“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible.”

Dimpho Xaba



Organisation / Company

Tshwane University of Technology
Thusanang Bakone Group


Dimpho Xaba is a lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), where he develops learning materials and teaches vegetable crop production. He also develops materials for short courses. After leaving school he completed his diploma and then BTech in agricultural extension and rural development. Dimpho says Douglas Mfolo is an important person in his life, particularly while he was doing his practicals at the TUT farm and then when he did his master’s in agricultural science.

“He became like a real father to me.” Dimpho, 33, is not only a lecturer, he is a farmer and developed his love for farming when he was a boy growing up near Brits in North West. He established the Thusanang Bakone Group and now farms wheat, maize, soya, potatoes and bees. Dimpho is also involved with the Youth in Agriculture and Rural Development, which promotes the involvement of young people in agriculture.

He also advises small-scale farmers. A specific achievement Dimpho is proud of is raising funds for undergraduates’ and postgraduates’ bursaries, as well as for students doing the work integrated learning programme. In his first year at TUT, Dimpho struggled to pay for his fees and this experience inspired him to assist other students.


  • Diploma in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
  • BTech in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
  • Master of Agricultural Science


We were assigned responsibility in 2021 to fundraise funds to fund programmes our department is offering.

For the 2022 academic year, we raised R2 186 250 for undergraduates’ bursaries, R127 200 for the postgraduate bursary programme and R1 431 000 to fund students who do the work integrated learning programme. The total amount of money we raised was R3 744 450 from the AgriSETA, which we used to assist students from poor family backgrounds and missing middle. Out of 62 of our beneficiaries, 30 graduated with a diploma in crop production in 2023, 28 with an advanced diploma in crop production and two with a postgraduate diploma in crop production.

For the current academic year, we have so far managed to mobilise R1 062 000 towards new undergraduates bursaries, R495 600 for undergraduates’ continuing with their studies, R300 000 towards the graduate’s development programme, R840 000 for funding students doing the work-integrated learning programme and R120 000 towards funding the learnership programme. The total amount received from the AgriSETA is R1 977 600 to fund 51 beneficiaries.

We have further raised R204 455 for students’ bursaries from AFGRI.


One of my mentors is Mr Douglas Mfolo who really played a big part during my practicals at the TUT Farm. He continued to guide me until I graduated with my master’s degree. My former dean of science, Professor Prince Ngobeni, encouraged me to enrol for a master’s degree and still supports me to this day.