Tyisa Nabanye is a non-profit urban agriculture organisation growing organic food on the slopes of Signal Hill in Cape Town, seeking to improve food security, promote sustainable livelihoods and create employment for their members. Started in 2013 by a group of urban farmers from the townships around Cape Town, Tyisa Nabanye, which means “feed the others” in Xhosa, is an urban garden based on the principles of permaculture. The team consists of eight members: Mzu, Lumko, Unathi, Chuma, Lizza, Vuyo, Masi and Catherine.

The land that Tyisa Nabanye occupies in Tamboerskloof, was once used by the army, and is now referred to as Erf 81. The land is owned by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and administered by the Department of Public Works, but the members of Tyisa Nabanye got permission from Andre Laubscher, the de facto caretaker of the property, to start growing some vegetables and moved into an uninhabited military storehouse on the property. At the moment, neither department has a clear plan for the property and as a result they have not granted Tyisa Nabanye official tenure, although tacitly the department acknowledges their presence.

The urban farm at Tyisa Nabanye is turning into a real gem in the heart of the city- they hold markets every 2nd Sunday where people can buy their fresh produce and also home-made food. Every Wednesday and Thursday, they hold yoga classes for volunteers on the farm and every so often, they have a live music gig in the barn on the farm. Despite their uncertain status, they continue to innovate and learn, trying to create an environment where food can be grown, stories exchanged and lives valued.

Check out their Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/tyisanabanye?fref=ts