What is success without significance?
It's not every day you get to sit elbow to elbow with a humble Nelson Mandela Scholar, Sainsbury Fellow, Beahrs Environmental Leadership Fellow at UC Berkeley and two time receiver of the Ford Fellowship - but these are the meetings you score when working alongside the Abalimi and Hexagonal teams.
It was just last week that I was sharing a coffee table with Mpumelelo Ncwadi (Mpumi), Founder of the Indwe Trust NPC and Deputy Director of Overberg Water, a passionate and inspirational advocate for conscious consumerism with specific regards to the beef industry.
Grass Fed, the stamp that alleviates the mental questions and eases the hearts of consumers. The word organic has become a buzz word. Consumers energetically pick organic food items at the market as they begin to indulge in this new health-conscious way of living.
While I don't discourage the act, Abalimi Harvest of Hope hopes to expand their mission and elevate the education to our public in regards to what it means exactly to be organic.
With much of the same principles in mind, Mpumi works alongside rural cattle farmers to help ensure 100% grass fed meat products are accurately marketed and distributed to the consumers.
Mpumi has encountered a lot of red tape and a lot of organisations and people diminishing this great deed. "No one likes change. It makes everyone uneasy," says Mpumi.
Initiating change that takes away from the profits of the very large and possessive meat and produce industry is not an easy feat. In fact, it's nearly impossible.
Much like Abalimi Harvest of Hope's mission to foster relationships between the micro-farmers (Mpumi prefers the term "agriculture of the middle" farmers) and the consumers, Mpumi strives to do much of the same with rural beef farmers.
It is his personal and professional mission to supply South Africa with real 100% grass fed beef product, which is a big step up from the 5% sitting on your neighbourhood market shelves today.
Additionally, he hopes to educate the public on the marketing tactics used by the meat industry to trick you into buying the overly priced and (not-so) certified organic product.
Speaking on behalf of Mpumi, I would argue that his significance is influential on every level.
Demanding pure product with honest marketing to ensure the lifestyles of the rural cattle farmers continue to flourish.
I commend Mpumi's efforts to out the interworking's of the meat industry to coax it's consumers into buying the trendy organic meat products.
It's admirable that an individual so invested in the success of the meat industry himself puts on his red boxing gloves and combats the very powerful organisations working feverishly to quiet his voice day in and day out.
Mpumi's significance in the industry goes far beyond leveling the organic beef playing field but span to projects throughout the townships, and into educational systems as well.
If you were to measure your success, what significance would it have?