About The Founder

Umgibe (The real story) “Poverty and hunger is a reality felt and experienced to me”

Nonhlanhla Joye

Umgibe is a story of Ma’ Joye who was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 as a result she could not work to provide food for her family.

She decided to grow organic vegetables in her backyard.

Unfortunately, the chickens ate all her vegetables, needless to say she was devastated, but as a woman she had to come up with a solution.

She innovated a growing system that enabled her to grow vegetables using diversified plastic bags from going to the landfills as growing bags.

Armed with his solution Umgibe provided the much-needed protection from the chickens but it did not end there it saved water and fed the family as well as neighbors who started buying the surplus produce.

Before long Ma Joye was teaching other community members to grow nutritious vegetables.The story that began with pain has now paved the way for the hundreds of families.

A platform was born where poor communities started growing vegetables to feed themselves and collectively sell their surplus produce.

Umgibe is the rope of hope that pulls unemployed and underserved communities up.

Social impact

  • Ensuring the provision of locally grown and healthy food to communities in eThekwini Municipality.
  • Developing the community by training community members in organic farming, crop production and food processing.
  • Minimizing the physical work related to farming, which benefits youth, disabled people ,elderly and women.

Environmental impact

  • Protecting the environment through the Umgibe system by using little water, and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
  • Diverting more than 10,000 plastic bags from landfills by utilizing them as growing bags.
  • Avoiding carbon emissions by reducing transport activities in local food provision.

Economic impact

  • Providing a sustainable source of income for more than 497 families through Umgibe’s 51 partner co-operatives.
  • Creating a local market for organic products.
  • Generating revenues and a stable market for Umgibe and the partner co-operatives through contracts with hospitals.

Awards & Accolades

    • 2017 SABF Social Innovation Development Award Winner
    • 2017 WIA Award (Women In Africa, Morroco
    • 2017 SAG –SEED Award Winner (https://www.seed.uno/awards/all/2017/umgibe-frugal-waterwise-growing-system.html)
    • 2017 Top Entrepreneur Processing Sector Award -Agriculture & Rural Development (KZN Povince)
    • 2017 Marie Claire Future Shaper Awards (SA)
    • 2017 Hivos Most Impactful Business Award Winner on Food Security – Harare, Zimbabwe
    • 2017 Ecologic-Eco -Community Gold Award Winner – Pretoria, South Africa
    • 2017 Ecologic – Eco-Angel Gold Award Winner – Pretoria, South Africa
    • 2017 IMPACT2 Global Female Entrepreneur of The Year Award– (Paris, France)
    • 2017 ELLE Magazine IMPACT 2 Award Winner (SA winner)
    • 2016 Durban Business Fair Rural and Township Based Business Award
    • 2016 KZN DARD Female Entrepreneur 1st Runner -Up Provincial Level
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