Those cattle belonged to me – Mangcongco MP
Eight years ago, a small-time cattle farmer lost nearly half of his herd when it was struck by lightning as his cattle grazed in the mountains at Mangcongco near Bhunya.
This past week, his horror of finding 18 of his prized livestock lying dead replayed when a picture of bloated carcasses went viral on social networking sites.
The picture was taken on December 3, 2010 and made headlines in one of the weekend papers.
The freak electric storm which occurred in the afternoon of December 2, 2010, which was a Thursday, left farmer Oneboy Zikalala bereft.
Interviewed after perusing the picture extensively, the now Member of Parliament of the area claimed the ownership of the cattle.
This he did yesterday after stating that he got concerned when he heard that a farmer also had the same misfortune as he did so many years ago.
“I searched for the farmer and went as far as Lundzi trying to ascertain as to who could have been so unfortunate,” he said, of his initial reaction as a concerned MP.
It was only on scrutiny that he noted that the lay out of the grazing land and the positioning of the cattle was similar to the tragedy of eight years ago. When interviewed in 2010, he quantified his losses to E60 000. He was left with slightly over 20 cattle and yesterday said the setback was the beginning of his increased returns.
He now has close to 200 cattle.“When your old car gets involved in an accident, you get to buy a brand new one,” he said, adding how this was one good source of income for him. “They are my primary source of farming income,” he said proudly.
Eight years ago this image spelt disappointment for cattle farmer Oneboy Zikalala. Today, it reminds him of how his failure turned to success.