THE THREE OF MHLOPHE’S LIFE…Football, agriculture and business

Retired Colonel Kenneth Mhlophe.

The Chronicle

Raymond Jaravaza, correspondent of the Chronicle

A SUIT in the morning, overalls in the afternoon and meetings with football executives in the evening is the best way to describe a typical day for retired Colonel Kenneth Mhlophe.

Juggling the corporate world, working hard on his farms to feed the nation and managing the country’s football affairs with other football administrators may seem like a lot to carry on one’s shoulders, but it’s all part of the a day’s work for Mhlophe.

Running a successful business requires aggression, passion, and adherence to quality standards that leave a satisfied customer.

In a world of fierce business competition, these attributes, combined with innovative leadership, make the difference between successful businesses and those that fail.

Rtd Col Mllophe seems to have mastered the art of running a successful business – Nokel Security Company.

However, he still finds time to pursue his passion for agriculture and football administration.

Kenneth Mhlophe Farmer – Broiler Project

About 20 kilometers from downtown Bulawayo are the Montgomery Plots, a peri-urban agricultural area under Umguza Rural District Council where one can easily encounter a herd of cattle and the next minute walk past an imposing mansion but immaculate surrounded by cornfields.

It’s a Thursday afternoon, a day other business executives typically spend in the office or playing golf while making business deals, but Rtd Col Mllophe has other plans. His crop should be ready to harvest within a month and as the saying goes “it’s all on the deck” and the farmer in him can’t stay away from his Montgomery plot for more than a day.

Farming may be his passion, but just like his security business, it takes time, hard work and capital.

Attention to detail is the key to everything he invests his time and money into and now his harvest – 10,000 heads of cabbage almost ready to harvest, just like his fish. This is what takes Rtd Col Mhlope away from the hustle and bustle of Bulawayo city life.

“Just like in the Nokel Security business, farming is a time-consuming project that requires me to spend a lot of time here on the plot as well as on my other farm in Fort Rixon. We anticipate that the cabbages will be ready. to be harvested in about a month and that the first batch of fish should also be ready for sale very soon.

“In Fort Rixon, we have 150 cattle. Before the Covid-19 pandemic I was selling at least 40-50 cattle a year but in the last two years I have decided to expand the herd before I start selling again.

Kenneth Mhlophe Farmer

“My two sons Vusumuzi and Thulani are now heavily involved in Nokel Security which gives me plenty of time to focus on agriculture and football administration,” Rtd Col Mhlophe said.

The young Mhlophe brothers oversee a growing business that employs 800 security guards and nearly 900 employees of a cleaning company known as Little Tip Cleaning Services.

A school located in Bulawayo known as Joyful Primary School, which will cater for students from Early Childhood Development (ECD) to grade seven, is under construction and will join Mhlophe’s business portfolio.

Next to the cabbage farm are three fish ponds with fish at different stages of maturity. The first pond houses the fish that are almost ready to be sold.

Kenneth Mhlophe Farmer keeps the pest away

“Farming is trial and error and I say this because this is my first time venturing into fish farming. shortly.

“We also have chickens and supply local restaurants in town as well as people who like ‘inkukhu makhaya’. As you can see, this region has farmers who practice different types of crops and animals, so it is important that we provide our customers with quality products,” said Rtd Col Mhlophe.

It’s hard to engage Rtd Col Mhlophe in a conversation without the subject of football coming up.

Kenneth Mhlophe Farmer

After all, he has been involved in the game for years, first as a referee, sponsor and administrator.

He now sits on the board of Zifa headed by President Gift Banda, a board that took over after the ousting of Kelton Kamambo and his team.

“We want to sort out the mess our football is in at the moment. What is the point of demanding readmission to international football when our house is in such a mess?

“A lot of work and reform is needed before we can approach Fifa to lift the ban and we are working hard to ensure the reforms are implemented as soon as possible,” the former Highlanders chairman said.

Aquaculture

Business, agriculture and football administration are intertwined in the life of Rtd Col Mhlophe and if asked to omit one, he says his life would be incomplete.

Rtd Col Mhlope has successfully juggled farming, running a business and administering football as evidenced by his success over the years.
— @RaymondJaravaza

About Keneth T. Graves

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