Mpophomeni Farmers Market started on Saturday, June 16 2018 and the very first market was held at the Mpophomeni Tourism Gateway. The market has grown into a very popular event with a great variety of food and craft stalls around. Besides the fresh produce from local farmers, there is also a kiddies area with a jumping castle and storytelling to keep the young ones busy while mom and dad browse around.
The market is now held every last Saturday of the month as well as on the weekend closest to the 15th of every month. The main aim of the market is to provide a network for small businesses and farmers in our community where they can work together and grow their businesses.
A little History on Mpophomeni Township
In 1968 the South African government built in an open field a township called Mpophomeni to relocate the black people living in the surroundings of Howick, a picturesque little town in the Natal Midlands. Mpophomeni (which means the place of the waterfall in isiZulu) derives its name from the well known Howick waterfall.
In 1985 the management of SARMCOL (South African Rubber Manufacturing Company Limited) summarily dismissed a thousand workers, many of them Mpophomeni residents, after a strike. This plunged hundreds of families into poverty.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a fight between the people of Mpophomeni and the people living in the rural areas of Kwa Shifu, Haza and Mahlangeni. The community of Mpophomeni were ANC (African National Congress)supporters and the rural areas were strongly behind the opposing IFP (Inkatha Freedom Party). The death of Nokulunga Gumede, a five-year-old girl who was run down by a military vehicle (Casper) during the violence taking place in the township at the time was a catalyst for change – no-one stopped the violence when they had the chance.
Reconciliation only truly started between the township and the rural occupants in 1993 and 1994. A memorial was built in remembrance of this and named after Nokulunga Gumede - the youngest victim of the violence as well as commemorating the 120 people that died.
There are three high schools, Mpophomeni High, Asibemunye and Umthombo as well as five primary schools namely, Sifisesihle, Zamuthule, Qhamukile, Isibongo and Nhlanhleni.
Activities include: annual dog show; Zulu Mpophomeni Tourism Experience; Enviro-clubs; AIDS Ministry; ThinkQuest Competition; Mpophomeni Computer Centre and SchoolNet; Centre for Criminal Justice.