MTN Eswatini has awarded the top 15 young farmers with Huawei smartphones, which concludes the social media campaign, launched in June this year and implemented instead of the usual 21 Days of Y’ello Care.

The social media campaign, implemented in partnership with Huawei Technologies Eswatini and focused on agriculture, was run on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. To participate in this competition, young people between 18 and 35 years, were openly challenged to share a video – of not more than two minutes – which reflect an agricultural project they are involved in.

The submitted video clips were expected to demonstrate the farmers’ markets, profitability, growth, and the use of innovative practices. The campaign received slightly over 20 entries from different parts of the country. An independent panel of judges in the Ministry of Agriculture, experienced and skilled in their trade, was engaged to evaluate the videos. Consequently, 15 young people emerged as winners, each walking away with a Y5 Huawei smartphone valued at about E2, 500. The total prize money invested in the prizes is estimated at E38, 000

The objective of the campaign was to demonstrate and celebrate the massive difference that young farmers are making in their respective communities, which would ultimately be the company’s contribution to making agriculture “cool among young people”.

The social media campaign was part of MTN’s 2020 Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects. To implement the entire campaign MTN through its Foundation partnered with the National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBoard) and Swaziland Empowerment Limited (SEL). MTN invested E1.1 million to implement this year’s CSI projects rolled out in June, to support the Government’s response to COVID-19 and creation of employment opportunities for young people.

It was refreshing for MTN to see numerous young farmers daring to stand out, open to change and eager to lead their businesses in a different direction to what they may have traditionally known for.

Samkeliso Hlatshwayo (21) from Zombodze, one of the winners, appreciated both MTN Eswatini and Huawei for recognizing the contribution they are making towards improving food security in households.

“The smartphone means a lot to me. I have noticed that it takes very good pictures and I will use it to expand my brand visibility on social media, especially during this time of COVID-19. It will make it easier for me to connect and interact with my customers online,” he said.

Hlatshwayo started farming, initially as a hobby, in 2016. In 2019, Hlatshwayo’s hobby began to put food on the table, which marked the start of a business, for him and his family. He joined the competition to motivate other young people to participate in agribusiness.

“I am an aspiring role model, and I aim to make agriculture cool for young people. We need more young people to join the agriculture industry because there is so much money, and life, in the soil,” he said. Hlatshwayo is also an aspiring economist. He is waiting to begin his studies at the University of Eswatini.

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