Women in the Nursery

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This is a tribute to two very strong, enthusiastic, passionate women working in the nursery of the Makana Municipality’s Horticulture Department. 

It was the morning of 28July 2011, when a colleague and I went to the Department of Horticulture to meet with Kevin Bates, the Manager of Parks and Recreation, to conduct observations and interviews with his employees. I was there to do a skills needs analysis project, which formed a part of my research for my Masters topic: “Learning pathways on key occupations relevant to sustainable development within Makana Municipality”.  This is all about Education and Sustainability. Of the five groups we interviewed, the two women working in the nursery stood out.

When we asked if the women enjoyed their jobs, they replied with a spontaneous “Yes! Ijoooooo! We do!”, and stopped just short of jumping up and down like little kids. When we asked them if they saw how their job related to the environment, again they responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” The women explained in detail how they get invited to local schools in the township through a ‘green project’ which teaches kids the importance of plants and their medicinal properties. They loved telling us that out of olive trees, we get eye lotion. I was fascinated when the women gave the analogy that plants are like human beings, saying: “Plants eat, breath, live and die just like human beings do.” Yet again, they explained themselves with fervent passion.

It is the ordinary, simple women like Nana and Lady who go un-noticed and unacknowledged but who are making extraordinary contributions working their silent corners of the nursery. They are making a difference in the life of the environment, the life of the nursery, the life of horticulture and the life of green projects within Makana Municipality.  Viva Nana! Viva Lady! Happy Women’s month!

Fourteen years of service in the nursery and still loving it, I take my hat off to these two women. 

I salute, 

Nthabiseng Mohanoe