Blessing Pondani, originally from Malawi, became employed at the Engen Riverhorse Valley Convenience Centre when the service station opened its doors in May 2016. Beginning his days as a General Cleaner, he one day inspected the land surrounding the property and informed his boss that the land was in fact quite fertile, and that their team should make use of it to grow vegetables. Inspired by his staff member’s initiative, the next day Senzo Mfeka returned to work with spinach saplings.
What the first yield of spinach taught Blessing and his team, they applied to more areas of the vacant plot and now supply less fortunate members of the community with fresh organic spinach, a firm favourite. While there have been requests for the team to sell the spinach, staff are clear on the boundaries: the produce may only be distributed to families in need in the immediate surroundings. Blessing takes great pride in juggling both, his sanitation duties and his vegetable garden which now also grows carrots and tomatoes.