Ntsundu “Chief Toto” Rambuda, photographed with his dried tobacco that is ready for sale.
A well-known teacher who retired after 40 years of unbroken service says exercising, eating healthy food and staying away from alcohol make him feel younger and more energetic day by day.
Mr Ntsundu Rambuda of Makonde village, who taught at various schools around Venda, has now found solace in crop and stock farming.
“Chief Toto”, as he is famously known, owns a piece of land at Zwigodini-Madifha in the Niani area, where he farms vegetables and tobacco. He also has chickens, goats and a huge herd of cattle.
A dribbling soccer wizard who played for Makonde Young Zebras during his heydays, Rambuda says involving himself in sports at a young age had many advantages for him. “I had to make sure that I went to play soccer every day after school. In that way, I had no time to involve myself in other things that could destroy my life.”
Rambuda says he wakes up at 04:00 every day. “Before doing anything, I do 50 pushups to warm up my body. Thereafter, I take another 30 minutes of exercise. I then work on my crop farm before I send my goats and cattle for grazing.”
He says he fell in love with farming while he was teaching agricultural sciences at Makonde Primary School in 1982. “Although I excelled in teaching Afrikaans, I fell in love with agricultural sciences, especially the practical part of it. My happiest moments were when I saw my learners growing beautiful vegetable gardens at school. There were times that I even forgot that I was a teacher and started to work the school vegetable gardens on my own. I never thought that the love of agricultural science would one day become the inspiration for my farming career.”
Rambuda says he feels very happy when he looks back at his teaching career. “I am proud of many doctors, engineers, nurses, journalists, artisans and countless professionals that I have produced during my teaching career. I have done my part and I don’t regret anything because now it is my time to rest and concentrate on farming. I encourage other fellows who have retired to keep themselves busy by doing something that will add value to the development in their communities. Besides keeping myself busy, I also get some cash by selling my vegetables, tobacco, goats and cattle to members of the community.”