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Thirteen years ago, ecotourism giant Chobe Holdings awarded, a couple Thale and Boyce Dikgadikwane a contract to supply its safari camps with herbs and later vegetables through their company Thalboy Investments and there has been no looking back since.
Today vegetable farming has become the backbone of their business, having been in vegetable production for 14 years, which they started in their back yard initially selling mainly herbs.
They are grateful for the lucrative deal they landed with the safari giant to supply its camps with herb and vegetables, as it was a defining moment for the business, and 13 years later Thalboy still supplies Chobe Holdings’10 safari camps with vegetables and herbs and other supplies.
The family business has now expanded from the backyard to a 9-hectare farm on the banks of the Thamalakane River in Kgantshang. In his own words, Boyce Dikgadikwane says it was through Chobe Holding’s 13-year supply contract that he has seen a threefold growth.
To date, the business has a general dealer in their business plot in Thito where they sell fresh produce and meat from their butchery. The business also has a refrigerated truck that transport perishables and two smaller vehicles that do quick erands of deleveries around town. They have also been able to build a big family house at their plot in Thito Ward.
And that is not all, the family have recently bought themselves a new Land Cruiser FJ station Wagon – all these from vegetable proceeds.
Their major motivation was not to disappoint and fail the contract after the opportunity to supply the delicate hospitality sector.
One would think with all these success, they would have started on some funding from financial institutions – but no, it’s all self- funded. The wife had to leave her job as a nurse to focus on the family business, and does not regret the move.
The couple has plans for expansion which will see the business introducing a piggery and a poultry for broilers and layers that will seek to supply the same market with eggs, chicken and pork. Thalboy Investments currently employs 10 Batswana who work at the general dealer and the farm. Thalboy is also a true family business, with the couple’s children also working in it
Chobe Holdings managing Director, Lempheditse Odumetse says the success of Thalboy, fits well into their objective of uplifting the economic being of the communities they do business in.
“We have always believed that small businesses are the spine of our local economy and the spirit of our town. Our journey with Thalboy has been an amazing one, having come from when they were small, to where there are now.”