Kenya Farming- Hats Off to Mr. Wakaba!

July 2016

If you want to be included on the list of people known for achieving their desires despite unrelenting challenges, be prepared to work hard, fight hard, stay on course, stay focused, year after year after year, obstacle after obstacle, seeming failure after failure to make your dream come true.  It is said: ‘To the one who is determined, it remains only to act. There is no chance, no destiny, and no fate that can hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.’

kenya-farming01In Kenya, we are truly blessed with good weather, plenty of food when the rains are sufficient, and very hard working people. We are taught from an early age the need to fend for ourselves, to take care of the fields because they are our source of livelihood.  Without the fields, there would not be enough food for human consumption.  We are taught to plant trees and to conserve the environment.  As necessary as it is to cut trees for firewood and building materials, we have always been encouraged to plant ‘two ‘trees for every ‘one’ tree that is cut.

This traditional teaching and cultural priority has been in effect too many generations to count. We are now, however, seeing vast and unforeseen changes in our root beliefs as so much of our youth is now moving ‘to the city’ after graduated from school.  Many of this generation, graduate and now buy or lease homes in the city away from the community where they were born and raised.  Their older parents have been left to take care of the homes of origin.  Many of their parents have gotten too old and have lost the energy to till the land and make good use of the rural environment, once so primal and native to Kenya.

kenya-farming02It was thus with great pleasure and renewed excitement that I came upon Mr. Wakaba one day, an older man in his 70s who owns and maintains his own farm with excellence!  Mr. Wakaba has defied age and time by deciding to make ‘the best out of’ his farm.

Mr. Wakaba has 9 acres of land in his native village near the Aberdares Mountains.  He practices a lot of fish farming, the growing of crops, and keeping domestic animals. What was most intriguing about this man is his knowledge in matters of crop rotation and in the crossing of breeds, like cows, to improve the breed, in general.

kenya-farming03Mr. Wakaba knows exactly how many trees he has on his farm, and the quantity of fruits he harvests per season.  He knows how much money he will make per harvest of fruit and fertilizes routinely with manure to help ensure his stream of income.  Mr. Wakaba keeps his farm healthy by continually digging up the fertile soil with the help of his farm- hand.

There are elderly parents who sit idle in their village expecting their grown children to work and send money for food and general upkeep, but not this man!  Mr. Wakaba believes in making enough money for himself and in leaving a legacy of knowledge and prosperity for his children to emulate.  Mr. Wakaba is a great achiever who takes risks and does not lose focus from the goal he  aims to achieve.

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After meeting him, I decided Mr. Wakaba deserved a spot in Valvisions’ July Blog. Hats off to you, Mr. Wakaba!

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