Photography Tseliso Monaheng
Ntuthuko Shezi has always wanted to play the stock market, but the thought of creating his own stock was more appealing. His new venture, Livestock Wealth, provides a solution for urbanites like himself.
Livestock Wealth is a ‘crowdfarming’ platform that offers people with no land – or no time to tend to cattle – the opportunity to own livestock.
South Africans still have a deep and emotional connection to land. Cows are still an important currency and are considered a sign of prosperity, especially in a rural setting. Even in cities, cows can be used in important traditional ceremonies, like the wedding dowry process known as lobola.
“What better currency than owning cows as a long-term investment to be able to pay for things like healthcare and children’s university fees in the future?” says Shezi.
The entrepreneur, who is based in Johannesburg, had a rural upbringing in Ndwedwe, in Kwazulu Natal, knows this first-hand: his grandparents kept cows for milk and grew their own food.
Ndwedwe is where he also started exercising his entrepreneurial muscle, too, alongside his single mother who sold sweets, fish and local delicacy vetkoek for extra money at the school she worked at.
Livestock Wealth is not Shezi’s first entrepreneurial venture. He started Scratch Mobile in 2006, which has evolved into a fully fledged car centre based at OR Tambo Airport, where you can drop off your car to have scratches and dents fixed while you fly out.
Livestock Wealth was born in April 2015, when Shezi rented a portion of a farm and bought a few cows. You simply download the Livestock Wealth App on Google Play or visit livestockwealth.com. The App and website lists, with pictures, all the pregnant cows available for sale. When the calves are old enough, they can be sold in the beef market, earning income for the investor.
People like taxi drivers have funds to invest, but current financial products are complicated. We offer simplicity
The investor can sell off their investment anytime back to Livestock Wealth, should they need to convert their cows into cash. Livestock Wealth then offers the cow for sale to people on their waiting list.
Cows featured can cost up to R10,495, or you can invest in installments of R300 a month. You can even purchase via layby over 3–36 months.
Shezi believes his venture simplifies investments for many people. “People like taxi drivers and stokvel groups do have funds to invest, but current financial products are complicated for them. We offer them simplicity”.