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Breaking limitations of gender stereotypes

*Photo sourced from the City of Johannesburg website.
Women may be under the spotlight for heartbreaking news at the moment, however, there women proving to be victors and pillars in the community.

At the backdrop of much talked about violence against women and the outrage South Africans expressed; at the young age of 33 years, Nombali Khuboni from UMzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal is breaking gender stereotypes and proving that women are victors in the community.

As reported by the City of Johannesburg website, Khuboni works as a Banana-Ripening Supervisor at the Joburg Market, doing a job she never imagined doing or that it even existed.

The City of Johannesburg website reported that, her passion for banana ripening developed when she was doing a plant physiology module at university and was intrigued by the ripening process.

A Unisa alumnus with a B-Tech degree in Agricultural Management and a Diploma in Crop Production from the Tshwane University of Technology, Nombali started working at the Market in 2010.

With 12 colleagues who help with ripening, cleaning, receiving and forklift driving, Nombali supervises 57 ripening rooms that accommodate about 1 721 pallets (1 548.90 tons) of bananas at a time. The facility assists farmers with the ripening of bananas in off-seasons and is presumed to be the largest one in the country.

Khuboni and her colleagues receive bananas while they are still green and raw in their A1 stage. They are then ripened using alkaline gas under controlled temperatures, according to the specifications of the sales personnel, who request for them when they are ready to be sold.

Her time at the Market has encouraged her to strive to make a meaningful impact in agriculture. Considering the limited number of women making a visible and dominant contribution throughout the agriculture value chain, Khuboni wants to use the experience and knowledge she has gained at the Joburg Market to help break gender stereotypes in the industry.

“I want a girl-child to be motivated and believe that gender does not define her capability,” she says.

However, Nombali’s aspirations go beyond the Joburg Market. Her vision is to own her own farm and have private ripening facilities.

“In this way, I will help fight poverty by creating employment in rural areas through agriculture,” she says.

This article is sourced from the City of Johannesburg website