On a cloudy Johannesburg afternoon on 6 December last year, I got a WhatsApp message from a number I couldn’t recognize. It simply said – “Congratulations from Gede”. I took it he was congratulating me on winning the SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards that Livestock Wealth took first place two weeks prior. Not wanting to sound unconversational – I simply responded “Thanks Gede”.
We conversed on text and he said he was keen to visit the Kokstad farm during the December holidays. “Me and my wife will leave on the 15th and will stop at Margate to my daughter for a day, two and then move to the farm”, he said. This was Anderson Gede – one of our investors – a proud owner of three cows. I quickly put him in touch with Donald – our farm operations co-ordinator and created a mini-WhatsApp group called “Anderson Gede Farm Visit”.
“Mr Gede, meet Don. Don, meet Mr Gede, he is planning to visit the farm about 16 or 17th of December” I say. They exchange pleasantries with Mr Gede saying “Excited, looking forward to seeing you and the cows of course”. They moved the conversation from text to voice and cut me out of the loop and I had no clue of what eventually transpired.
On the second day being back at the office, just before the first cup of coffee – I received the most heartwarming message the same gentleman. It read “Hi Ntuthuko (that’s me), I have been to the farm, walking about my cows was very impressive, it is a dream come true. I am actually motivated to do more. Calves are healthy! It is a good thing to begin the year in this way. May God bless you on all the endeavors ahead. Anderson Gede”.
I am not one for getting emotional – but that message got to that section of the heart that holds tears. It brought home the reason we started Livestock Wealth, to fulfill the dreams of owning cattle to people who do not have the means, enabling them to grow wealth in a way that is easy to understand.
This morning (10 Jan) he popped in to the office to say hello and check up on his account. As we talked he mentioned how he has tried many things – such as putting money in the bank and getting pretty much the same amount back and being hounded by the knowledge that the bank made more money from his money than they have given him.
I insisted we take a photo.
Here is to dreams, cows and 2018.