Drive Out Hunger

JJ Machobane is a farmer, novelist, social visionary, and a self-taught scientist. He spent 13 years researching an agricultural system that would allow the poorest people to harvest food all year round.

"An employed man is like a well-fed and chained-up dog."

This book is an edited oral autobiography, compiled from about 15 hours of interviews with  Ntate JJ Machobane in 2000 and 2001. Born to a sharecropper in Frankfurt in the Free State, South Africa, in 1914, JJ Machobane was a herd boy there, in Matlakeng and Ha Majara, Lesotho from 1919 - 1927.

As a young man, JJ Machobane spent 13 years researching an agricultural system that would allow the poorer people to harvest food all year round. Working entirely on his own, he perfected his farming system, and then founded a college to teach it - Mants'a Tlala College, meaning Drive Out Hunger.

Machobane's system and his charismatic way of teaching it was actively opposed by the outgoing British government of Basotholand, and then banned by the government of the newly independent Lesotho. Machobane had to go into hiding to avoid harassment, only re-emerging in the 1990s to train a new generation of Lesotho farmers.

Now aged 89, he relates the story of his life with humour, idiom and story-telling skill.  He tells how he developed his independent morality, and why he made the decisions he did. "The world will only be at peace", he says, "if everyone puts their hands into the soil so that everyone has food and water on their table out of their own sweat and initiative."

About the Author
Robert Berold
is a poet, farmer and, until recently, was editor of the New Coin poetry journal. He lives near Grahamstown.

Parameters of Book: Book
Sub-title: The story of J.J.Machobane of Lesotho
Author: Robert Berold & J.J. Machobane
ISBN: 9781919931524
Size (mm): 210x148mm
Pages: 112pp
format: Paperback
Colour: Black & White
Rights: World
Language: English
Publication Date: 2005-01-01