About 250 km from the sanitized suburbs of Sandton in South Africa’s Gauteng province is Randfontein, a rugged gold mining city in the West Rand, where we meet 31-year-old Katlego Pitse on his farm where he is currently producing rows of crisp green lettuce.
A few years ago, the Soweto-born farmer was far from any piece of earth, and closer to a computer desktop, earning a living as a graphic designer.
“Straight after high school, I studied graphic design from 2008 until 2012. From there on, I pursued a career in commercial arts. Advertising is the number one industry that absorbs creatives,” says Pitse of his ‘other job’.
He worked for various companies in Johannesburg and his career was well on to greener pastures as he enjoyed a hefty salary with annual increments and a lavish lifestyle, until an unfortunate incident threw him out of gear. Pitse was involved in a road accident in 2015 and the snazzy, pricey car he had been spending so much on, had to be written off. The accident was a facilitator, as he was faced with some life-defining choices, and the prospect of a new direction, one that made him more grounded.
He left a full-time job to freelance at a night club; this is where he was exposed to the day-to-day operations of a business. It helped him take to entrepreneurship, pursuing agriculture full-time; which had been a burning desire since his days as an art student thumbing through agriculture magazines.