Jacques Hugo, one of the three founders of the Let’s Grow Together project, is also the recently elected chairperson of the Potchefstroom Student Campus Council.


Project bears fruit


The Let’s Grow Together project has already won two awards at the NWU.


First, it won the NWU Leopards Lair competition where students enter their business ideas or inventions. Together with the other finalists in this competition, they also exhibited their ideas at the annual SETHI Explosions event of the Faculty of Engineering (see back page).


An even bigger accolade is the award they won at the NWU’s annual research awards event, where their project was announced “Most promising student idea and new student business” in the category for innovation in research.


Let’s Grow Together now also has the opportunity to receive national exposure through the Department of Higher Education and Training’s entrepreneur programme.


For more information about the project, contact Kumbewe Liwewe on 074 342 1963.


Let’s Grow Together sows ‘seeds’ to grow people

Most of us are familiar with the concepts of “ploughing it back” and “paying it forward”. Now, thanks to three innovative NWU students, there’s also “let’s grow together”.

This project is the brainchild of Kumbewe Liwewe, Gabriel Strydom and Jacques Hugo, who studied together on the campus in Potchefstroom.


Coming from privileged backgrounds, they did not rest on their laurels, but decided to help others, especially students experiencing hardship.


“One of the students we are working with started his first year at university with no place to live, no textbooks and only R600 per month that he received from his two grandmothers,” says Gabriel. “Sadly, since the age of seven he thought it normal to eat only once a day.”


Sowing seeds for future growth


These are some of the colourful, nutritious vegetables that NWU staff can buy.Wanting to do something that would be sustainable and continue after they have completed their studies, the three students set their hearts on selling fresh vegetables to NWU staff.


They chose a producer on campus, thereby keeping their costs within limits. Their producer, SUNfarming, is part of the Faculty of Engineering’s Food and Energy Training centre where solar energy is used to grow vegetables in unique greenhouses.


Kumbewe says that he already had a good relationship with SUNfarming on the campus and also knew many lecturers, so he brought them together.


The idea was never to obtain a bank loan to start a business. “I had a R200 note in my pocket and that was the only money we used to start up. We bought the vegetables from SUNfarming and initially used plastic bags for delivery.”


Covering more ground


Gabriel says they are looking for other producers in the community, for instance residents or small farmers in Ikageng in Potchefstroom. In this way, they can also support local businesses.


He says he hopes to take this project to other universities too, because “the more you do, the more you are able to do, and what is more satisfying than helping others?


“We literally want to sow the seeds and allow them to grow in order for others to reap the benefits.”

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Kumbewe Liwewe and Gabriel Strydom among the beautiful, lush vegetables that are cultivated in the unique SUNfarming greenhouses.





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On the front page photograph, Stephen Bogatsu (as Tyrone Jackson) dances with Lyrinda Venter (in the role of ballet dancer Iris Kelly).