Becoming... A flower farmer

Akanaka blooms a journey born out of pain... some pain that will forever remain unspoken. This is a journey of hope. Hope for me, Muku my son with cognitive impairment and special needs and hopefully for other young adults like him.

I have suffered pain in my life. They say God does not give you more than you can handle. Maybe true, but some life journeys are hard to bear. I have tried to find joy in my pain, so here I am, growing flowers. What pain is this that you talk about Nzwi? I was raped and sexually abused as a young seven and eight year old. Not once, not twice. Being in the garden will not take away the pain, but it is a place I find comfort in those pains often unspoken. My son's disability pains me, pains me to the core, it is what it is. I lost two pregnancies, both pain me, one more than the other. One was in 2015 at 11 weeks, we named him Makomborero (Blessings) and the other in 2018, on 31 August 2018, a few days shy of 24 weeks, we named her Makanaka. (You are wonderful/beautiful). It is Miss Maka's name that inspired us to name this business Akanaka Blooms (Beautiful Blooms). Makanaka and I would tend to the garden all day, everyday during our time together. God knew I would not have her for long and I suppose ensured that we made the most of our time together as I was privileged to have been able to work at home and in the garden during that time.

Leading up to this journey, when I decided it would be flowers that I would grow. I researched, I googled, I was on Instagram and Facebook and I found suppliers of all the beautiful flowers I had seen on Instagram. Some I contacted and hit a brick wall, I did not give up. The supplier of butterfly ranunculus will bear testament to that fact! A lot of perseverance and hard work has gone into this venture. A supportive husband, two low capacity boreholes, one dry borehole and exhausted savings later, here we are, walking this journey to becoming.... A flower farmer.

At Akanaka Blooms we are growing flowers on a 5 acre agricultural holding in the Homelands AH in Meyerton. We grew flowers on 1/2 an acre  in our first season and are gradually expanding our growing space. We grow seasonal cut flowers and I am being intentional about researching and trying out the lesser grown varieties in South Africa in the hope that our florists and event planners will find interest in them.

I came together with other upcoming flower farmers in South Africa and my friend Flo in Zim and we started a collective of female flower farmers, the Hortcouture Flower collective. This phenomenal group of women has been amazing, from sharing ideas, resources and just general flower chit chat on our WhatsApp group. It is my hope that we will grow this collective into something amazing, but for now baby steps as we figure ourselves out. You can follow us on Instagram

Special thanks go to Tinashe. My husband, my lover, my friend, #theflowerfarmershusband and to someone who I know would rather remain out the spotlight. You have made this dream possible in ways I never imagined. Thank you. 🤎

I do not know your journey, I do not know your struggles, your joys or your pains but it is my hope that in my quest for personal healing, I can bring joy, solace, comfort to this square mile of my world with the flowers that I grow.




Thanks for sharing your story dear and I wish you healing and success on your journey!!!

Barbara Strooh

Dearest Nzwi,
Reading your story just made me realize once again how very strong woman can be. I am so sorry for all your pain and heartache, nothing and no words can ever heal the wounds which you will forever carry in your heart, but I do believe that with time we learn to turn our pain into something positive and through that the process of healing begins.
I lost my youngest daughter a year ago, to cancer. It literally happened over a period of 6 months. A beautiful energetic 14yr old taken away from us in the blink of an eye. She lived for nature, plants,colour and especially sunflowers, which is the reason why I decided to jump into the deep end and start my own flower farm.
We live in Beira, Mozambique and flower farms are not something you see around here, at all.
I am so grateful to have people like you sharing your knowledge and love for plants with those around you.
You are beautiful. You are strong. You are appreciated. I look forward to sharing my first bunch of flower photos with you very soon. Keep up the good work. Love B.

This strong why will take you far my darling. Your dream is valid. Keep going #zvichanakachete

Elizabeth Thornton-Dibb

You are an amazing woman
Thank you for sharing your story
Thank you for being brave and courageous and touching the hearts of others
The Lord sees He knows your heart 🌸

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