“I have been all over the world and there’s no place like home under the sun.”
These are the words that best sum up Lucy Hinchliffe’s passion and love for her Motherland. Not only does her love and passion for the ‘Jewel of Africa’ end there, she has taken it further by transforming her seven hectare Kuminda farm into a holiday and tourist destination. Judging from the name ‘Kuminda’(to the fields) the spark of culture comes alight and this is exactly what bubbly dreadlocked Lucy wants to share with her guests from all over the globe. To catch a glimpse of her niche business Voice Money sat down with her for an interview.
Q. Please tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Lucy Hinchliffe and I am 56 years old. I was born in Marobela and attended my primary school in the same village before continuing my schooling at Mater Spei. I have worked in casinos in West Africa and also in Gaborone and have done a fair share of globetrotting. I used to co own the Business centre for seven years, an events management company at the Gaborone Sun, which later moved to the Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC). I later sold my shares of the business in order to concentrate on the farm.
Q. What line of business are you in?
I am into integrated farming and events management, a business which I relocated with from Gaborone in 2006 after retiring from formal work. I now do all this from Kuminda Farm, even though I have clients back in Gaborone whom I still offer my services to.
Q. Explain how you came up with the name for your farm?
It’s a Ikalanga word which means to the fields. It’s a name I grew up associating with, I grew up in the lands, so I found it befitting to call the farm Kuminda, it conjures up childhood memories too.
Q. What should one expect to see and enjoy at Kuminda Farm?
It’s a place where one can escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a place to relax and enjoy the outdoor life with family and friends. It’s a place that offers cultural events, where Ikalanga culture is showcased in all its various forms, from dance, music to the food.
Q. What inspired you to come up with such a business idea?
In my travels I was inspired by the cultures and the hospitality that I experienced in those countries as a traveller. Therefore I felt I should I should do the same here for our visitors. Another thing is that I felt my culture was not getting the necessary exposure. People should not wait for the Domboshaba festival to experience Ikalanga culture.
Q. Does this make you an exclusive lodge?
It’s not a lodge, rather we offer accommodation only to non governmental organisations, to charities and students on educational trips. In short at Kuminda we offer clients a venue to hold their meetings, conferences and events on the farm. However we can only cater for a maximum of 20 people at any given time.
Q. Besides the traditional cuisine what else does Kuminda Farm have to offer to the local and internationally visitor?
It’s also a great spot for bird watching We have exotic birds from Meyer’s parrots, giant eagle owls, marshal eagle , king fisher and rock rabbits. We also have an assortment of indigenous trees and flowers. It is such things that I believe people will want to enjoy and learn more about. Also there are trees which have medicinal value, which researchers can wish to study.
Q. Do you intend to work together with the community? If so what will be their part?
As a people’s person, in all my programmes I will ensure that the people of Marobela are involved, especially when it comes to the entertainment. We have elderly who have rich stories and history of the Ikalanga culture, which they can share and pass down to our young people. They have songs to teach our children who do not know nothing about our culture or language. Furthermore , when hosting guests it’s the women of the village who will be doing the cooking of the various Ikalanga dishes, am also mobilizing the youth to form a traditional dancing troupe. The idea is that everything should have Ikalanga flair.
Q. Any parting words about Kuminda
Kuminda Farm is located 45 kilometres from Francistown along the Maun highway and it is Marobela’s best kept secret.