By Bulawayo Correspondent
WHILE most children of his age freeze at the sight of a vicious dog, an enterprising 13-year-old Gwanda boy, Siyabonga Zondo, has ventured into the despised but lucrative dog breeding and selling business.
Most people in Zimbabwe prefer breeding livestock and rearing chickens which they consider to be of more economic value than breeding man’s best friend.
But young Zondo has proved these people wrong.
“My parents initiated me to the dog breeding business in 2018. Before that, we have been breeding dogs mainly as a hobby until I come up with the idea of going commercial,” said Zondo in an interview with New Zimbabwe.com.
The young dog breeder said the business is now sustaining his family.
“The dog breeding project has changed the economic fortunes of our family as my parents are now able to pay school fees for myself and my siblings. The project has also able to sustain the family during this COVID-19 lockdown where my parents have not been able to generate enough income for the family,” said Zondo.
He said he breeds a wide variety of dogs which include Beerboels, Rott Wailers, Pit–bull terriers and Germany Shepherds.
“I sell a two week old puppy each for US$200. Each dog gives birth twice or thrice a year at an average of 10 puppies. That is the price of these breeds not Mgodoyi (stray dogs),” he said.
Zondo says he sells puppies and mature dogs to security companies as well as individuals.
“Security companies are one of my major clients. They buy puppies which they train as security dogs. I also export some puppies to South African companies,” said Zondo.
The breeder said one of his mayor challenge is the high cost of dog feed and medication.
Zondo said he spends close to US$400 every month buying drugs and food for the dogs.
“The puppies needs very strict medical attention. The vaccines costs US$40 combined jabs of 6 weeks and 8 weeks. I always make sure that the dogs are well fed and properly looked after,” he added.
Zondo is currently looking for a bigger place to breed the dogs.