Chisom Jenniffer Okoye
2 minute read
28 Oct 2019
6:01 am

SA entrepreneurs produce diesel from tobacco, castor oil

Chisom Jenniffer Okoye

Ngidi and Mabapa have secured clients and hope their success encourages fellow rural businesspeople to follow suit.

Thabang Mabapa commercialised his passion for castor oil and now owns two farms. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Two entrepreneurs have found a way to decrease over-reliance on fossil fuel by producing biodiesel using castor oil and tobacco. For KwaZulu-Natal-bred Zinhle Ngidi, it all started in her childhood when she was exposed to various environments, including life in a city, township and village. Although she lived in Durban, she looked forward to her time in the rural part of Nkandla, where her family originally come from. “As a child, I just loved agriculture,” she said. “I loved growing things and experimenting.” After years in business and sales, including finance, she stumbled upon tobacco. “In 2016, when I was...