201108110895.html
The story about Mrs. Mazibuko shows that farmers often have to switch enterprises before they discover what is most suitable for them. Farm Radio Weekly produced Notes to broadcasters on the subject of switching enterprises in issue #238. The Notes contain links to stories about farmers’ choices, and can be found here: http://weekly.farmradio.org/2013/03/11/notes-to-broadcasters-on-switching-crops/
Often, older farmers are a great source of knowledge about crops, animals and weather patterns. As a program idea, you could broadcast a series of interviews with older members of your communities. Interviewers could ask elderly farmers to describe how the farming situation has changed over time, and how they have adjusted to getting older. Elderly farmers may not have the physical strength to do the hard manual work that they used to, but it is worth remembering that the elder members of any community are often the wisest, and their memories and experiences can enrich the lives of those who take the time to listen.