My name is Rosina Secondt and I am a community leader from a Catholic Mission Station called Pella in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. We live on the banks of the Orange River. Water is life. Pella is about 600 km from Cape Town. Agriculture is the main source of employment and livelihood. We recently had to fight for this land when it was nearly taken away by a film company to build another Hollywood.

Land is my most precious source for food sovereignty and job creation. We use water from the Orange River to plant crops and for fishing. Although our land has not a high “agricultural value” as newspapers say, many people keep flocks of sheep, goats as well as cattle. I grow vegetables without pesticides. We use our traditional knowledge to work our land. We have struggled for years to build houses.

Land gives me the opportunity to live closely to nature. My kids are roaming the fields and the mountains. This is our life and people expect us to give it up for money? Just because we are poor they think they can exploit us. Our culture with its traditions means a lot to us –it is our roots. Our ancestors are buried here. Pella is a treasure chest for us and keeps our ancestor’s remains, souls and memories. Almost 90% of the inhabitants are Roman Catholic. This cathedral is the very reason for us being here.

I will never move from this land.

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Hello Rosina You are very lucky to have lived on your land for generations. I think families who continue to have a relationship with the land take care of it differently than corporations who simply take what they can from the land, usually without giving back or caring for the land in the same way. The land is what allows us to take care of ourselves as we produce our own food. Thank you for sharing.