Lesego breaks new ground

Profession­al scientist now a ‘gardener’ of repute

- By Mothusi Masemola

Lesego Seloane not only intimidate­s men with her savvy driving skills, but is also breaking new ground in the male-dominated gardening world.

Seloane giggled as she confessed: “I am a landscaper, but people call me a gardener and I don’t mind.”

Seloane, 27, a scientist by profession, hung up her lab coat after graduating in biochemist­ry and botany from the University of Johannesbu­rg in 2014.

Frustrated with the isolation of laboratory work, Seloane said she kept asking herself why she chose the profession. “I knew I wanted to work with plants, but working with them on a microscopi­c level made me miserable and I felt the process to work with plants would take too long.

“[But] I was excited by discoverin­g that South Africa has a whole plant kingdom ... this was in my final year,” she said.

To equip herself for her new career path, Seloane did a landscapin­g course in 2015. “I went to Lifestyle College in Randpark Ridge and studied there for 12 months ... I learned ecology, environmen­tal studies, landscapin­g and design, horticultu­re, irrigation and constructi­on basics.”

Seloane now owns a landscapin­g company Ronewa Creations with her aunt Dinah Kgeledi. They employ about 10 males when there’s work to do. “We hire the guys if we have a big project but otherwise we do it ourselves,” she said.

Seloane said she’s also learnt to check the house plan thoroughly and to always have emergency numbers like those of plumbers before doing a garden bed and putting in a lawn – in case they damage undergroun­d pipes.

Seloane, who is the eldest of five girls, described herself as a leader. “It is important to live right ... and being the eldest, you have to set an example.”

Like most females, she said she had to learn to be assertive. “I am normally a quiet person but sometimes the guys take us for granted, so I have to go back and explain how I want something done,” she said.

Her CV boasts largely – apart from household garden maintenanc­e – constructi­on of a boma, lapa, pool deck, a water pond and maintenanc­e of large gardens, with the Thokoza Park in Soweto being one of her biggest projects.

Her dream is to offer permanent employment to her staff and open an educationa­l institutio­n on landscapin­g.

 ?? / MDUDUZI NDZINGI ?? Lesego Seloane is the co-founder and director of Ronewa Creations, which provides gardening services.
/ MDUDUZI NDZINGI Lesego Seloane is the co-founder and director of Ronewa Creations, which provides gardening services.

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